June 07 – Launch of Soyuz TM-5 (1988)

The Russian Soyuz program is the gift that keeps on giving.  Any date about which I’m short of something to write there’s bound to have been a Soyuz launch.

Today’s mission, from 1988, was to the MIR space station, which at the time had been in orbit for just over two years.

As with most flights to space stations, the crew launched aboard Soyuz TM-5 was different to the crew who landed three months later.   Going up were Russians Anatloy Solovyov (on the first of his five visits to Mir) and Viktor Savinykh, and Bulgarian research cosmonaut Aleksandr Aleksandrov.  Aleksandrov became the first Bulgarian in space.  Coming back down were Russian Vladimir Lyakhov, and the first Afghan in space, Abdul Ahad Mohmand.

Soyuz TM-5 Crew.

The expedition comprising the three-man “up” crew was known as Mir EP-2.  The crew docked their Soyuz to Mir’s aft port on June 9th, but moved the craft to the fore port on June 18th following the departure of Soyuz TM-4 the previous day.

Soyuz TM-5 Mission Patch