Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing
400 km southwest of Karaganda.
became first Soviet Soyuz
who was not a pilot.
Soyuz 12 was a test flight of the new designed
. The crew capacity of the capsule had been decreased from
three to two cosmonauts to allow for space suits to be worn during launch,
reentry, and potentially hazardous maneuvers.
As the first manned test
of the new version of the Soyuz ferry craft, Soyuz 12 was to have flown to a
Salyut station. But the failures of Salyut 2 and Kosmos 557 in the months
previous meant there was no station for the craft to dock to. The service
module had no solar panels, carrying batteries for power instead, which limited
the flight to about two days, enough time for a journey to and from a space
A multispectral camera in the orbital module was used in
coordination with aircraft to photograph Earth. The intention was to survey
crop and forest conditions, it was reported. The cosmonauts also tested using a
Molniya 1 satellite to communicate with ground stations when out of
A large object was jettisoned when the craft was preparing for
retrofire. The object remained in orbit for 116 days, landing 400 km southwest