Soyuz LOK lunar orbiter.
Credit: © Mark Wade
AKA: Soyuz s/n 18. Launched: 1972 Early. Number crew: 2 .
By December 1970, there were four crews in training for two pairs of Soyuz spacecraft to be launched to test the Kontakt lunar rendezvous/docking system. During the Salyut 1 mission, in June 1971, six crews were identified and assigned to specific Soyuz spacecraft serial numbers for these tests. These would have been launched in three pairs beginning in early 1972, depending on the schedule for the DOS-2 station. In the event, the death of the Soyuz 11 crew, and subsequent redesign of the Soyuz spacecraft, led to these Kontakt missions being cancelled and the whole Kontakt test series being reformulated with new crew members in early 1973. Soyuz Kontakt 1 would have been the active spacecraft of the first mission.
Crews are formed for six Soyuz (Kontakt?) flights. Soyuz s/n 18 - Filipchenko and Grechko; Soyuz s/n 19 - Lazarev and Makarov; Soyuz s/n 20 - Vorobyov and Yazdovsky; Soyuz s/n 21 - Yakovlelv and Porvatkin; Soyuz s/n 22 - Kovalyonok and Isakov; Soyuz s/n 23 - Shcheglov and [illegible]. Five crews are training for Salyut flights: Crew 1, Leonov, Rukavishnikov, and Kolodin; Crew 2, Gubarev, Sevastyanov, and Voronov. TsKBEM engineer cosmonauts are to be selected will round out the last three crews, but VVS members will be: Crew 3, Klimuk, Artyukhin; Crew 4, Bykovskyy, Alekseyev; Crew 5, Gorbatko. Leonov and Gubarev will have their crews fully ready for Soyuz 12 by 30 June, for a launch date between 15-20 July. Leonov is asking to go to East Germany for two to three days in the first week of July. Kamanin is fully opposed to this - he is thinkng not of his upcoming flight, but the exhibition of his paintings at the Prezdensk Gallery!