Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing
55 km northeast of Arkalyk.
Following a two day solo flight Soyuz T-15
docked with the new space station MIR on March 15, 1986. Plans for MIR intended
that only the newer Soyuz TM would dock with MIR's forward port, leaving the
aft port free for arriving Progress spacecraft. However, the older Soyuz T
actually used for the first Soyuz T-15 mission to MIR was not equipped with the
Kurs approach system used on MIR's front port, but only with the older Igla
approach system used for MIR's aft port. Therefore Soyuz T-15 had to approach
MIR's aft port, and then manually maneuver around the station to dock manually
at the forward port. At 20 km Soyuz T-15's Igla system acquired its counterpart
on MIR's aft port. At 200 meters, the Igla system was shut off, and the crew
manually maneuvered around the station to dock at the front port. For this
manual approach, the same laser range finder was used as for the
docking with the
uncooperative Salyut 7 station in 1985. The cosmonauts became the
first resident crew of
The first work was to make the station working and to unload
the two Progress 25 and 26 freighters, launched after their arrival.
preparation for the trip to Salyut 7, the crew loaded Soyuz T-15 with their
personal belongings, plants grown on MIR, and other items. At that time Salyut
7 was still 4000 km ahead of MIR in a lower orbit. Therefore on May 04, 1986
MIR was lowered by 13 km in order to speed the approach to Salyut 7 and
conserve Soyuz T-15's limited fuel supply for the transfer. On May 05, 1986,
they undocked from MIR for a day long journey to the Salyut 7 space station and
stayed there for 50 days as
while staying on Salyut 7 on May 28, 1986 (3h 50m) and May 31, 1986 (5h 00m),
repairing heat, power and environmental control systems and collecting
experiment results, experimental apparatus, and samples of materials. The crew
removed 20 instruments with a total mass of 350 to 400 kg from Salyut 7 before
returning to MIR. After done work the cosmonauts returned to MIR on June, 26,
1986. It was the first transfer from one space station to an other space
station in space history.
When back on MIR Leonid
installed there some systems taken from Salyut and
they performed some scientific experiments. One of these experiments was GEOEX
8, in which some areas of the German Democratic Republic were explored by an
airplane, a satellite and from space. This was useful for agriculture, geology
and environmental protection.
Before returning back to Earth the crew
put the MIR into an automatic working modus.