|Given names:||Vladimir Afanasiyevich||Valeri Viktorovich|
|Spacecraft (Launch):||Soyuz 32||Soyuz 32|
|Launchtime:||11:54 UTC||11:54 UTC|
|Spacecraft (Landing):||Soyuz 34||Soyuz 34|
|Landingtime:||12:29 UTC||12:29 UTC|
|Mission duration:||175d 00h 35m||175d 00h 35m|
|Given names:||Leonid Ivanovich||Valentin Vitaliyevich|
Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing of the unmanned Soyuz 32 capsule 295 km northwest of Dzheskasgan. The crew landed with Soyuz 34 170 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.
Following a one day solo flight Soyuz 32 docked with Salyut 6 on February 26, 1979. The cosmonauts became the third resident crew. During their residence unmanned cargo spacecrafts Progress 5 -7 and unmanned spacecraft Soyuz 34 docked to the station. The Soyuz 34 was needed, because of the failing docking attempt of the Soyuz 33 spacecraft. Soyuz spacecrafts could only be used for 90 days at this time, so a new one (unmanned) spacecraft was needed.
When they arrived on the station, they had to make preparing work, because the station had to be repaired (sprung propellant leak of the propulsion system). The tank repairing took some time, after the arrival of the Progress 5 spacecraft, but was successful. The Soviets revealed the propulsion problem on March 16, 1979. They said a Salyut fuel tank was leaking fuel into the nitrogen bellows which pressurized the fuel. The station's engine systems were not affected, but valves and regulators in the pressurization system were at potential risk. Accordingly, the crew shut down the tank and used a reserve tank. The crew attempted to drain the leaking tank by rotating the station and succeeded by March 23, 1979, purged the tank with nitrogen and closed it off.
A milestone was reached March 24, 1979 when the cosmonauts installed a television monitor which allowed a two-way television link with ground control. For the first time, cosmonauts received television pictures in space. Seeing family, instead of just hearing them, was considered to have great psychological importance, especially as longer flights were contemplated.
After the Soyuz 33 failure, the station crew were stuck with a suspect craft. The Soyuz 33 craft was intended to be swapped for the Soyuz 32, but the failure called into question the reliability of Soyuz 32's main engine. Until the design was corrected and a new vehicle launched, the crew was safe on Salyut with the Soyuz usable in an emergency. The fifth international flight, scheduled for June 05, 1979, was postponed
Vladimir Lyakhov und Valeri Ryumin continued their station activities, including experiments intended to be carried out with the visiting crew (which had been delivered aboard the Progress 5 flight), such as one called Pirin which investigated the formation of metal whiskers on zinc crystals, and another which made multi-spectral measurements of the daylight atmosphere. They were given five days off for the May Day holiday.
Progress 6 was launched May 13, 1979 and delivered some 100 items. The Soyuz 33 engine failure did not affect the supply tanker as it differed in its design. Unloading took two days, a new navigational unit was installed, and the tanker raised the station's orbit on May 22, 1979. Refueling was completed by May 28, 1979, more orbital adjustments were made June 04, 1979 and June 05, 1979, and Progress 6 was undocked June 08, 1979.
Testing of the new developed Gamma-Ray-Telescope was one of the main objectives. Experiments in materials science were also performed. Progress 7 was launched June 28, 1979 and docked at Salyut 6 two days later. It carried 1,230 kg of supplies including food, plants, mail and a 10-metre diameter radio telescope. The telescope unfolded independent at the stations tall. The crew tested the "Cosmic Radio-Telescope" (KRT-10).
Vladimir Lyakhov und Valeri Ryumin conducted an EVA on August 15, 1979 (1h 23m). With difficulty Valeri Ryumin deployed a folded handrail, then clambered over the hull to the rear of the station. He discovered that the KRT-10s ribs had torn the station's insulation. As Valeri Ryumin cut cables the KRT-10 oscillated back and forth, threatening to strike him. Valeri Ryumin carried a 1.5-m barbed pole to push the antenna away after he finished cutting it away from Salyut 6. Once the antenna was discarded, the crew inspected the exterior of Salyut 6. They discovered that portions of its insulation had broken off or become discoloured. They also retrieved samples of materials that had been exposed to space conditions on Salyut 6s hull, and a portion of the micrometeoroid detector.
All in all the crew set a new spaceflight record. Because the cosmonauts were so weakened from six months in zero gravity (a bouquet of flowers presented to them reportedly felt like "a ton of bricks"), a system of slides and chutes had to be deployed for them to exit the Soyuz descent module.
Last update on March 29, 2013.