Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir EP-3



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Soyuz TM-6
Polyakov and Mohmand move equipment around Mir.
Credit: RKK Energia
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Mir EP-3
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Crew: Lyakhov, Mohmand. First Afghani astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Berezovoi, Masum.

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. Mohmand's 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.

AKA: Proton (Proton ); Soyuz TM-6 (Lyakhov, Mohmand).
First Launch: 1988.08.29.
Last Launch: 1988.09.07.
Duration: 8.85 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Chretien Chretien, Jean-Loup Jacques Marie (1938-) French test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EP-1, Mir Aragatz, STS-86. First French astronaut. Trained for missions under both US and Russian programs. More...
  • Lyakhov Lyakhov, Vladimir Afanasyevich (1941-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-3, Salyut 7 EO-2, Mir EP-3. More...
  • Berezovoi Berezovoi, Anatoli Nikolayevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-1. More...
  • Titov, Vladimir Titov, Vladimir Georgiyevich (1947-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz T-8, Soyuz T-10-1, Mir EO-3, STS-63, STS-86. Survived first pad abort during a manned launch. 387 cumulative days in space. SU Air Force. Call sign: Okean (Ocean). More...
  • Manarov Manarov, Musa Khiramanovich 'Mussachi' (1951-) Lakets-Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-3, Mir EO-8. 541 cumulative days in space. Graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute with an engineering diploma in 1974 Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. Later a Director of Smolsat. More...
  • Masum Masum, Mohammad Dauran Ghulam (1954-) Afghani pilot cosmonaut, 1988-1988. More...
  • Mohmand Mohmand, Abdul Ahad 'Abdulah' (1959-) Afghani pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-3. First Afghani astronaut. More...

See also
Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...

Mir EP-3 Chronology


1988 August 29 - . 04:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-6 - . Call Sign: Proton (Proton ). Crew: Lyakhov; Mohmand; Polyakov. Backup Crew: Arzamazov; Berezovoi; Masum. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 56. Mass: 7,070 kg (15,580 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Lyakhov; Mohmand; Polyakov; Arzamazov; Berezovoi; Masum. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EP-3; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 114.23 days. Decay Date: 1988-12-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 19443 . COSPAR: 1988-075A. Apogee: 228 km (141 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Transported to the Mir orbital station a Soviet-Afghan crew comprising the cosmonauts V A Lyakhov, V V Polyakov and A A Momand (Afghanistan) to conduct joint research and experiments with the cosmonauts V G Titov and M K Manarov. Returned Manarov, Titov (Soyuz TM-4), Chretien (Soyuz TM-7) to Earth. Initial orbit 195 X 228 km at 51. 57 deg. 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. Moved from aft to forward port 8 Sept 88.

1988 September 7 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-5 - . Return Crew: Lyakhov; Mohmand. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Lyakhov; Mohmand. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EP-3; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Undocked 22:55 GMT 5 September. Jettisoned Orbital Module 23:35 GMT 5 September. Planned landing 02:15 September 6 1988 failed due to confusion of infrared horizon sensors. 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 (Soyuz TM-6) returned safely to Earth and landed September 7, 1988 00:50 GMT, 160 km SE Dzhezkazgan.

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