Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir Juno

Crew: Sharman. First British astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Mace.

Soyuz TM-12 carried Mir Expedition EO-09 crew Anatoli Artsebarski and Sergei Krikalyov, together with Briton Helen Sharman to Mir. This was the second commercial flight to Mir, this time with a British passenger. The sponsoring British consortium was not quite able to come up with money, however. Flight continued at Soviet expense with very limited UK experiments. Sharman returned to earth aboard Soyuz TM-11 with the EO-8 crew on May 26.

Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)

On May 20, 1991, the EO-8 crew welcomed aboard Mir the EO-9 crew of Anatoli Artsebarski and Sergei Krikalev (on his second visit to the station), accompanied by British cosmonaut-researcher Helen Sharman. Sharman was aboard as part of Project Juno, a cooperative venture partly sponsored by British private enterprise.

Sharman's experimental program, which was designed by the Soviets, leaned heavily toward life sciences. A bag of 250,000 pansy seeds was placed in the Kvant 2 EVA airlock, a compartment not as protected from cosmic radiation as other Mir compartments. Sharman also contacted nine British schools by radio and conducted high-temperature superconductor experiments with the Elektropograph-7K device. Sharman commented that she had difficulty finding equipment on Mir as there was a great deal more equipment than in the trainer in the cosmonaut city of Zvezdny Gorodok.

Krikalev commented that, while Mir had more modules than it had had the first time he lived on board, it did not seem less crowded, as it contained more equipment. Krikalev also noted that some of the materials making up the station's exterior had faded and lost color, but that this had had no impact on the station's operation.

During a communication session with a British girls' school on May 21, Sharman commented that Mir was experiencing solar array problems because of the station's changing orientation. Late that day the level of background noise on the station suddenly fell from the customary 75 decibels as fans, circulating pumps, and other equipment shut down. The lights began to fade. A computer in the orientation system had failed, preventing the solar arrays from tracking on the Sun, and causing Mir to drain its batteries. Sharman stated that Afanaseyev and Manarov told her such power problems had occurred before. When it reentered sunlight, the station was turned to recharge its batteries.

The EO-8 crew returned uneventfully to earth on May 26 with Sharman.

AKA: Ozon (Ozone ); Soyuz TM-12 (Sharman).
First Launch: 1991.05.18.
Last Launch: 1991.05.26.
Duration: 7.88 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated People
  • Aubakirov Aubakirov, Toktar Ongarbaevich (1946-) Kazakh pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Austromir. First Kazakh astronaut. More...
  • Mace Mace, Timothy Kristian Charles (1955-) British engineer cosmonaut, 1989-1998. Was married to the daughter of former Soviet Cosmonaut V Zholobov. More...
  • Artsebarsky Artsebarsky, Anatoli Pavlovich (1956-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-9. More...
  • Viehboeck Viehboeck, Franz Artur (1960-) Austrian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Austromir. First Austrian astronaut. More...
  • Sharman Sharman, Helen Patricia 'Lenochka' (1963-) British engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Juno. Chemist. First British astronaut. First non-American, non-Soviet female 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 Juno Chronology

1991 May 18 - . 12:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-12 - . Call Sign: Ozon (Ozone ). Crew: Artsebarsky; Krikalyov; Sharman. Backup Crew: Kaleri; Mace; Volkov, Aleksandr. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 62. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Artsebarsky; Krikalyov; Sharman; Kaleri; Mace; Volkov, Aleksandr. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3; Mir Juno; Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 144.64 days. Decay Date: 1991-10-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 21311 . COSPAR: 1991-034A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 389 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-09. Carried Anatoli Artsebarski, Sergei Krikalev, Helen Sharman to Mir; returned Artsebarski, crew of Soyuz TM 8 to Earth. Second commercial flight with paying British passenger. Sponsoring British consortium was not quite able to come up with money, however. Flight continued at Soviet expense with very limited UK experiments.

1991 May 26 - .
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