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

Tyneside, UK
2024 May 20
Monday, Day 141

Curated by:

Salyut 1

Salyut 4

Salyut 6

Salyut 7

The next Salyut gets a new name
Fourth Expedition to Salyut 7 - 1985

This was a busy year and, for the first time there was a hand-over between resident crews. This process was unusually complicated by the fact that Vladimir Dzhanibekov was selected for the first crew to perform a specific job.

Salyut 7 & Cosmos 1686After the winter of 1984-5, Salyut 7 was 'dead in the water. Dzhanibekov's job was to undertake a manual approach and docking with Salyut 7 without the aid of the usual radio-guidance system. He and Viktor Savinikh then had the task of reviving a frozen space station that had lost most of its supply of power because of a problem with its electrical system toward the end of 1984.

The two men did a magnificent job and then controllers had to use the next mission to retrieve Dzhanibekov and re-constitute the planned long stay crew.

The year ended unfortunately when station commander Vladimir Vasyutin succumbed to depression, causing an early end to the mission.

A launch of a Progress vehicle was named Cosmos 1669. There are two possible reasons for it.

There may have been some sort of systems problem early in the mission making it look as though it would fail. The 'Cosmos' name would then have been applied as was standard Soviet practice for flights that were unsuccessful. In the event, it was possible for it to catch up with, and dock with Salyut 7 but it was too late to rename it 'Progress'.

Alternatively, there could have been an administrative slip up that got into the public domain before anyone could stop it. A month after Cosmos 1669, a TKS spacecraft that got the name Cosmos 1686 was launched. There is a possibility that the publicity system confused the two craft and, thinking the TKS had been launched rather than the Progress, the next available Cosmos number was applied.

Date Time (UTC) Event
1985 Jun 6 06:39 Soyuz T-13 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Soyuz rocket into 198 x 222 kilometre orbit with cosmonauts Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Viktor Savinikh aboard
1985 Jun 8 08:50 Soyuz T-13 docks at the forward port of Salyut 7 - orbit is 356 x 359 kilometres
1985 Sep 17 12:38 Soyuz T-14 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Soyuz rocket into 196 x 223 kilometre orbit with cosmonauts Vladimir Vasyutin, Georgi Grechko and Aleksandr Volkov
1985 Sep 18 14:15 Soyuz T-14 docks at the aft port of Salyut 7 - orbit is 338 x 353 kilometres
1985 Sep 25 03:58 Soyuz T-13 undocks, carrying Dzhanibekov and Grechko - Vasyutin and Volkov stay aboard Salyut 7 with Savinikh - Soyuz T-13 conducts approach tests with Salyut 7 but does not dock again
1985 Sep 26 09:51 After a day of independent flight, Soyuz T-13 lands - 200 kilometres north-east of Dzhezhkazgan
1985 Sep 27 08:42 Cosmos 1686, a 20 tonne spacecraft carrying cargo, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Proton rocket into 172 x 301 kilometre orbit
1985 Oct 2 10:16 Cosmos 1686 docks at the forward port of Salyut 7 - orbit is 336 x 353 kilometres
1985 Oct 4 After a series of engine firings (probably by Cosmos 1686), Salyut 7 orbit is circular at 359 kilometres
1985 Nov 21 07:16 Soyuz T-14 undocks with Vasyutin, Savinikh and Volkov aboard - the mission has been cut short by Vasyutin's illness
1985 Nov 21 10:31 Soyuz T-14 lands - 180 kilometres south-east of Dzhezhkazgan
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