Soyuz TM-16: getting Mir ready for company

Soyuz TM-16Cosmonauts Gennadi Manakov and Alexander Poleshchuk lift off aboard Soyuz TM-16, on a course for Russian space station Mir. In preparation for the upcoming joint international missions that will see American space shuttles docking with Mir, Soyuz TM-16 carries a new type of docking mechanism designed to test the docking port that will be used by visiting shuttles. Manakov and Poleshchuk remain aboard Mir for 179 days, returning to Earth in July 1993 with French spationaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré.