Yelena Vladimirovna Kondakova (Russian: Елена Владимировна Кондакóва; born March 30, 1957) was the third Soviet/Russian female cosmonaut to travel to space and the first woman to make a long-duration spaceflight. Her first trip into space was on Soyuz TM-20 on October 4, 1994. She returned to Earth on March 22, 1995 after a five-month stay at the Mir space station. Kondakova's second flight was as a mission specialist on the United States Space Shuttle Atlantis during mission STS-84 in May 1997. She was the last Russian female in space until her successor cosmonaut Elena Serova flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on 25 September 2014.
Soyuz TM-20 was the 20th mission and the 17th long-duration expedition to Mir space station. The mission began on October 3, 1994, 22:42:30 UTC, launching Commander Alexander Viktorenko, Flight Engineer Yelena Kondakova and Research Cosmonaut Ulf Merbold into orbit. They docked with Mir two days later. During their stay there, cosmonauts performed two EVAs, carried out various scientific experiments. Station crew was visited by several Progress resupply spacecrafts, and welcomed aboard the Soyuz TM-21 crew. During this mission the first rendezvous maneuver of the Space Shuttle STS-63 with the Mir space station was performed. The mission concluded with a safe landing back on Earth on March 22, 1995, 04:04:05 UTC.Low Earth Orbit
The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, commonly known as Roscosmos, is the governmental body responsible for the space science program of the Russian Federation and general aerospace research. Soyuz has many launch locations the Russian sites are Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny however Ariane also purchases the vehicle and launches it from French Guiana.