|Given names:||Vladimir Vasiliyevich||Aleksandr Sergeyevich|
|Spacecraft (Launch):||Soyuz 29||Soyuz 29|
|Launchtime:||20:16 UTC||20:16 UTC|
|Spacecraft (Landing):||Soyuz 31||Soyuz 31|
|Landingtime:||11:04 UTC||11:04 UTC|
|Mission duration:||139d 14h 47m||139d 14h 47m|
|Given names:||Vladimir Afanasiyevich||Valeri Viktorovich|
Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing with Soyuz 31 spacecraft 140 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.
Following a one day solo flight Soyuz 29 docked with Salyut 6 on June 16, 1978. The cosmonauts became the second resident crew of Salyut 6. The space station had been vacant for three months since the record-breaking mission of Soyuz 26 ended after 96 days. After activating the stations life systems (air regenerators and thermal regulation system, the water recycling system), they performed maintenance on the stations airlock, installed equipment and tested the station's Kaskad orientation system. During the mission, the cosmonauts conducted numerous scientific experiments in the fields of medicine and materials science.
The station operated in gravity-gradient stabilized mode June 24, 1978 June 26, 1978 to avoid attitude control system engine firings which could cause interference with a 3-day smelting experiment using the Splav-01 furnace. The previous crew installed the furnace in the intermediate compartment so it could operate in vacuum. At the time, the station was in an orbit exposed to the sun's light for 24 hours a day. This happens twice a year when the plane of the station's orbit faces the sun.
The resident crew was visited by Interkosmos flights of Soyuz 30 (June 28, 1978) and Soyuz 31 (August 28, 1978). The cargo spacecrafts Progress 2 - 4 delivered water, food, fuel and equipment and turned back trash and no more needed equipment.
Progress 2, the second unmanned supply tanker to dock with a manned space station, arrived at Salyut 6 on July 09, 1978. Fifty days of supplies were on board, including 200 litres of water, 250 kg (551 lb) of food, the Kristall furnace, 600 kg (1,323 lb) of propellant, air re-generators, computer sub-systems, replacement parts, film and mail. It took the crew a week to unload the vehicle. On July 19, 1978 , the tanker refueled the station, then it was filled with used equipment and trash and sent into a destructive de-orbit on August 04, 1978.
An EVA was performed on July 29, 1978 by both cosmonauts (2h 05m). Their main mission was to retrieve material from the Medusa experiment, left on the station's exterior by the Soyuz 26 crew in December 1977. The experiment was designed to test various materials' exposure to space. Aluminum, titanium, steel, rubber and glass were among the materials tested. Later examination revealed two hundred small craters caused by orbital debris, much more than anticipated. Much of the debris was said to be paint chips and propellant residue. During the EVA, the crew saw a meteor pass below them, an event which briefly blinded them.
Progress 3 was launched August 08, 1978 and docked with Salyut 6 two days later. With it, the station's orbit was boosted to 244 x 262 km (163 mi). Supplies aboard the tanker included strawberries, onions, milk, 450 kg (992 lb) of air, 190 litres of water, fur boots, newspapers, film, letters and equipment. Additionally, Vladimir Kovalyonok's guitar was on board. It was the first tanker not to carry a fresh supply of propellant for the station, as Progress 2 had so recently replenished Salyut 6's tanks. The Progress was de-orbited August 23, 1978.
With Soyuz 31 ood was brought aboard, and numerous medical and biological experiments were carried out. The visiting crew swapped craft with the resident crew, and tested the Soyuz 29's engines on September 02, 1978. Seat liners were exchanged the next day, the craft undocked, and Valeri Bykovsky and Sigmund Jähn returned to Earth.
On September 07, 1978 the crew also relocated the Soyuz 31 spacecraft from the aft port of the station to the front port of the station for the first time. Later on this became a routine procedure.
Experiments continued on the station, and on September 15, 1978, the cosmonauts took their second showers. By October 1978, some 3,000 photographs had been taken and some 50 experiments carried out.
The third Progress tanker for the crew arrived at Salyut 6's aft port on October 06, 1978. Progress 4 had 1,300 kg (2,866 lb) of equipment aboard, including air canisters, clothes, magazines and food. Vladimir Ivanchenkov's wife had snuck some brandy-filled chocolates into a box of candy, and when the crew opened the box, the chocolates flew out. It took them two hours to retrieve the candies. Refuelling was completed October 13, 1978, two burns were used to raise the station's orbit on October 20, 1978, and the Progress was de-orbited October 26, 1978.
The crew exercised three hours a day in their final month in orbit. Experiments were transferred to Soyuz 31 on October 30, 1978, its engines were tested, and the station's interior was cleaned. The crew set a new spaceflight record. The landing was covered live by Soviet television. They were mostly recovered in five days, fully recovered in 25. They were the first crew to have difficulty talking after returning to earth. Despite all this, their condition was slightly better than the previous long-duration crew's.
Last update on March 29, 2013.