Encyclopedia Astronautica
Soyuz 21



almrexta.jpg
Almaz right exterior
Aft view of the Almaz, showing the airlock, ringed by propellant tanks. The KSI capsule ejection airlock juts out below the main docking hatch. A red plastic cover is seen over the engine bell of one of the two RD-0225 main engines. The downlink antenna of the Grafit communications system is on the lower left.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Crew: Volynov, Zholobov. Military space station mission. Hand-docked with the Salyut 5 station after failure of automated Igla system. Crew member became psychotic and mission was returned to earth from space station early. Toxic gases in station were suspected. Backup crew: Rozhdestvensky, Zudov.Support crew: Berezovoi, Glazkov, Gorbatko, Lisun.

Soyuz 21 with Volynov and Zholobov aboard hard-docked with the Salyut 5 station on 6 July 1976 after failure of the Igla system at the last stage of rendezvous. Towards the end of the two month mission an early return to earth was requested due to the poor condition of flight engineer Zholobov (who was suffering from space sickness and psychological problems). The crew landed in very bad physical and mental condition 200 km SW of Kokchetav on August 25, 1976 at 18:33 GMT. It was determined that they had become emotional, not followed their physical training, and developed an unreasonable desire to return to earth. The possibility also existed that there were toxic gases in the station.

AKA: Baikal (Baikal - lake in Siberia).
First Launch: 1976.07.06.
Last Launch: 1976.08.24.
Duration: 49.27 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Gorbatko Gorbatko, Viktor Vassilyevich (1934-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 7, Soyuz 24, Salyut 6 EP-7. More...
  • Volynov Volynov, Boris Valentinovich (1934-) Jewish-Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 5, Soyuz 21. More...
  • Lisun Lisun, Mikhail Ivanovich (1935-) Ukrainian engineer cosmonaut, 1965-1989. More...
  • Zholobov Zholobov, Vitali Mikhailovich (1937-) Ukrainian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 21. More...
  • Rozhdestvensky Rozhdestvensky, Valeri Illyich (1939-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 23. More...
  • Glazkov Glazkov, Yuri Nikolayevich (1939-2008) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 24. More...
  • Zudov Zudov, Vyacheslav Dmitriyevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 23. More...
  • Berezovoi Berezovoi, Anatoli Nikolayevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-1. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Soyuz 7K-T/A9 Russian manned spacecraft. 8 launches, 1974.05.27 (Cosmos 656) to 1978.06.27 (Soyuz 30). Version of 7K-T for flights to Almaz. Known difference with the basic 7K-T included systems for remote control of the Almaz station and a revised parachute system. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Almaz The only manned military space station to have ever flown, it served only to prove that manned stations provided no cost-effective substitute to unmanned military satellites. Derivatives of the design continue in service into the 21st Century as modules of the Salyut, Mir, and International Space Stations. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Soyuz 21 Chronology


1976 July 6 - . 12:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz 21 - . Call Sign: Baikal (Baikal - lake in Siberia). Crew: Volynov; Zholobov. Backup Crew: Rozhdestvensky; Zudov. Support Crew: Berezovoi; Glazkov; Gorbatko; Lisun. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T(A9) s/n 41. Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov; Zholobov; Rozhdestvensky; Zudov; Berezovoi; Glazkov; Gorbatko; Lisun. Agency: MOM. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 21. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T/A9. Duration: 49.27 days. Decay Date: 1976-08-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 8934 . COSPAR: 1976-064A. Apogee: 274 km (170 mi). Perigee: 246 km (152 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Soyuz 21 with Volynov and Zholobov aboard hard-docked with the station on 6 July 1976 after failure of the Igla system at the last stage of rendezvous. Towards the end of the two month mission an early return to earth was requested due to the poor condition of flight engineer Zholobov (who was suffering from space sickness and psychological problems).

1976 August 24 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 21 - . Return Crew: Volynov; Zholobov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov; Zholobov. Program: Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 21. The crew landed in very bad physical and mental condition 200 km SW of Kokchetav at 18:33 GMT. It was determined that they had become emotional, not followed their physical training, and developed an unreasonable desire to return to earth. The possibility also existed that there were toxic gases in the station.

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