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Soyuz 26
Part of Salyut Family
Salyut 6 in Assembly
Salyut 6 in Assembly
Salyut 6 in Assembly Hall
Credit: RKK Energia
Record flight duration. First mission to receive visiting crews launched aboard another spacecraft, and to be resupplied by a logistics spacecraft. First Soviet EVA since Voskhod 2. First Main Expedition aboard Salyut 6.

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.


More at: Soyuz 26.

Family: Manned spaceflight. People: Grechko, Romanenko. Spacecraft: Salyut 6. Bibliography: 182.

1977 December 10 - . 01:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Soyuz 26 - . Call Sign: Taimyr (Taimyr - Russian peninsula). Crew: Grechko, Romanenko. Backup Crew: Ivanchenkov, Kovalyonok. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T s/n 43. Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Grechko, Ivanchenkov, Kovalyonok, Romanenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 26. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. Duration: 37.42 days. Decay Date: 1978-01-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 10506 . COSPAR: 1977-113A. Apogee: 235 km (146 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Carried Yuri Romanenko, Georgi Grechko to Salyut 6; returned crew of Soyuz 27 to Earth. Conduct of joint experiments with the Salyut-6 scientific station..

1977 December 19 - . 21:36 GMT - .
1978 January 10 - . 12:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Soyuz 27 - . Call Sign: Pamir (Pamir mountains). Crew: Dzhanibekov, Makarov. Backup Crew: Ivanchenkov, Kovalyonok. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T s/n 44. Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Dzhanibekov, Ivanchenkov, Kovalyonok, Makarov. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 26, Soyuz 27. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. Duration: 64.95 days. Decay Date: 1978-03-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 10560 . COSPAR: 1978-003A. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi). Perigee: 190 km (110 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Manned two crew. Carried Oleg Makarov, Vladimir Dzhanibekov to Salyut 6; returned crew of Soyuz 26 to Earth. Docked with Salyut 6..

1978 January 16 - .
1978 January 20 - . 08:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Progress 1 - . Payload: Progress s/n 102. Mass: 7,020 kg (15,470 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 26. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 18.73 days. Completed Operations Date: 1978-02-08 02:00:20 . Decay Date: 1978-02-08 02:00:20 . USAF Sat Cat: 10603 . COSPAR: 1978-008A. Apogee: 256 km (159 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min.

    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.


1978 March 2 - . 15:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Soyuz 28 - . Call Sign: Zenit (Zenith ). Crew: Gubarev, Remek. Backup Crew: Pelczak, Rukavishnikov. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T s/n 45. Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gubarev, Pelczak, Remek, Rukavishnikov. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 26, Soyuz 28. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. Duration: 7.93 days. Decay Date: 1978-03-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 10694 . COSPAR: 1978-023A. Apogee: 246 km (152 mi). Perigee: 192 km (119 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min.

    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.


1978 March 10 - .
1978 March 16 - .

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