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.

enter image description here

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


1 Answer 1


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.

enter image description here

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.

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    $\begingroup$ Stupid question - ...they removed the flag before takeoff right? $\endgroup$
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ @BruceWayne I would guess the flag was not a textile one, but simply painted on. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ Technically she would be a cosmonaut rather than an astronaut, surely? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterTaylor - That sounds like an excellent question for the main site $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ @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.) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 15:29

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