Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez (born January 29, 1942) is a Cuban military officer, legislator, and former cosmonaut and the first person of African heritage in space. As a member of the crew of Soyuz 38, he became the first Cuban citizen and the first person from a country in the Western Hemisphere other than the United States to travel into Earth orbit.
Soyuz 38 was the 12th mission to visit the Salyut 6 space station and carried the EP-8 crew, which visited the long-duration Soyuz 35 resident crew. The mission began on September 18, 1980, 19:11:03 UTC, launching Commander Yuri Romanenko and Research Cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo MÃ©ndez, the first Cuban cosmonaut, into orbit. They docked with the station the next day. During their 7-day stay on the station, EP-8 crew carried out medical and other experiments, including Earth and solar observation, plant and crystal growing. The mission concluded with a safe landing back on Earth on September 26, 1980, 15:54:27 UTC.Low Earth Orbit
The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, commonly known as Roscosmos, is the governmental body responsible for the space science program of the Russian Federation and general aerospace research. Soyuz has many launch locations the Russian sites are Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny however Ariane also purchases the vehicle and launches it from French Guiana.