Space Capsule With Syrian Cosmonaut Returns Earth
MOSCOW (AP) _ A space capsule carrying one Syrian and two Soviet cosmonauts returned safely to Earth today after a six-day mission aboard a space research center.
The three fliers, Soviets Alexander Viktorenko and Alexander Laveikin and Syrian Mohammed Faris, touched down at 5:04 a.m. local time in the U.S.S.R.’s expansive Kazakh republic in west Asia, and were ″feeling well after landing,″ the official Tass news agency said.
Laveikin, who had been aboard the Mir orbital complex for nearly six months, traded places with Soviet cosmonaut Alexander Alexandrov, who remained on the Mir. Laveikin apparently developed a heart problem in space, and is to undergo medical testing.
Alexandrov and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko, who also remained behind in the Mir, will soon venture outside to fly the Soyuz TM-3 capsule around the station, Radio Moscow reported.
Soviet television’s morning news and entertainment program ″90 Minutes″ showed film footage of the five astronauts embracing and kissing as they bid one another good-bye. It also showed footage of mission control monitoring the touchdown of the Soyuz-TM2 capsule.
Faris was the 12th foreigner to travel aboard a Soviet space capsule, Tass said.
Tass said the crew successfully completed its program of scientific and medical testing, which included photographing Syrian territory and conducting research on human adaptation to weightlessness.