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Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5

Tyneside, UK
2024 Jun 15
Saturday, Day 167

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Cosmonaut Shatalov Describes the Docking

On January 15, 1969, the second day of my flight, as I was passing over the area of the Baikonur cosmodrome, I watched, by observing the inversion in the atmosphere. the insertion of Soyuz-5 into orbit.

='SoyuzThe next day the second stage of our flight - rendezvous and docking - began. A series of manual-controlled manoeuvres ensured the rendezvous of spacecraft Soyuz-4 and Soyuz-5 from a distance of about 1,000 kilometres. Later the automatic approach control system was switched on. I followed its operation both with the aid of instruments and visually by optical sight and TV-unit. Throughout the period of approach Soyuz-5 kept its coupling unit turned towards the Soyuz-4 spacecraft.

We maintained the necessary mutual attitude of the spacecraft. I changed the speed of approach, depending on the distance between the two spacecraft.

When the spacecraft were over the African s hores the distance between then was about forty metres, and they started to hover. At this distance Boris Volynov and I performed several manoeuvres in the course of which we changed the relative position of the spacecraft, and took pictures of each other's spacecraft. Further approach and docking were performed within the zone of direct TV contact with the ground stations.

To avoid sharp contact with each other, the relative speed of approach at first contact was reduced to several centimetres per second. At this speed Soyuz-4 linked with Soyuz-5.
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