2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki
2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki

Zenia “Irina” Marchenko is a Soviet cosmonaut of The Leonov in 2010: Odyssey Two, and the youngest member of the crew.

2010: Odyssey Two[]

In the novel, Zenia Marchenko is introduced after Heywood Floyd awakens from hibernation. She was assigned to the crew, at the last minute, after one of the cosmonauts had been injured. Marchenko shelters with Floyd while the Leonov executes a dangerous and dramatic maneuver. Zenia becomes a love interest of Max Brailovsky, whom she eventually marries.[1]

Irina Yakunina[]

In the film adaption, Zenia’s character takes the name of her mentor Dr. Irina Yakunina (Natasha Shneider), the ship’s nutritionist. In the novel, Dr. Yakunina was injured in a sporting accident that prevented her from joining the Jupiter mission. Marchenko takes her place aboard the Leonov at the last minute. However, the film does not mention Zenia Marchenko by name, but rather applies Zenia’s character to Irina.[note 1]


By 2061, Zenia serves along with Heywood Floyd, one of the only two surviving members of the Leonov mission.


  1. To reconcile film with novel, it could be that Zenia assumed her mentor’s identity, Dr. Irina Yakunina, to board the Jupiter mission; as being an “understudy” may have made her ineligible. In the novel, Zenia’s boarding was based on an auxiliary decision.