Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 25

Soyuz 3



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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  26.10.1968
Launch time:  08:34 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  31
Altitude:  183,5 - 222,2 km
Inclination:  51,69°
Landing date:  30.10.1968
Landing time:  07:25 UTC
Landing site:  70 km N of Karaganda

walkout photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Beregovoy  Georgi Timofeyevich  Commander 1 3d 22h 50m  64 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Beregovoy
1  Beregovoy

Animations: Soyuz

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1st Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Shatalov  Vladimir Aleksandrovich  Commander

2nd Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Volynov  Boris Valentinovich  Commander


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 70 km north of Karaganda.

Main objectives of this flight were a complex testing of all spacecraft systems, which was necessary after the Soyuz 1 accident and again a docking maneuver with an unmanned spacecraft (Soyuz 2).

The closest distance of both spacecrafts in space was about 180 m, when Georgi Beregovoy turned over from automatic docking system to a manual docking. Unfortunately, while he was able to close the gap to only one meter, three following attempts to dock failed. Eventually, almost all of the maneuvering fuel was expended and the objective had to be abandoned. Telemetry analysis has shown Soyuz 3 used 30 kg of propellant during 20 minutes of maneuvering in the automatic regime during docking, followed by 40 kg consumed in two minutes of manual maneuvering. Essentially Georgi Beregovoy was trying to dock the spacecraft upside down. This was either due to incorrect configuration of the running lights or cosmonaut error. Soyuz 2 had two continuously illuminated lights on its upper side and two blinking lights on the lower side. Evidently Georgi Beregovoy didn't identify these correctly in weightlessness. Later on, the failure was blamed on Georgi Beregovoys piloting.

Georgi Beregovoy stayed several more days in space and performed complex testing of the spaceship systems. Some systems failed. TV broadcasting was also performed.

The landing was only 10 km far from the target point.


Beregovoy on the launch pad


Last update on November 21, 2013.