Resident Crews of Salyut 7

Salyut 7
Expedition 2

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Crew, launch- and landing data

No.: 1 2
Surname:  Lyakhov  Aleksandrov
Given names:  Vladimir Afanasiyevich  Aleksandr Pavlovich
Position:  Commander  Flight Engineer
Spacecraft (Launch):  Soyuz T-9  Soyuz T-9
Launch date:  27.06.1983  27.06.1983
Launchtime:  09:12:18 UTC  09:12:18 UTC
Spacecraft (Landing):  Soyuz T-9  Soyuz T-9
Landingdate:  23.11.1983  23.11.1983
Landingtime:  19:58:19 UTC  19:58:19 UTC
Mission duration:  149d 10h 46m 02s  149d 10h 46m 02s
Orbits:  2365  2365

Backup Crew

No.: 1 2
Surname:  Titov  Strekalov
Given names:  Vladimir Georgiyevich  Gennadi Mikhailovich
Position:  Commander  Flight Engineer

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Expedition Report

Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 160 km east of Dzheskasgan.

Following a one day solo flight Soyuz T-9 docked with Salyut 7-Kosmos 1443 on June 28, 1983. The cosmonauts became the second resident crew of the station.

Almost immediately after docking at Salyut 7’s aft port, the crew entered Kosmos 1443 and commenced transferring the 3.5 tons of cargo lining its walls to Salyut 7. This included solar arrays to augment Salyut 7's power, to have been installed by the crew of the aborted Soyuz T-8.

On July 27, 1983 a small object struck a Salyut 7 viewport. It blasted out a 4 mm crater, but did not penetrate the outer of the windows two panes. It was not clear, if it was orbital debris or from a meteor shower.

On August 16, 1983 Soyuz T-9 was repositioned by rotating Salyut 7, freeing the aft port for Progress 17. Unmanned supply vessel Progress 17 to Salyut 7 docked with Salyut 7 on August, 19 1983 at 13:47:00 UTC, undocked on September 17, 1983 at 11:44:00 UTC and was destroyed in reentry on September 17, 1983 at 23:43:00 UTC.
During refuelling by Progress 17, the main oxidiser line of the Salyut 7 propulsion system ruptured. The seriousness of the malfunction was not immediately apparent in the West. However, after the malfunction, Salyut 7 had to rely on the main propulsion systems of visiting Progress freighters for maintaining orbital altitude.

The crew loaded Kosmos 1443’s VA capsule with 350 kg of experiment results and hardware no longer in use. It could have held 500 kg, had they had that much to put in. Kosmos 1443 then undocked, in spite of Western predictions that the FGB component would remain attached to Salyut 7 as a space station module. The VA capsule soft-landed on August 23, 1983 and the FGB component continued in orbit until it was deorbited over the Pacific Ocean on September 19, 1983.

On September 26, 1983 a Soyuz spacecraft (Soyuz T-10A) bearing Vladimir Titov and Gennadi Strekalov stood atop a Soyuz booster at Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was the Soyuz T-8 crew, again set to accomplish their mission of augmenting the Salyut 7 solar arrays. About 90 sec before planned launch time, the booster caught fire. Vladimir Titov and Gennadi Strekalov, who had been unable to dock with Salyut 7 on the Soyuz T-8 mission, were rocketed away from the pad by the Soyuz escape tower, while the booster exploded behind them, free of the booster, which exploded on the pad.

Progress 18 resupplied the station on October 22, 1983 - November 13, 1983. The freighter boosted Salyut to 326 x 356 km orbit on November 04, 1983, undocked on November 13, 1983 at 03:08:00 UTC and was destroyed in reentry on November 16, 1983 at 04:18:00 UTC.

The first EVA was performed by Vladimir Lyakhov and Aleksandr Aleksandrov on November 01, 1983 (2h 50m). The cosmonauts added a new panel to one edge of Salyut 7s top (center) array.
Following the second failure of Vladimir Titov and Gennadi Strekalov to reach the station, it was up to Vladimir Lyakhov and Aleksandr Aleksandrov to carry out the much-delayed solar array augmentation EVA's despite the fact they had not trained for it on the ground. They used two Yakor foot restraints installed on Salyut 7 near the base of the solar array.

Both cosmonauts went out of the space station for another spacewalk on November 03, 1983 (2h 55m). This EVA was a repeat of the first. Together the two new panels increased Salyut 7s available electricity by 50%.

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 / Graphics

crew in training crew in training
Aleksandrov in training
Salyut 7 with Kosmos 1443


Last update on May 11, 2016.