Resident Crews of Salyut 7

Salyut 7
Expedition 4

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Crew, launch- and landing data

No.: 1 2
Nation:
Surname:  Dzhanibekov  Savinykh
Given names:  Vladimir Aleksandrovich  Viktor Petrovich
Position:  Commander  Flight Engineer
Spacecraft (Launch):  Soyuz T-13  Soyuz T-13
Launch date:  06.06.1985  06.06.1985
Launchtime:  06:39 UTC  06:39 UTC
Spacecraft (Landing):  Soyuz T-13  Soyuz T-14
Landingdate:  26.09.1985  21.11.1985
Landingtime:  09:51 UTC  10:31 UTC
Mission duration:  112d 03h 12m  168d 03h 51m
Orbits:  1774  2661

Backup Crew

No.: 1 2
Nation:
Surname:  Popov  Aleksandrov
Given names:  Leonid Ivanovich  Aleksandr Pavlovich
Position:  Commander  Flight Engineer

Expedition Report

Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 220 km northeast of Dzheskasgan.

Following a two day solo flight Soyuz T-13 docked with Salyut 7 on June 08, 1985. Vladimir Dzhanibekov piloted his ship to intercept the forward port of Salyut 7, matched the station's rotation and achieved soft dock with the station. The cosmonauts became the fourth resident crew of the station.

When arriving on the space station, the station had been vacant since eight months and it had been crippled by a solar array problem. Soyuz T-13 was the first Soyuz to dock manually with an inert Salyut. For the purpose it was slightly modified to include control levers in the descent module for proximity operations.

This mission became one of the most impressive feats of in-space repairs in history. As the crew approached the inert station, they saw that its solar arrays were pointing randomly as it rolled slowly about its long axis. They used a handheld laser rangefinder to judge their distance, and conducted a fly-around inspection to be certain the exterior was intact. Vladimir Dzhanibekov noted that the thermal blankets on the transfer compartment had turned a dull gray from prolonged exposure to sunlight. Upon achieving hard dock he crew confirmed through the electrical connectors in the docking collars that the Salyut 7 electrical system was dead. They carefully sampled the air in the station before opening the hatch. The station air was very cold, but breathable. Frost covered the walls and apparatus. The cosmonauts wore winter garb, including fur-lined hats, as they entered the station. The first order of business was to restore electric power. Of the eight batteries, all were dead, and two were destroyed. Vladimir Dzhanibekov determined that a sensor had failed in the solar array pointing system, preventing the batteries from recharging. A telemetry radio problem prevented the TsUP from detecting the problem. Salyut 7 had quickly run down its batteries, shutting down all its systems and accounting for the break in radio contact. The cosmonauts set about recharging the batteries. They used Soyuz T-13 to turn the station to put its solar arrays in sunlight. On June 10, 1985 they turned on the air heaters. The cosmonauts relied on the Soyuz T-13 air regeneration system until they could get the Salyut 7 system back in order. Three days later the attitude control system was successfully reactivated. That was necessary, because now a Progress bearing replacement parts could dock with Salyut 7. Wall heaters were turned on only after all the frost had evaporated, in order to prevent water from entering equipment. Normal atmospheric humidity was achieved only at the end of July 1985. The station's water tanks thawed by the end of June 1985. Freezing destroyed the water heater, so the cosmonauts used a powerful television light to heat fluids.

After that scientific work was performed, including medical and astronomical research and work with the ASTRA apparature. Approaching and docking systems were tested.

Progress 24 was docked to the station from June 23, 1985 - July 15, 1985. The freighter delivered propellant, solar array extensions, a new water heater, three new batteries, and about 40 kg of other replacement parts. It was followed by Kosmos 1669 from July 21, 1985 - August 29, 1985. This was a Progress spacecraft incorporating upgrades for use with MIR.

A difficult EVA by Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Viktor Savinykh was performed on August 02, 1985 (5h 00m) to replace two detectors and to expand one solar panel with two segments.
The cosmonauts wore new semirigid suits delivered by Progress 24.

Soyuz T-14 arrived at the station on September 17, 1985. It brought up two new station residents (Vladimir Vasyutin and Aleksandr Volkov) together with senior cosmonaut Georgi Grechko. After Georgi Grechko had inspected the repairs and condition of the station, he and Vladimir Dzhanibekov, from Soyuz T-13, returned to earth aboard Soyuz T-13 on September 26, 1985. Viktor Savinykh continued his work on the space station.

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Last update on November 21, 2013.