Resident Crews of Salyut 7

Salyut 7
Expedition 5

Crew, launch- and landing data

No.: 1 2 3
Nation:
Surname:  Vasyutin  Savinykh  Volkov
Given names:  Vladimir Vladimirovich  Viktor Petrovich  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich
Position:  Commander  Flight Engineer  Research Cosmonaut
Spacecraft (Launch):  Soyuz T-14  Soyuz T-13  Soyuz T-14
Launch date:  17.09.1985  06.06.1985  17.09.1985
Launchtime:  12:38 UTC  06:39 UTC  12:38 UTC
Spacecraft (Landing):  Soyuz T-14  Soyuz T-14  Soyuz T-14
Landingdate:  21.11.1985  21.11.1985  21.11.1985
Landingtime:  10:31 UTC  10:31 UTC  10:31 UTC
Mission duration:  64d 21h 52m  168d 03h 51m  64d 21h 52m
Orbits:  1027  2661  1027

Backup Crew

No.: 1 2 3
Nation:
Surname:  Viktorenko  Aleksandrov  Saley
Given names:  Aleksandr Stepanovich  Aleksandr Pavlovich  Yevgeni Vladimirovich
Position:  Commander  Flight Engineer  Research Cosmonaut

Expedition Report

Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 180 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.

Following a two day solo flight Soyuz T-14 docked with Salyut 7 on September 18, 1985. Main goal was a partly exchange of the current resident crew (Vladimir Dzhanibekov). Soyuz T-14 transported Commander Vladimir Vasyutin, Flight Engineer Georgi Grechko and Research Cosmonaut Aleksandr Volkov to the Salyut 7 orbital station.

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.

The crew received Kosmos 1686 on October 02, 1985. This was a modified TKS spacecraft with the military 'star wars' tracking experiments mounted in a stripped-down VA capsule. The crew was to conduct these experiments, and conduct spacewalks with application to future space stations. Kosmos 1686 contained 4,500 kg (9,900 lb) of freight, including large items like a girder to be assembled outside Salyut 7, and the Kristallizator materials processing apparatus. All landing systems were removed from the VA re-entry capsule and replaced with military optical sensor experiments (infrared telescope and Ozon spectrometer). It burned up in the atmosphere and together with the Salyut 7 station over Argentina on February 07, 1991 at 04:00 UTC. It re-entered with unused 3 m diameter recoverable capsule of 2-3,000 kg mass, solid rocket motors, and cesium sensors.

Photography of Earth surface, observation of mechanical and electronical behavior of enlarged spacestation (Kosmos 1686) was done. The crew conducted military experiments with the Kosmos-1686 module.

A premature return to Earth was needed because of a seriously illness of Vladimir Vasyutin. He was suffering from a very bad urinary tract infection and had a high fever as well. It took nearly six weeks of antibiotics once back on the ground before he was better. Other sources said that the mission was cut short due to an incapacitating psychological condition developed by Vladimir Vasyutin.

Experiments and tests for the planned space station MIR and EVAs were not accomplished.

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 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 per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet 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 per second to 262 feet per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet. 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 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

Salyut 7 with Soyuz T-14
Salyut 7 with Soyuz T-14  

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Last update on September 20, 2014.