Soyuz TM-12 was the 12th expedition to Mir, and included the first Briton in space,[1] Helen Sharman.

Soyuz TM-12
COSPAR ID1991-034A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.21311Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration144 days, 15 hours, 21 minutes, 50 seconds
Orbits completed~2,260
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSoyuz-TM
ManufacturerNPO Energia
Launch mass7,160 kilograms (15,790 lb)
Crew size3
MembersAnatoly Artsebarsky
LaunchingSergei Krikalev
Helen Sharman
LandingToktar Aubakirov
Franz Viehböck
CallsignОзо́н (Ozone)
Start of mission
Launch date18 May 1991, 12:50:28 (1991-05-18UTC12:50:28Z) UTC
End of mission
Landing date10 October 1991, 04:12:18 (1991-10-10UTC04:12:19Z) UTC
Landing site61 kilometres (38 mi) SW of Arkalyk
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude389 kilometres (242 mi)
Apogee altitude397 kilometres (247 mi)
Inclination51.6 degrees
Period92.4 minutes
Docking with Mir
Docking date20 May 1991, 14:30:43 UTC
Undocking date9 October 1991, 20:55:08 UTC
Soyuz TM-12 patch.png
Soyuz programme
(Crewed missions)


Position Launching crew Landing crew
Commander   Anatoly Artsebarsky
Only spaceflight
Flight Engineer  /  Sergei Krikalev
Second spaceflight
  Toktar Aubakirov
Only spaceflight
Research Cosmonaut   Helen Sharman
Only spaceflight
Project Juno
  Franz Viehböck
Only spaceflight

Mission highlightsEdit

The Mir crew welcomed aboard Anatoli Artsebarski, Sergei Krikalev (on his second visit to the station), and British cosmonaut-researcher Helen Sharman, who was aboard as part of Project Juno, a cooperative venture partly sponsored by British private enterprise. Sharman's experimental program, which was designed by the Soviets, leaned heavily toward life sciences, her speciality being chemistry. A bag of 250,000 pansy seeds was placed in the Kvant-2 EVA airlock, a compartment not as protected from cosmic radiation as other Mir compartments. Sharman also contacted nine British schools by radio and conducted high-temperature superconductor experiments with the Elektropograph-7K device. Sharman commented that she had difficulty finding equipment on Mir as there was a great deal more equipment than in the trainer in the cosmonaut city of Zvezdny Gorodok. Krikalev commented that, while Mir had more modules than it had had the first time he lived on board, it did not seem less crowded, as it contained more equipment. Krikalev also noted that some of the materials making up the station's exterior had faded and lost color, but that this had had no impact on the station's operation.

The spacecraft spent 144 days docked to Mir. While it was in orbit, the failed coup d'état against Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 rocked the Soviet Union, setting in motion events which led to the end of the Soviet Union on 26 December.

In popular cultureEdit

Out of the Present, a 1995 film documentary focused on cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev's stay on Mir, features the arrival of Soyuz TM-12.


  1. ^ The mission report is available here: