Soyuz TM-26 / Mir-24

Crew & Mission

Left: The original crew, including Leopold Eyharts, in their training Sokols. Right: Solovyev and Vinogradov in TK-suits.


The Flight Sokols

Left: Solovyev and Vinogradov in their flight Sokols. Right: Andy Thomas wearing Dave Wolf's Sokol (his own Sokol was too small).

IVA Wear

Left: Vinogradov in his PK-14 suit, arriving at Mir. Center: Solovyev in his Penguin suit. Right: Wolf in his Penguin suit.

Left: Wolf in "modern" Mir suit. Center: Solovyev and Vinogradov in "modern" Mir suits. Vinogradov was wearing a special patch, with lettering "MAI" (Moskovskii Aviatsonii Institut). Right: The MAI logo.

The Orlan EVA-suits

Left: Solovyev wearing Sokol Orlan DMA-27 (red stripes) and Vinogradov wearing Orlan-DMA 26 (blue stripes) for one of the internal IVA's on August 22, 1997, or October 20, 1997. Right: Solovyev wearing Orlan-M 5 (red stripes) and Wolf wearing Orlan-M 4 (blue stripes) for their EVA on January 14, 1998.

Left: Vinogradov in Orlan-M 4 during the January 9, 1998 spacewalk. Right: Solovyev in Orlan-M 5 during the September 6, 1997 spacewalk.

EO-24 / TM-26 Crew Patches
Like the previous mission, Dmitriy "Dima" Shcherbinin of Planeta Zemlja designed the official Mir-24 patch. The oval patch, embroidered onto a black felt background, included the names of Lawrence, and Eyharts, who eventually would not fly with Solovyev and Budarin, as a result of the Mir-Progress collision on EO-23. Even though the crews had changed, both cosmonauts could be seen wearing the patch during the pre-launch press-conference and it was flown to the Mir station.

Left: The crew wearing the Planeta Zemlja version during their pre-launch press conference. Note that they are also wearing the Pégase 1997 patch. Vinogradov is also still wearing the Cassiopée patch - the mission he got bumped from when his commander Gennadi Manakov fell ill. The EO-24 patch is covering his personal patch, as seen on the EO-22 page. Right: NASA-JSC Television Technician and patch collector Andrew Parris captured the patch in this still image from Mir-onboard video.

The crew changes also affected the Novosti Kosmonavtiki / Spaceview patch. Novosti Kosmonavtiki had not even attempted to make a design, knowing they had lost the patch-battle to Planeta Zemlja. They left the job to Luc van den Abeelen at Spaceview, who had already sketched the patches for EO-24 and EO-25 in advance.

Originally, Luc had designed the Pégase patch, with flying horse, double headed Russian eagle and bald American Eagle for EO-24. For EO-25, he had sketched a Soyuz rocket lifting off, with the beams of searchlights forming the Romical mission number XV. When Eyharts was removed from Soyuz TM-26, Luc switched the designs to preserve the Pégase symbols for his flight. Thus, the XV in the EO-25 patch became XIV.

Left: The generic EO-25 design which became the EO-24 patch - without the wrench (or "moon", according to Lantratov). Center: The EO-24 design with mispelled name of Solovyev that Luc showed to Novosti Kosmonavtiki (note that Lawrence was not yet removed from the crew). Right: the final artwork, including the name of Wolf and the corrected name of Solovyev.

In an article in Novosti Kosmonavtiki, Konstantin Lantratov later stated that this patch had a "terrible mistake": according to him, Luc had added a "Moslem demilune" to the original EO-25 version of the patch as a symbol for Talgat Musabayev. As the commander of EO-25, he had to be a Russian citizen and could not be refered to by Kazachstani national symbols. When the designs switched, Luc had "forgotten" to remove it. Lantratov: ,,The Moslem demilune remained on the emblem. What did it refer to on EO-24? Nothing. Solovyev and Vinogradov are orthodox Russians, Foale most likely protestant or catholic, and Wolf generally israelite." As the sketches are clearly showing, the "demilune" was no "demilune" at all, but a wrench, added to the EO-24 version to indicate this was a repair mission!

Left: The embroidered patch with mistake in Solovyev's name. Center: The corrected version. Right: The cloud in the center of the patch reads "Luc".

Lantratov had, however, missed the biggest mistake in the patch himself. Luc had forgotten the "b" between the "B" and "E" in Solovyev's name. Luc: ,,I did show the design to the guys at Novosti Kosmonavtiki, but they did not notice it". Partially thanks to Lantratov's oversight, the wrong version was produced by Aviation Patch Supplies and sold to the public; about a year after the mission, a corrected re-run of the patches was done. The patch was not approved by the crew and was not available to them during the mission. Still, it became the most commonly known Mir-24 patch to collectors.

Collecting Mir-24 / Soyuz TM-26

The Stewart Aviation souvenir version.

Stewart Aviation again bought their Mir-24 patches directly from Spaceview, so only one version of the "XXIV-patch" was made available to the public. It is still available from some sources. When buying it, make sure you have the corrected version with Solovyev's name ending in "...OBbEB" instead of "...OBEB".

The Planeta Zemlja version was available to collectors in Russia, but is extremely hard to come by in the West nowadays. We've only seen one for sale once - it was sold on eBay by Alex Panchenko in 2000. Stewart did make a copy of the Planeta Zemlja design much later, though. It is still available from their catalogue.

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