Soviet Union: Switching Teams in Space

Switching Teams in Space

When the Mir orbiter was launched in February 1986, Soviet officials announced that it would eventually become the first permanently manned space station. Last week the Soviets moved a big step closer to that milestone. As part of the first complete crew change aboard the spacelab, three cosmonauts docked their Soyuz TM-4 craft with Mir, which had been occupied by a team of two since March 14, 1986.

The old crew is scheduled to return to earth New Year's Eve along with last week's third space traveler, a scientist on a short-term mission. By then Commander Yuri Romanenko will have spent...

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