Salyut 6 in Assembly
Salyut 6 in Assembly Hall
Credit: RKK Energia
AKA: Salyut 6 EO-1;Soyuz 27;Tamyr (Tamyr - Russian peninsula). Launched: 1977-12-10. Returned: 1978-03-16. Number crew: 2 . Duration: 96.42 days.
First Main Expedition aboard Salyut 6. Primarily conducted engineering tests to verify operation of station, clear docking hatch that prevented Soyuz 25 from docking, receive first visiting crews, and conduct first change-out of 'lifeboat' spacecraft and operations with first resupply spacecraft.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
The EO-1 crew docked with the station's aft port because of the Soyuz 25 failure. On December 20 they conducted the first EVA from a Salyut space station. They depressurized the forward transfer compartment and opened the forward docking port. Grechko and Romanenko inspected the forward docking port drogue and docking collar. They beamed color TV images of the unit to the TsUP in Moscow. Grechko reported, "All of the docking equipment - lamps, electric sockets, latches - all is in fine order." The spacewalk lasted about 20 min, and depressurization lasted about 90 min. They repressurised the transfer compartment from storage tanks - a procedure first tested by the Soyuz 24 crew on Salyut 5 in February 1977. Their inspection confirmed that the Soyuz 25 spacecraft docking unit was at fault in its failure to hard dock, and that its docking attempts had left the Salyut 6 front port undamaged. During this period, the EO-1 crew extensively tested the Salyut 6's Delta automatic navigational system. On December 29 the Soyuz 26 main engine raised Salyut 6's orbit. Because Soyuz 26 was at the aft port, Salyut 6's own engines could not be used to raise its orbit.
The Soviets hurried to take advantage of the undamaged Salyut 6 forward port. Soyuz 27 docked without incident at the front port carrying cosmonauts Oleg Makarov and Vladimir Dzhanibekov, who formed the first Visiting Expedition crew in the Soviet space station program (or, for that matter, in any space station program). For the docking, the EO-1 crew withdrew to their Soyuz 26 spacecraft and sealed the hatch into Salyut 6 behind them. This was done in the event of a depressurization emergency associated with the docking of Soyuz 27. There was also some concern that stresses and vibrations produced when the 7-ton Soyuz 27 spacecraft contacted the front port might transmit through Salyut 6, forcibly uncoupling Soyuz 26 from the rear port. The Soyuz 27-Salyut 6-Soyuz 26 combination massed about 33,000 kg and featured seven compartments: two descent modules, two orbital modules, the transfer compartment, the work compartment, and the small aft intermediate compartment. The four cosmonauts conducted many experiments, including Rezonans, which was designed to determine if resonant frequencies might threaten the structural integrity of the three-spacecraft combination. The experiment called for the cosmonauts to jump around Salyut 6 on command from the TsUP. The guest crew spent 5 days on Salyut 6, then returned to Earth in Soyuz 26, leaving the fresh Soyuz 27 spacecraft for the EO-1 crew. This was the first of many such spacecraft swaps.
The first Progress delivered what would become the standard manifest of food, air, water, and fuel. The supply ship remained docked to the station from January 22-February 6, 1978. In Progress' early days the cosmonauts rushed to unload delivered supplies and reload the Progress with waste. For the first Progress refueling operation, the EO-1 crew fastidiously inspected Salyut 6's fuel lines for leaks for several days. Fuel and oxidizer were transferred February 2- 3. On February 5 nitrogen from Progress 1 purged the lines so they would not spill toxic propellant onto the docking drogue when the supply ship undocked.
On March 3-10, 1978 the EO-1 crew received the first Intercosmos mission. Alexei Gubarev and Vladimir Remek formed the Zenit Visiting Expedition, launched aboard Soyuz 28. Vladimir Remek, a Czech, was the first non-U.S./ non-Soviet space traveler. He flew as part of Intercosmos, a program of co-operative space activities between the Soviet Union and other countries (especially those in the eastern bloc). Remek's experiment program touched on life sciences, materials processing, and upper atmosphere research. The EO-1 crew remained aboard Salyut 6 until March 16, 1978, when they returned to earth aboard Soyuz 27, leaving the station unoccupied.
Unmanned supply vessel to Salyut 6. Delivery of fuel, consumable materials and equipment to the Salyut 6 station. Docked with Salyut 6 on 22 Jan 1978 10:12:14 GMT. Undocked on 6 Feb 1978 05:54:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 8 Feb 1978 02:00:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.91 days. Total docked time 14.82 days.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Delivery to the Salyut-6 station of the first international 'Intercosmos' team consisting of A.A. Gubarev (USSR) and V. Remek (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic) to carry out scientific research and experiments jointly developed by Soviet a nd Czechoslovak specialists.