The Soyuz-TM crew transports (T - транспортный - Transportnyi - meaning transport, M - модифицированный - Modifitsirovannyi - meaning modified) were fourth generation (1986–2002) Soyuz spacecraft used for ferry flights to the Mir and ISS space stations. It added to the Soyuz-T new docking and rendezvous, radio communications, emergency and integrated parachute/landing engine systems. The new Kurs rendezvous and docking system permitted the Soyuz-TM to maneuver independently of the station, without the station making "mirror image" maneuvers to match unwanted translations introduced by earlier models' aft-mounted attitude control.
The Soyuz arrived at Mir's aft port with four passengers: quail for cages in Kvant-2. A quail had laid an egg en route to the station. It was returned to Earth, along with 130 kg of experiment results and industrial products, in Soyuz TM-9. The spacecraft landed without incident.
It spent 131 days attached to Mir. A camera was installed in the descent module as part of the agreement with Akiyama’s network to film the reactions of the returning cosmonauts.