The Charms of Soyuz: Blasting Off In a Crazy Russian RocketWilson Rothman5/07/09 8:00amFiled to: AstrobloggerLeroy chiaoGet Me Off This RockSpaceTopastronautISSNasasoyuz521EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkOur astronaut guest blogger Leroy Chiao is one of the few spacemen to have flown in both a US Space Shuttle and Russia's five-decade-old spacecraft, the Soyuz—any guess which one he prefers?Yesterday, I wrote about what launching aboard a Space Shuttle is like. This time, let's consider the Russian Soyuz rocket and spacecraft. Why? Isn't a rocket a rocket? Is it really that different? Yes and no, no and yes. They both get astronauts into space in around nine minutes. But, they are very different.