Soyuz-U2 | Soyuz TM-12

Soviet Space Program launch of a Soyuz-U2 Rocket

Soviet Space Program was scheduled to launch a Soyuz-U2 rocket as part of the Soyuz TM-12 mission. The launch window for the Human Exploration mission was on Sat, May 18th, 1991, 8:50 AM EDT from 1/5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The status of the launch was Success. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch!


Sergei Krikalev

Sergei Krikalev

Flight Engineer - Russian

Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev (Russian: Серге́й Константинович Крикалёв, also transliterated as Sergei Krikalyov; born August 27, 1958) is a Russian cosmonaut and mechanical engineer. As a prominent rocket scientist, he is a veteran of six space flights and ranks third to Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko for the amount of time in space: a total of 803 days, 9 hours, and 38 minutes.

Anatoly Artsebarsky

Anatoly Artsebarsky

Commander - Russian

Anatoly Pavlovich Artsebarsky (Ukrainian: Анатолій Павлович Арцебарський) (Russian: Анатолий Павлович Арцебарский; born 9 September 1956) is a former Soviet cosmonaut. He became a cosmonaut in 1985. Artsebarsky has spent almost 5 months in space on a single spaceflight. In 1991, he flew aboard Soyuz TM-12 and docked with the Mir Space Station. Artsebarsky and Sergei Krikalev stayed aboard Mir while the rest of the crew flew back to Earth after eight days. Artsebarsky took six spacewalks during the Mir EO-9 mission. He spent over 33 hours walking in space.

Helen Sharman

Helen Sharman

Research Cosmonaut - British

Helen Patricia Sharman, CMG, OBE, HonFRSC (born 30 May 1963) is a British chemist who became the first British astronaut and the first woman to visit the Mir space station in 1991.


Soyuz TM-12

Soyuz TM-12 was the 12th mission and the ninth long-duration expedition to Mir space station. The mission began on May 18, 1991, 12:50:28 UTC, launching Commander Anatoly Artsebarsky, Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalyov and Research Cosmonaut Helen Sharman, the first British cosmonaut, into orbit. They docked with Mir two days later. During their stay there, cosmonauts performed EVAs, various station repair and maintenance tasks, and carried out scientific experiments in biology, geophysics, space technology, astronomy etc. They were visited by several Progress resupply spacecrafts and welcomed aboard the Soyuz TM-13 crew. Helen Sharman returned on May 26, 1991, in Soyuz TM-11 spacecraft. While Sergei Krikalyov stayed on the station as a part of the next long-duration expedition, Anatoly Artsebarsky landed safely back on Earth on October 10, 1991, 04:12:18 UTC.


1/5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazakhstan



The Soyuz-U2 was a Soviet, later Russian, carrier rocket. It was derived from the Soyuz-U, and a member of the R-7 family of rockets. It featured increased performance compared with the baseline Soyuz-U, due to the use of syntin propellant, as opposed to RP-1 paraffin, used on the Soyuz-U.

Soviet Space Program

The Soviet space program, was the national space program of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) actived from 1930s until disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union's space program was mainly based on the cosmonautic exploration of space and the development of the expandable launch vehicles, which had been split between many design bureaus competing against each other. Over its 60-years of history, the Russian program was responsible for a number of pioneering feats and accomplishments in the human space flight, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile (R-7), first satellite (Sputnik 1), first animal in Earth orbit (the dog Laika on Sputnik 2), first human in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1), first woman in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6), first spacewalk (cosmonaut Alexei Leonov on Voskhod 2), first Moon impact (Luna 2), first image of the far side of the Moon (Luna 3) and unmanned lunar soft landing (Luna 9), first space rover (Lunokhod 1), first sample of lunar soil automatically extracted and brought to Earth (Luna 16), and first space station (Salyut 1). Further notable records included the first interplanetary probes: Venera 1 and Mars 1 to fly by Venus and Mars, respectively, Venera 3 and Mars 2 to impact the respective planet surface, and Venera 7 and Mars 3 to make soft landings on these planets.