Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 39

Soyuz 10



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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  22.04.1971
Launch time:  23:54 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  209,6 - 248,4 km
Inclination:  51,60°
Landing date:  24.04.1971
Landing time:  23:40 UTC
Landing site:  120 km NW of Karaganda

walkout photo

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alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Shatalov  Vladimir Aleksandrovich  Commander 3 1d 23h 45m  32 
2  Yeliseyev  Aleksei Stanislavovich  Flight Engineer 3 1d 23h 45m  32 
3  Rukavishnikov  Nikolai Nikolayevich  Test Engineer 1 1d 23h 45m  32 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Shatalov
2  Rukavishnikov
3  Yeliseyev
1  Shatalov
2  Rukavishnikov
3  Yeliseyev

Animations: Soyuz

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1st Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Leonov  Aleksei Arkhipovich  Commander
2  Kubasov  Valeri Nikolayevich  Flight Engineer
3  Kolodin  Pyotr Ivanovich  Test Engineer

2nd Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Dobrovolsky  Georgi Timofeyevich  Commander
2  Volkov  Vladislav Nikolayevich  Flight Engineer
3  Patsayev  Viktor Ivanovich  Test Engineer

hi res version (1,08 MB)



Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 120 km northwest of Karaganda.

The first manned space station was launched on April 19, 1971. Salyut 1 included a number of military experiments, including the OD-4 optical visual ranger, the Orion ultraviolet instrument for characterizing rocket plumes, and the highly classified Svinets radiometer. Primary objectives included photography of the earth, spectrographs of the earth's horizon, experiments with intense gamma rays, and studying manual methods for station orientation.

Soyuz 10 approached to 180 m from Salyut 1 automatically. It was hand docked after failure of the automatic system, but hard docking could not be achieved because of the angle of approach. Flight analysis indicated that the cosmonauts had no instrument to provide the angle and range rate data necessary for a successful manual docking. Soyuz 10 was connected to the station for 5 hours and 30 minutes. Despite the lack of hard dock, it is said that the crew were unable to enter the station due to a faulty hatch on their own spacecraft.
When Vladimir Shatalov tried to undock from the Salyut, the jammed hatch impeded the docking mechanism, preventing undocking. After several attempts he was able to undock and land.

Only a night landing on Soviet territory was possible, which meant the spacecraft could not be oriented for retrofire. The landing commission started planning for an emergency landing in South America, Africa, or Australia. But Vladimir Shatalov reported the gyroscopes and orientation sensors were functioning well. He proposed that he orient on the dayside, spin up the gyro platform, and let the gyros orient the spacecraft on the night side for retrofire. The plan was followed and the spacecraft was targeted for a landing area 80-100 km southwest of Karaganda.
So it was the first night landing in the history of human spaceflights.
During the landing, the Soyuz air supply became toxic, and Nikolai Rukavishnikov (much like the case of Vance Brand during the Apollo ASTP return) was overcome and became unconscious.

Photos / Drawings


Last update on June 19, 2014.