Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 70

Soyuz 36

Soyuz 35


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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  26.05.1980
Launch time:  18:20 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  31
Altitude:  197.5 - 281.9 km
Inclination:  51.60°
Docking Salyut 6:  27.05.1980, 19:56 UTC
Undocking Salyut 6 (Crew):  03.06.1980, 11:50 UTC
Landing date (Crew):  03.06.1980
Landing time (Crew):  15:06 UTC
Landing site (Crew):  180 km SE von Dzheskasgan
Undocking Salyut 6 (Soyuz 36):  11.10.1980, 06:32 UTC
Landing date (Soyuz 36):  11.10.1980
Landing time (Soyuz 36):  09:49 UTC
Landing site (Soyuz 36):  180 km SE Dzheskasgan

walkout photo

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No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Kubasov  Valeri Nikolayevich  Commander 3 7d 20h 45m  124 
2  Farkas  Bertalan "Bertsi"  Research Cosmonaut 1 7d 20h 45m  124 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Kubasov
2  Farkas
1  Gorbatko
2  Pham

Animations: Soyuz

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Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Dzhanibekov  Vladimir Aleksandrovich  Commander
2  Magyari  Béla  Research Cosmonaut
Crew Soyuz 36 (double)

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Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing with Soyuz 35 capsule 180 km southeast Dzheskasgan.

Soyuz 36 was the fifth Interkosmos mission (with Bertalan Farkas, the first cosmonaut from Hungary). Following a one day solo flight Soyuz 36 docked with the Salyut 6 space station on May 27, 1980 and the crew performed common work with the fourth resident crew.

The mission was postponed from June 1979 because of the Soyuz 33 main engine failure.

Experiments in materials science and earth observation were carried out. One experiment was Pille, which measured radiation doses received by the crew with miniature thermoluminescent devices attached to their clothing and to the walls of the station. Another three experiments studied the formation of interferon in human cells under weightless conditions. Earth resources work using the on-board cameras were carried out, in coordination with ground crews, airplanes and helicopters.

The Soyuz craft was used to boost the station's orbit on May 29, 1980, then Valeri Kubasov and Bertalan Farkas swapped Soyuz craft with the long-duration crew, exchanging seat liners, pressure suits and personal items, before departing the station in Soyuz 35 on June 03, 1980.

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

life onboard


Last update on March 28, 2015.