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Soyuz-TM 12



British cosmonaut Helen Sharman joined Anatoli Artsebarski and Sergei Krikalev aboard Soyuz TM-12. She became the first woman to visit the Mir space station and conducted medical experiments on behalf of her Soviet hosts. She also took pictures and made radio contact with British schoolchildren. Her 7-day, 21-hr, 14-mn mission ended May 26, when she returned to earth with the TM-11 crew. Artsebarski and Krikalev settled into the Mir regimen of exeriments and maintenance. An atmosphereic research subsatellite released June 17 failed when its antenna did not deploy. A balloon deployment on August 15 also failed. During 6 EVAs, taking place between June 25 and July 27, the cosmonauts installed outdoor experiments, retrieved others, repaired the Kvant docking antenna and erected a 14-m platform to host an attitude control thruster for the growing station. Total time outside Mir was 31 hrs, 58 mns. While Artsebarski and Krikalev orbited earth, their homeland suffered a failed coup d'etat and political turmoil that would lead to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Mir activities, however, proceeded normally; Progress M-9 was launched on schedule on August 20th. The cosmonauts were more affected by a decision made a month earlier to combine two upcoming Mir flights into one. The shuffle bumped Krikalev's replacement, requiring him to spend 5 more months in space. Soyuz TM-13, bringing Artsebarski's relief, arrived October 4. He returned to earth October 10 after 144 days, 15 hrs, 22 mns in space.

Alternate Names

  • 21311
  • SoyuzTM-12

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1991-05-18
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 7150 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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