Soyuz TM-4/EO-3

December 21, 1987 - December 21, 1988.
(Levchenko: December 29, 1987)
(Spacecraft: June 17, 1988)

Crew & Mission

Left: Titov, Levchenko and Manarov in their training Sokols. Right: The crew in TK-training suits.

Soyuz TM-4 was launched on December 21, 1987. Aboard were Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov and Anatoly Levchenko. Titov and Manarov took over control of Mir as the EO-3 crew; Levchenko returned to Earth on December 29, 1987, with EO-2 crewmembers Yuri Romanenko and Aleksandr Alkesandrov.

Levchenko was a very experienced test-pilot involved in the Soviet Buran-shuttle project. His mission actually started when he had returned to Earth: he immediately underwent a test program to see how a space trip effected his ability to pilot an aircraft.

During their stay aboard Mir, Titov and Manarov received three international crews (TM-5, TM-6 and TM-7) and staged three spacwalks before returning to Earth on December 21, 1988. They had stayed a full year (366 days) in space! A sad note: when Titov and Manarov returned to Earth, their fellow TM-4 crewmember Levchenko was not alive anymore. He died in hospital on August 26, 1988, of a brain tumor.

The Real Thing

Manarov (right) was the first cosmonaut to wear the rounded, modern Mir-patch.

Being a "routine" mission, not involving any foreign cosmonauts, Soyuz TM-4 did not have it's own patch. Crewmember Musa Manarov, however, was the first to use the modern "rounded" Mir-patch on his Sokol. The new patch did not have the six stars and looked more like the old square Soyuz-patch. Levchenko and Titov were the last to use the short-lived wedge-shaped Mir-patch, which had only been used on the TM-2 and TM-3 Sokols before.

Left: Levchenko, Titov and Manarov are ready to leave for the launch pad. Right: The new Mir-patch on Manarov's suit, seen in an auction.

The square, old Mir-patch was still used on the Penguin suits during the early portion of the EO-3 expedition, but was replaced with the modern patch during the mission as well. The modern patch was used during the rest of the Mir-program (with some minor changes at the end of the program). The wedge-shaped Mir patch was still seen attached to training Sokols quite often, though.

Left: Titov with the old, square Mir-patch on his Penguin. Center: Titov seen near the end of his stay, with visiting TM-7 cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Aleksandr Volkov. Now, he is wearing the new patch. Right: Musa Manarov wearing the new Mir-patch on his Penguin-suit. He is also wearing a white nametag on his right uper chest, with his name in Cyrillic script only.

The Orlan-DMA EVA suits

Left: Musa Manarov with Orlan DM-7. The patch on the right sleeve is a Salyut-square (click here for a close-up image). Right: Jean-Loup Chrétien seen in Orlan DMA-10 during the December 9 spacewalk. The rim of a modern Type-3 Mir-patch is barely visible on the right shoulder (click here for a close-up image).

The original set of Orlan DM-suits were used by Titov (DM-7, red stripes) and Manarov (DM-9, blue stripes) during two spacewalks on February 26, 1988 (solar array work) and June 30 (repair of the Kvant telescope). These suits still had the Salyut-patch on the right shoulder, a large Soviet seal on the front of the electrical control unit and a CCCP-flag patch (felt type, rounded letters) on the left shoulder.

The original suits were replaced halfway through the EO-3 mision by Orlan DMA's. Orlan DMA-6 was delivered by Progress-37 on July 20, 1988 and DMA-10 was delivered by Progress-38 on September 12, 1988. Titov and Manarov first used the suits on October 20, 1988 (completion of telescope repair). Titov was wearing DMA-6 (red stripes) and Manarov DMA-10 (blue stripes).

The suits were next used on the spacewalk of visiting cosmonauts Jean-Loup Chrétien and Aleksandr Volkov on December 9, 1988. A picture taken during that spacewalk shows the modern Type-3 Mir patch attached to the right shoulder of Chrétien's Orlan and a Soviet seal on the front of the eltronic control unit of Volkov's suit. Since the front of these control units had a portruding element in its center, the seal had to be smaller and was placed in the upper right corner. The seal on Chrétien's Orlan was covered by a "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" patch to make it look "French".

TM-3 | Mir Index | TM-5