Soyuz TM-4


Soyuz TM-4
COSPAR ID1987-104A
SATCAT no.18699
Mission duration178 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, 29 seconds
Orbits completed~2,890
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSoyuz-TM
ManufacturerNPO Energia
Launch mass7,070 kilograms (15,590 lb)
Crew size3
LaunchingVladimir Titov
Musa Manarov
Anatoli Levchenko
LandingAnatoly Solovyev
Viktor Savinykh
Aleksandr Aleksandrov
CallsignOkean (Ocean)
Start of mission
Launch date21 December 1987, 11:18:03 (1987-12-21UTC11:18:03Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5
End of mission
Landing date17 June 1988, 10:12:32 (1988-06-17UTC10:12:33Z) UTC
Landing site180 kilometres (110 mi) SE of Dzhezkazgan
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude337 kilometres (209 mi)
Apogee altitude357 kilometres (222 mi)
Inclination51.6 degrees
Period91.5 minutes
Docking with Mir[1]
Docking date23 December 1987, 12:51:00 UTC
Undocking date17 June 1988, 06:20:50 UTC
Mir insignia.svg
Soyuz programme
(Crewed missions)

Soyuz TM-4 was the fourth crewed spacecraft to dock with the space station Mir. It was launched in December 1987, and carried the first two crew members of the third long duration expedition, Mir EO-3. These crew members, Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov, would stay in space for just under 366 days, setting a new spaceflight record. The third astronaut launched by Soyuz TM-4 was Anatoli Levchenko, who returned to Earth about a week later with the remaining crew of Mir EO-2. Levchenko was a prospective pilot for the Soviet Space shuttle Buran. The purpose of his mission, named Mir LII-1, was to familiarize him with spaceflight.[2]

It was the fourth Soyuz TM spacecraft to be launched (one of which wasn't crewed), and like other Soyuz spacecraft, it was treated as a lifeboat for the station's crew while docked. In June 1988, part way through EO-3, Soyuz TM-4 was swapped for Soyuz TM-5 as the station's lifeboat. The mission which swapped the spacecraft was known as Mir EP-2, and had a three-person crew.[3]


Position Launching crew Landing crew
Commander Soviet Union Vladimir Titov
Mir EO-3
Second spaceflight
Soviet Union Anatoly Solovyev
Mir EP-2
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Musa Manarov
Mir EO-3
First spaceflight
Soviet Union Viktor Savinykh
Mir EP-2
Third and last spaceflight
Research Cosmonaut Soviet Union Anatoli Levchenko
Mir LII-1
Only spaceflight
Bulgaria Aleksandr Aleksandrov
Mir EP-2
Only spaceflight

Titov and Manarov were members of the long duration mission Mir EO-3, and returned to Earth just over a full year later, in Soyuz TM-6. Levchenko, on the other hand, returned to Earth about a week later in Soyuz TM-3.

In June 1988, Soyuz TM-4 landed the three-man crew of Mir EP-2, after their 9-day stay on the station; that crew included the second Bulgarian astronaut Aleksandr Panayotov Aleksandrov.[3]

Backup crew

Position Crew
Commander Aleksandr Volkov
Flight Engineer Aleksandr Kaleri
Research Cosmonaut Aleksandr Shchukin

Mission parameters

  • Mass: 7070 kg
  • Perigee: 337 km
  • Apogee: 357 km
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Period: 91.5 minutes

Mission highlights

Fourth crewed spaceflight to Mir. Manarov and Titov (known by their callsign as the "Okeans") replaced Romanenko and Alexandrov. Anatoli Levchenko was a cosmonaut in the Buran shuttle program. Levchenko returned with Romanenko and Alexandrov in Soyuz TM-3.

Before departing Mir, Romanenko and Alexandrov demonstrated use of EVA equipment to the Okeans. The Okeans delivered biological experiments, including the Aynur biological crystal growth apparatus, which they installed in Kvant-1. The combined crews conducted an evacuation drill, with the Mir computer simulating an emergency.[4]

Titov and Manarov conducted part of an ongoing survey of galaxies and star groups in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum using the Glazar telescope on Kvant. The survey required photography with exposure times up to 8 min. Even small cosmonaut movements could shake the complex. This produced blurring of astronomical images, so all cosmonaut movements had to be stopped during the exposures.


  1. ^ "Soyuz TM-4". Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Mir LII-1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Mir EP-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 8 January 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  4. ^ D.S.F. Portee (1995). "Mir Hardware Heritage" (PDF). NASA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2010.