In this schematic of a Soyuz rocket, the payload fairing is depicted with the flag of the USSR on one side, and what appears to be the flag of the United Kingdom on the other.

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Did the Soyuz ever fly with the UK flag on it?

up vote 70 down vote accepted

The USSR's next-to-last crewed launch was Soyuz TM-12, flying to Mir, carrying two Russians and the UK's first astronaut, Helen Sharman.

Here's a photo of TM-12 on the launch pad with the UK flag visible.

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Several nations partnered with the USSR and sent astronauts to Mir during this time period, and in each case the appropriate national flags were painted or decaled on the launcher.

  • Stupid question - ...they removed the flag before takeoff right? – BruceWayne Sep 26 at 18:05
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    @BruceWayne I would guess the flag was not a textile one, but simply painted on. – Paŭlo Ebermann Sep 26 at 18:16
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    Technically she would be a cosmonaut rather than an astronaut, surely? – Peter Taylor Sep 27 at 7:17
  • @PeterTaylor - That sounds like an excellent question for the main site – Richard Sep 27 at 13:52
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    @PeterTaylor No, her profession is whatever her sponsoring agency Project Juno says it is. NASA crews don’t become cosmonauts when riding on Soyuz either. (It’s a silly distinction anyway.) – Russell Borogove Sep 27 at 15:29

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