Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing
200 km southwest of Karaganda.
Soyuz 13 performed a unique test flight
of the 7K-T/AF modification of the Soyuz spacecraft.
On board was the
large Orion 2
astrophysical camera. The crew performed astrophysical
observations of stars in the ultraviolet range with this camera.
Orion 2 Space Observatory, designed by Grigor Gurzadyan, was operated by crew
. Ultraviolet spectrograms of thousands of stars to as
faint as 13th magnitude were obtained by a wide-angle meniscus telescope of the
Cassegrain system, with an aperture diameter of 240 mm, an equivalent focal
length of 1,000 mm, and a 4-grade quartz prism objective. The dispersion of the
spectrograph was 17, 28 and 55 nm/mm, at wavelengths of 200, 250 and 300 nm
respectively. The first satellite UV spectrogram of a planetary nebula (IC 2149
in Auriga) was obtained, revealing lines of aluminium and titanium - elements
not previously observed in objects of that type. Two-photon emission in that
planetary nebula and a remarkable star cluster in Auriga were also discovered.
Additionally, comet Kohoutek was observed.
photography, testing of on-board systems and biological explorations (OASE 2)
in view of later planned long termed missions were other experiments. Some of
this experiment should have been done on the Saylut 2 station, but the station
failed in orbit.
The recovery of the capsule was problematic because
of a snowstorm.