Soyuz TM-18

Soyuz TM-18Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-18 lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on a mission to the Russian space station Mir. Aboard the Soyuz are cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev, Yuri Usachov, and Dr. Valeri Polyakov, a medical doctor who will study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the crew (including himself). Following a scary close call with the previous crew’s wayward Soyuz, the TM-18 crew settles in for a 182-day stay, with Afanasyev and Usachov returning to Earth; Polyakov remains aboard Mir, where he will eventually set the human space endurance record with a 420-day stay in orbit.