Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing
195 km southwest of Tselinograd / 140 km southeast of Arkalyk.
docking with space station Salyut 5 failed because of serious technical
problems (approach was until 100 m, but the automatic docking system failed and
the crew was not trained on manual docking). So the only possible solution was
an immediate return to Earth.
The spacecraft experienced a remarkable
and near catastrophic return to Earth. The crew landed at night on a frozen
lake (Tengiz) during a snow-storm (195 km southwest of Tselinograd / 140 km
southeast of Arkalyk). The ice broke, the parachute became wet and took the
escape hatch under water. The capsule was cooled and the heating systems had
been turned down to conserve the battery power. Several attempts, to reach the
capsule, failed. Eventually swimmers were able to attach a cable to a
helicopter. The capsule was taken by a helicopter and was dragged for 5 km over
the sea. The next morning the crew could escape after a very cold night. The
rescue men were surprised to find the crew alive.