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Abdul Ahad Momand

By afghanland.com: Abdul Ahad Momand was born in Sardah, Afghanistan in 1959; he finished school in Afghanistan and sought to become a pilot. Momand was an exceptional pilot and was chosen amongst many to be trained for a flight to space station Mir. Trained as a professional Cosmonaut, Momand joined the International Group 6 in 1988 and was selected as part of a group to visit the space station Mir with Lyakhov and Valery Polyakov.

 

Lyakhov, 47, a military pilot who has flown in space twice before, but, Momand, 29, an Afghan air force pilot was the first Afghan in Space.

 

Lyakhov, Momand and Soviet doctor Valery Polyakov were launched into space Aug. 29 and boarded the orbiting Mir space station two days later. Polyakov remained aboard, but Lyakhov and Momand undocked the Soyuz at 2:55 a.m. Moscow time Tuesday (5:55 p.m. CDT Monday) for the trip home.

 

Polyakov stayed on the Mir to monitor the health of two other cosmonauts who have been in space for more than eight months. 

 

The Soyuz capsule is designed for trips to and from space, not for long flights.

life-support systems on the globe-shaped capsule were designed to last two days, meaning that had the cosmonauts not been able to descend, they would have been in jeopardy by third day.

Momand, Lyakhov and Polyakov

According to a Soviet space official, however, the cosmonauts could have stretched supplies of oxygen, water and food for up to a week. After that, the capsule would be like "a lone boat in the ocean," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Soviet television showed black-and-white videotape taken from the Soyuz in which the Mir station, whose extended solar panels gave it the shape of a T, grew steadily smaller as the capsule pulled away.

 

 

Television commentator Alexander Tikhomirov said later, in a somber voice:

"We are already used to everything going smoothly in space, and some forget about the danger which space research entails. And here this once more convinces us how complex a matter it is and what a huge amount of abnormal situations awaits cosmonauts in orbit."

Trouble began soon after the Soyuz left its dock on the Mir.

 

According to Afghanland.com sources, Controllers decided to delay another attempt for three hours, Izvestia reported. During that time, scientists found that sunlight had interfered with a sensor in an infrared guidance system and a computer automatically terminated the engine burn.

 

Seven minutes later, the sensor locked onto its correct target, and the guidance system worked properly. The engine fired again, but because the on-board computer had not been reprogrammed, the capsule was sent on a trajectory for a landing in China, the reports said.

The cosmonauts stopped the engine manually after three seconds and tried again, but that time, the engine stopped after six seconds and the decision was made to wait until next day.

 

Abdul Ahad Momand, the first Afghan in space, and his Soviet crewmate, Vladimir Lyakhov, touched down at 7:50 p.m. Houston time Tuesday in Soviet Central Asia. the Soyuz TM-5 space capsule landed 99 miles southeast of Dzhezkazgan, a town on the steppes of the republic of Kazakhstan in Soviet Central Asia. The town is about 1,365 miles southeast of Moscow.

 

Transported to the Mir orbital station a Soviet-Afghan crew comprising the cosmonauts V A Lyakhov, V V Polyakov and A A Momand (Afghanistan) to conduct joint research and experiments with the cosmonauts V G Titov and M K Manarov. Returned Manarov, Titov (Soyuz TM-4), Chretien (Soyuz TM-7) to Earth. Initial orbit 195 X 228 km at 51. 57 deg. Maneuvered to a 235 x 259 km orbit, then docked with Mir at 05:41 GMT on 31 August at its 339 x 366 km orbit. Moved from aft to forward port 8 Sept 88. Undocked 03:33 GMT 21 December 1989. Revised software installed as a result of TM-5 abort overloaded computer. Landing planned for 06:48 aborted. Backup program used. Orbital Module retained through retrofire. Recovered December 21, 1988 09:57 GMT. Landed 180 km SE Dzhezkazgan.

 

Abdul Ahad Momand  
Mr. Momand at the Airport greeted by fans Mr. Momand Aboard Space station Mir Autographed Photo of Mr. Momand  

 

 

 

  Abdul Ahad Momand Gholam Masum Daouran  
 

Abdul Ahad Momand

Status: Inactive.

Trained as: Cosmonaut.

Profession: Pilot.

Birth Date: 01 January 1959.

Birth Country: Afghanistan.

Birth City: Sardah

Nationality: Afghan.

Ghulam Masum Daouran

Status: Inactive.

Trained as: Cosmonaut.

Profession: Pilot

Birth Date: 20 January 1954.

Birth Country: Afghanistan.

Birth City: Nidgharb

Nationality: Afghan.

 
 

Group: 1988 International Group 6.

Year Selected: 1988.

Departed: 1988. Number of Flights: 1. Total Time: 8.85 days

Number of Flights: 1.

Total Time:8.85 days.

was selected for prime crew of Soyuz TM-6, but was replaced by Momand because of appendicitis; his recent job was Major General in the Afghan Air force.
 

 

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One of 5 Flags signed by all 3 Cosmonauts
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