A spaceship carrying two Soviet cosmonauts and a Japanese journalist docked with the Mir space station Tuesday two days after its launch.
The Soyuz TM-11 spacecraft brought Japanese broadcaster Toyohiro Akiyama, the first reporter in space, and Soviet cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev and Musa Manarov to the giant orbital complex."Everything went as smoothly as a peeled egg," said Aleksei Leonov, a popular cosmonauts who watched the docking at the Soviet space program's Mission Control Center in Kaliningrad outside Moscow.
The control center's computerized display screen showed the spaceship as a yellow dot and the Mir as a blue circle approaching each other over the tip of South America, drawing close above the Sahara Desert and then uniting over the Caspian Sea.
Top Soviet space officials and visiting Japanese officials and reporters at the control center applauded and shook hands when the spaceship joined the Mir at 12:57 p.m., one minute ahead of schedule.