Soyuz TM-9Cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyev
and Aleksandr Balandin lift off from the Soviet Union aboard Soyuz TM-9, on their way to a stay aboard the Mir space station. Upon arriving at the station, an inspection of their spacecraft reveals that some of the Soyuz’ thermal blankets detached themselves during launch, though ground controllers decide against such drastic measures as cutting the mission short or launching Soyuz TM-10 early as a rescue mission. Solovyev and Balandin remain aboard Mir for 179 days, greeting the station’s next crew in August and returning to Earth without incident.