|Given names:||Leonid Denisovich||Vladimir Alekseyevich|
|Spacecraft (Launch):||Soyuz T-15||Soyuz T-15|
|Launchtime:||12:33 UTC||12:33 UTC|
|Spacecraft (Landing):||Soyuz T-15||Soyuz T-15|
|Landingtime:||12:34 UTC||12:34 UTC|
|Mission duration:||125d 00h 00m||125d 00h 00m|
|Given names:||Aleksandr Stepanovich||Aleksandr Pavlovich|
Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 55 km northeast of Arkalyk.
Following a two day solo flight Soyuz T-15 docked with the new space station MIR on March 15, 1986. Plans for MIR intended that only the newer Soyuz TM would dock with MIR's forward port, leaving the aft port free for arriving Progress spacecraft. However, the older Soyuz T actually used for the first Soyuz T-15 mission to MIR was not equipped with the Kurs approach system used on MIR's front port, but only with the older Igla approach system used for MIR's aft port. Therefore Soyuz T-15 had to approach MIR's aft port, and then manually maneuver around the station to dock manually at the forward port. At 20 km Soyuz T-15's Igla system acquired its counterpart on MIR's aft port. At 200 meters, the Igla system was shut off, and the crew manually maneuvered around the station to dock at the front port. For this manual approach, the same laser range finder was used as for the Soyuz T-13 docking with the uncooperative Salyut 7 station in 1985. The cosmonauts became the first resident crew of MIR.
In preparation for the trip to Salyut 7, the crew loaded Soyuz T-15 with their personal belongings, plants grown on MIR, and other items. At that time Salyut 7 was still 4000 km ahead of MIR in a lower orbit. Therefore on May 04, 1986 MIR was lowered by 13 km in order to speed the approach to Salyut 7 and conserve Soyuz T-15's limited fuel supply for the transfer. On May 05, 1986, they undocked from MIR for a day long journey to the Salyut 7 space station and stayed there for 50 days. The cosmonauts manually docked with the inoperative Salyut 7 station. This was the only flight in history by a single spacecraft between two space stations. The Salyut 7 station was found to be ice bound and without electrical power. The crew repaired the station, regaining power, heat, and environmental control. The also removed experimental results left behind by last crew.
Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Soloviyov conducted the first EVA while staying on Salyut 7 on May 28, 1986 (3h 50m). The crew climbed outside of Salyut 7 to retrieve space exposure experiments and test the Ferma-Postroital ("girder-constructor") device. A deployment canister converted a folded girder cartridge into a 15-m girder in only a few minutes. The girder was retracted by reversing the process at the end of the EVA.
Both cosmonauts performed a second spacewalk on May 31, 1986 (5h 00m). Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Soloviyov attached measurement devices to the top of the retracted girder, then re-extended it with an aim toward studying its rigidity. They then used an electron gun to weld several of the girder's joints.
The crew removed 20 instruments with a total mass of 350 to 400 kg including a multichannel spectrometer from Salyut 7 before returning to MIR. Between August 19, 1986 and August 22, 1986, engines on Kosmos 1686 boosted Salyut 7 to a record-high mean orbital altitude of 475 km to forestall re-entry. Atmospheric drag took its toll, however, and the station re-entered over South America 54 months later. Pieces of Salyut 7 and Cosmos 1686 were found in Argentina.
After done work the cosmonauts returned to the MIR space station on June 26, 1986 in a 29-hour journey. It was the first transfer from one space station to an other space station in space history.
Last update on November 14, 2013.