Soyuz TM-16 was the 16th mission and the 13th long-duration expedition to Mir space station. The mission began on January 24, 1993, 05:58:05 UTC, launching Commander Gennadi Manakov and Flight Engineer Alexander Poleshchuk into orbit. They docked with Mir two days later. During their stay there, cosmonauts performed EVAs, various station repair and maintenance tasks, and carried out scientific experiments in materials research, space technology, astrophysics and earth observation. One of the experiments was the deployment of a 20-m foil reflector, which was a test of a future solar reflector designed to illuminate regions on the Earth’s surface. Station crew was visited by several Progress resupply spacecrafts, and welcomed aboard the Soyuz TM-17 crew.
The mission concluded with a safe landing back on Earth on July 22, 1993, 06:41:50 UTC.