Soyuz TM-16

Soyuz TM -16 mission is the designation for the flight of a Russian Soyuz spaceship to the Russian space station Mir. It was the 16th visit of the Soyuz spacecraft with the Mir space station and the 92nd flight of the Russian Sojusprogramm.


Start crew

  • Gennadi Mikhailovich Manakov ( second space flight), Commander
  • Alexander Fyodorovich Poleschtschuk ( first space flight ), flight engineer

Backup crew

  • Vasily Vasilyevich Ziblijew, Commander
  • Yuri Vladimirovich Usachyov, Flight Engineer

Return team

  • Gennadi Mikhailovich Manakov ( second space flight), Commander
  • Alexander Fyodorovich Poleschtschuk ( first space flight ), flight engineer
  • Jean -Pierre Haigneré ( first space flight ), Science Cosmonaut ( Centre national d' études spatiales CNES / France )

Mission overview

Soyuz TM -16 was the first and only to date Soyuz mission in a non-standard coupling system was used and not on the Mir core module and Kvant was docked since 1976. For the first time the androgynous APAS -89 docking port was (89 stands for the year of development ) used, which was a further development of the APAS -75 docking of the Apollo -Soyuz project. This system - unlike the ordinary Soyuz docking system - allowed any so-equipped spacecraft both the passive and to take on the active part of a docking maneuver. The new coupling system was developed to allow the docking of the Buran space shuttle to the space station Mir. To this end, I ordered the the crystal module also has two APAS -89 socket. At the same time special Soyuz spaceships should be equipped with this coupling system to serve as a rescue system for manned test missions of the Buran. Such a Soyuz would wait in readiness on the ground and start in an emergency with a crew, dock with the Buran, pick up the two test pilots of the space shuttle and bring them safely to the earth or to me.

After the Buran program was stopped in 1992 due to financial reasons, the only pre-built spacecraft to transport a crew to Mir was used. Soyuz TM -16 dockte so at the androgynous docking port of the "Kristall" module. The APAS -89 docking system later found use in the Shuttle -Mir program, some of the modules of the International Space Station (ISS ) and the docking of the Space Shuttle, which applies the Space Shuttle to the ISS.

Another feature of the mission was the clamping a 20 meter solar reflector shortly after the deposition of the transport spaceship Progress M -15 by rotation. With this reflector Sunlight is concentrated drawn to the earth, to explore the possibility of artificial lighting of construction sites from space. However, the reflector only partially unfolded.

The Scientific Program of the team included astrophysical, material technical, biological, medical and technical research. In addition, ran 140 different studies on the Earth exploration. It was, inter alia, to crop forecasts, the search for mineral deposits, the observation of volcanic activity in the infrared range and the exploration of spawning grounds of certain fish species. During the mission was further measured the cosmic rays, stars observed in the ultraviolet region, performed studies of the upper atmosphere (including ozone ) and studied the zodiacal light. In addition, according to the interplanetary dust cloud, X-ray sources and heavy elements ( transuranic elements ) was sought in our galaxy. The behavior and possible applications of molten metals and their handling in microgravity were investigated. In particular, melting and mixing processes were observed under the influence of electrostatic and magnetic fields. Object of investigation was the radiation level inside the station as well as the testing of new thermal insulation coatings.

If there are two exits on April 14 and June 18 ( 5:25 or 4:33 ) the implementation of two solar arrays from crystal to Kvant module was prepared. This cable were laid and implement a control device for orientation of the solar panels. At the loading arm used in this case had to be mounted at the second exit a lost handle. Then the station for visible external damage was investigated and a defective communication antenna repaired.

Supplies of fuel, water and experimental material was delivered to the transport spacecraft Progress M- 16 to M-18. Progress M -18 had a return capsule, with the July 4, about 150 kg research materials were transported to Earth. The replacement of the two cosmonauts Manakov and Polishchuk the end of July.