Aleksandr Serebrov turns 69 today. He was selected in 1978 from the design bureau Energiya and has made four flights into space. He became the first to use the Soviet SPK, an astronaut propulsion unit, to leave the Mir space station in 1990, as seen here. After retiring in 1995 from the cosmonaut group, Serebrov worked for the Russian secretary of defence.
Two cosmonauts ring in the new year with a birthday: Vladimir Titov and Sergei Avdeyev. Interestingly, both have made long stays on Mir, Titov made the record at the time in 1987-8 with 365 days and Avdeyev spent 379 days on the station in 1998-9.
25 years ago Soyuz TM-4 launched with Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov and Anatoli Levchenko. Titov and Manarov would go on to spend 365 days on Mir, setting the record for long duration at the time. Levchenko only spent 7 days in space to gain experience, he was to be the backup for the first Buran flight. Sadly Levchenko died a year later from a brain tumour. (1987)
This is my new favourite crew portrait. Here’s the Soyuz T-8 crew: Aleksandr Serebrov, Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov. Usually cosmonauts keep their hands in their laps, but I love how Titov is holding onto Serebrov’s arm. Unfortunately during launch the radar antenna used to dock with Salyut was damaged and they could not dock with the station. The crew had to return back to Earth after only 2 days in space. (1983)