Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 63

Soyuz 28



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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  02.03.1978
Launch time:  15:28 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  198.9 - 275.6 km
Inclination:  51.63°
Docking Salyut 6:  03.03.1978, 17:09:30 UTC
Undocking Salyut 6:  10.03.1978, 10:23:30 UTC
Landing date:  10.03.1978
Landing time:  13:44 UTC
Landing site:  135 km N of Arkalyk

walkout photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Gubarev  Aleksei Aleksandrovich  Commander 2 7d 22h 17m  125 
2  Remek  Vladimír "Volodya"  Research Cosmonaut 1 7d 22h 17m  125 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Gubarev
2  Remek
1  Gubarev
2  Remek

Animations: Soyuz

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Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Rukavishnikov  Nikolai Nikolayevich  Commander
2  Pelczak  Oldrich "Olda"  Research Cosmonaut

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 135 km north of Arkalyk. The launch was delayed three days of unspecified cause.

Soyuz 28 marked the first Interkosmos mission with a foreign cosmonaut on board. The Czechoslovakian Vladimir Remek became the first cosmonaut of his country. Aleksei Gubarev and Vladimir Remek, the first non-Soviet, non-American to travel to space, were launched aboard Soyuz 28 on March 02, 1978, after a three-day delay of unspecified cause.

Following a one day solo flight Soyuz 28 docked with the Salyut 6 space station on March 03, 1978. The visiting cosmonauts were greeted by the first resident crew Georgi Grechko and Yuri Romanenko who had arrived on Soyuz 26 in December 1977. Aleksei Gubarev and Georgi Grechko had previously flown together on Soyuz 17 to the Salyut 4 space station in 1975.

Interkosmos missions had mainly political purposes but also some scientific experiments were performed, including one which monitored the growth of Chlorella seaweed in zero gravity, another which used the on-board Splav furnace to melt glass, lead, silver and copper chlorides, and an experiment called Oxymeter which measured oxygen in human tissue. Vladimir Remek's experiment program touched on life sciences, materials processing, and upper atmosphere research.

On March 10, 1978, the Soyuz 28 crew prepared for their return to Earth, packing experiments and testing systems. They undocked from the station and landed 135 km north of Arkalyk later that day.

The Soyuz spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end - the Orbital Module, the Descent Module and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. The crew occupied the central element, the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned prior to re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returned to Earth.
Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet (121.9 kilometers) above the Earth, where friction due to the thickening atmosphere began to heat its outer surfaces. With only 23 minutes left before it lands on the grassy plains of central Asia, attention in the module turned to slowing its rate of descent.
Eight minutes later, the spacecraft was streaking through the sky at a rate of 755 feet (230 meters) per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet (1.5 meter) per second, and it lands at an even lower speed than that. Several onboard features ensure that the vehicle and crew land safely and in relative comfort.
Four parachutes, deployed 15 minutes before landing, dramatically slowed the vehicle's rate of descent. Two pilot parachutes were the first to be released, and a drogue chute attached to the second one followed immediately after. The drogue, measuring 24 square meters (258 square feet) in area, slowed the rate of descent from 755 feet (230 meters) per second to 262 feet (80 meters) per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters). Its harnesses shifted the vehicle's attitude to a 30-degree angle relative to the ground, dissipating heat, and then shifted it again to a straight vertical descent prior to landing.
The main chute slowed the Soyuz to a descent rate of only 24 feet (7.3 meters) per second, which is still too fast for a comfortable landing. One second before touchdown, two sets of three small engines on the bottom of the vehicle fired, slowing the vehicle to soften the landing.

Photos / Drawings


Last update on November 29, 2014.