Mir operations in 1988


The Soyuz TM-7 spacecraft lifts off on Nov. 26, 1988.

Missions to Mir in 1988:

Jan. 21
March 4
March 24
May 5
May 13
June 5
June 7
Sept. 7
Soyuz TM-5
Anatoly Soloviev, Valery Savinukh, Alexander Aleksandrov (Bulgaria) (crew returned on Soyuz TM-4)
July 19
Aug. 12
Aug. 29
Dec. 21
Soyuz TM-6
Valery Lyakhov (ret. Soyuz TM-5), Valery Polyakov (ret. Soyuz TM-7), Abdul Akhad Mohmand (Afghanistan) (ret. Soyuz TM-5)
Sept. 10
Nov. 23
Nov. 26
1989 April 27
Soyuz TM-7
Aleksandr Volkov, Sergei Krikalev, Jean-Loup Chretien (France) (ret. Soyuz TM-6)
Dec. 25
1989 Feb. 7

*Deorbit date for Progress vehicles and Mir modules

**Members of long-term (EO) expeditions are shown in bold

(Sources: 161, 50, 52)

Expedition 3 (EO-3)

Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov met 1988 on Mir and they remained onboard the station until the end of the year. They were visited by two visiting crews. In June 1988, the first visitors, including Bulgarian cosmonaut, delivered fresh Soyuz TM-5 spacecraft to the station, and returned onboard Soyuz TM-4.

The second visiting crew arrived to Mir on Aug. 31, 1988, and it included a guest cosmonaut from Afghanistan and medical researcher Valery Polyakov, who remained onboard the station with the long-duration crew, after his crew mates departed the station onboard the Soyuz TM-5 spacecraft. During their trip back to Earth, two cosmonaut went through a dangerous ordeal, which could potentially cost them their lives. (52)

Expedition 4 (EO-4)

The fourth long-duration crew, including Alaksandr Volkov and Sergei Krikalev boarded Mir on November 28, 1988. Onboard of the arriving Soyuz TM-7, two Russian cosmonauts were accompanied by French researcher Jean-Loup Chretien, who arrived for a three-week-long mission, featuring a spacewalk -- the first ever for non-Soviet, non-US space traveler. The exercise took place on December 9, 1988. Chretien and Volkov spent almost six hours outside the station, struggling to deploy a 240-kilogram hexagonal truss structure.

On December 21, 1988, Chretien returned to Earth onboard the Soyuz TM-6 spacecraft, along with Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov, from Expedition 3. The pair logged a year in space. Valery Polyakov remained on Mir along with Volkov and Krikalev.

Volkov, Krikalev and Polyakov would stay onboard Mir for the remainder of 1988 and well in 1989. (52)


The crews of the 3th and 4th long-term expeditions and their French guest onboard the Mir at the end of 1988. Left to right: Jean-Loup Chretien (France), Musa Manarov, Valery Polyakov, Sergei Krikalev, Vladimir Titov and Alexander Volkov. Credit: RKK Energia