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The World

July 22, 1987

Two Soviet cosmonauts and Syria's first space traveler blasted off aboard a Soyuz TM-3 spacecraft from the Baikonur launch site in Central Asia, Radio Moscow said. The crew consists of Syrian air force Lt. Col. Mohammed Faris, 36, a mission researcher; flight commander Alexander Viktorenko, 40, and flight engineer Alexander Alexandrov, 44. The TM-3 is to dock with the orbiting Mir space station, which has been manned by two Soviet cosmonauts since February, before returning to Earth on July 30. Faris is the second Arab to go up in space; the first, a nephew of Saudi King Fahd, rode the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in 1985.

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