Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 48

Soyuz 13



Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  18.12.1973
Launch time:  11:55 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  193,3 - 272,7 km
Inclination:  51,57°
Landing date:  26.12.1973
Landing time:  08:50 UTC
Landing site:  200 km SW of Karaganda

hi res version (1,18 MB)

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Klimuk  Pyotr Iliyich  Commander 1 7d 20h 55m  127 
2  Lebedev  Valentin Vitaliyevich  Flight Engineer 1 7d 20h 55m  127 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Klimuk
2  Lebedev
1  Klimuk
2  Lebedev

Animations: Soyuz

(requires Macromedia Flash Player)
with friendly permission of

1st Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Vorobiyov  Lev Vasiliyevich  Commander
2  Yazdovsky  Valeri Aleksandrovich  Flight Engineer

2nd Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Kovalyonok  Vladimir Vasiliyevich  Commander
2  Ponomaryov  Yuri Anatoliyevich  Flight Engineer


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.

The Orion 2 Space Observatory, designed by Grigor Gurzadyan, was operated by crew member Valentin Lebedev. 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.

Spectrozonal Earth 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.


crew in training


Last update on June 20, 2014.