Orbital Focus - International Spaceflight Facts and Figures
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The DOS Space Stations

Tyneside, UK
2024 Jul 24
Wednesday, Day 206

Curated by:

Salyut 1

Salyut 4

Salyut 6

Salyut 7

The next Salyut gets a new name
More Tests of Soyuz-T - Nov to Dec 1980

More work was in train to test-out Soyuz-T so, after the main Salyut 6 crew left for Earth at the end of Expedition 4, the space station was used again as a host for a Soyuz-T mission. This time the purpose of the test was to prove the ability of Soyuz-T to carry a crew of three.

Soyuz T-3 carried the first Soviet three-cosmonaut crew since 1971, when three crew had died following an air leak during the return to Earth from Salyut 1 of Soyuz 11 - they were not wearing space suits.

Subsequently, Soyuz crews wore suits on the ascent and descent but the extra weight and space penalties meant reducing the crew to two. Soyuz-T's improved performance compared with the old design meant that the change could be reversed. The improvement came in part through a slight increase in the mass of Soyuz, and partly through re-design, miniaturisation or elimination of systems.

Date Time (UTC) Event
1980 Nov 27 14:18 Soyuz T-3 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Soyuz rocket into 196 x 236 kilometre orbit with Leonid Kizim, Oleg Makarov and Gennady Strekalov aboard - it is the first three-person Soyuz crew since Soyuz 11 in 1971
1980 Nov 28 15:54 Soyuz T-3 docks at the forward port of Salyut 6 - orbit is 286 x 300 kilometres
1980 Dec 9 10:23 Progress 11 undocks
1980 Dec 10 06:10 Soyuz T-3 undocks with Kizim, Makarov and Strekalov aboard
1980 Dec 10 09:26 Soyuz T-3 lands - 130 kilometres east of Dzhezhkazgan
1980 Dec 11 14:00 Progress 11 fires its manoeuvring engine to initiate re-entry
1980 Dec 11 14:45 Approx time - Progress 11 enters the Earth atmosphere above the southern Pacific Ocean and is destroyed by frictional heating
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