Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Stefanos Fasoulas


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Klinkner

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Prof. Fasoulas

Larissa Schunter

Prof. Klinkner

Annegret Möller

Prof. Krabbe

Barbara Klett


Dr. Thomas Wegmann


Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart

Tel. +49 711 685-69604
Fax +49 711 685-63596

Directly to



Inside view of the Soyuz-simulator at the IRS (Photo: IRS)

It is crucial that every (manned) space mission has well-trained astronauts and a crew on ground that can control highly complex spacecrafts in every situation. The Soyuz spacecraft simulator at the IRS is used to prepare aerospace-engineering students for this demanding task.

The Soyuz Spacecraft

The Soyuz is the oldest manned spacecraft in the world. Since its first flight in 1967 it has been upgraded several times. The current version, the Soyuz-TMA, can transport three astronauts to International Space Station ISS and back home. At the moment the Soyuz and the Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou are the only vehicles that can transport people into space.

About the Simulator

The Soyuz-simulator consists of a capsule with a simplified mock-up of the Soyuz cockpit that allows the students to control and navigate a complex spacecraft in a typical mission scenario, such as a flight to the ISS.

Technical facts


  • Diameter: 2.3 m
  • Height: 2.0 m


  • Core program: Orbiter Space Flight Simulator by Dr. Martin Schweiger
  • IRS-specific software for extended hardware control & simulation of the Soyuz


  • Realistic capsule with 3 seats, 2 multi-function displays, 2 control sticks with addititional control elements, and a monitor for the projection of the simulation setting
  • Ground control station with 6 monitors and 4 PCs
  • Special communication system via headsets based on TeamSpeak
  • Special system to monitor and adjust the atmospheric conditions in the capsule


Lectures & Courses

Every year 30 students of the aerospace-engineering course can attend the Soyuz Rendezvous and Docking Training as a part of their diploma or master program. In carefully designed lectures they first gain theoretical background knowledge about manned spaceflight and the Soyuz in particular. Afterwards they train their practical skills in individual sessions with an experienced trainer. The main goal is to practise the complex procedures that are common in spaceflight and to improve audiovisual perception and motor abilities. In emergency flight scenarios they also experience the influence of stress on their decision-making abilities and are able to improve their stress management skills.

In addition, the IRS runs a programming course for the Soyuz-simulator. Here, the students learn how to program using the simulator software and design and implement their own spacecraft for the simulator in small groups. 

Current Research Activities

Besides the utilisation of the Soyuz-simulator in the annual courses, it is a central element of several research projects. The simulator is an excellent tool to evaluate the flight capability of pilots under different stress levels and test stress management strategies. Research of these topics is conducted using the Soyuz-simulator and with the help of volunteers, in cooperation with the Belgian Royal Military Academy, which is developing methods and training strategies for stress management.


Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Fink
Tel.: +49 (0) 711 685 69609
Mail to click here

Valerie Schröder, M.Sc.
Tel.: +49 (0) 711 685 69615
Mail to click here