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


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

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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 April 06, 2014.