29 August 1988 04:23 GMT. Landing Date: 1988-09-07 00:50:00 PM. Flight Time: 8.85 days. Alternate Name: Soyuz TM-6 (Lyakhov, Mohmand). Flight Up: Soyuz TM-6. Flight Back: Soyuz TM-5. Call Sign: Proton (Proton ). Crew: Lyakhov, Mohmand. Backup Crew: Berezovoi, Masum. Program: Mir.
Of note: First Afghani astronaut. Cosmonauts V A Lyakhov, V V Polyakov and A A Momand (Afghanistan) were a Soviet-Afghan crew transported to the Mir orbital station together with cosmonaut V V Polyakov to conduct joint research and experiments with the cosmonauts V G Titov and M K Manarov. The Soyuz was placed in an initial orbit of 195 X 228 km at 51. 57 deg. It then maneuvered to a 235 x 259 km orbit, then docked with Mir at 05:41 GMT on 31 August at its 339 x 366 km orbit. Lyakhov and Mohmand left their fresh spacecraft docked to Mir as a lifeboat and returned aboard Soyuz TM-5. They undocked at 22:55 GMT 5 September however the planned landing at 02:15 September 6 1988 failed due to confusion of infrared horizon sensors. Finally Lyakhov and Afghani cosmonaut Mohmand returned safely to Earth and landed September 7, 1988 00:50 GMT, 160 km SE Dzhezkazgan.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
Soyuz TM-6 arrived on August 31, 1988. Its crew had a unique makeup, with a commander (Vladimir Lyakhov) who had been trained to fly a Soyuz TM-solo in the event a rescue ship needed to be sent to recover two cosmonauts from Mir, no flight engineer, and two inexperienced cosmonaut-researchers. One was Dr. Valeri Polyakov, who would remain aboard Mir with Titov and Manarov to monitor their health during the final months of their planned year-long stay. The other was Intercosmos cosmonaut Abdul Ahad Mohmand, from Afghanistan. Mohmandís experiment program was dominated by a series of observations of Afghanistan, called Shamshad. Lyakhov and Mohmand left their fresh spacecraft docked to Mir as a lifeboat and returned aboard Soyuz TM-5. They undocked at 22:55 GMT 5 September and jettisoned the Soyuz TM Orbital Module at 23:35 GMT. However the planned landing at 02:15 September 6 1988 failed due to confusion of infrared horizon sensors. A repeat retrofire attempt one orbit later resulted in a partial burn only. The crew had to spend a tense 24 hours in the cramped Descent Module (the Orbital Module having already been jettisoned before the retrofire burn) before making last chance deorbit. Finally Lyakhov and Afghani cosmonaut Mohmand returned safely to Earth and landed September 7, 1988 00:50 GMT, 160 km SE Dzhezkazgan.
Mir EP-3 Chronology
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