AKA: Salyut 7 EO-4; Salyut 7 EO-4-1b; Soyuz T-13; Soyuz T-13 (Dzhanibekov). Launched: 1985-06-06. Returned: 1985-09-26. Number crew: 1 . Duration: 112.13 days.
Flight commander V A Dzhanibekov arrived at the inert Salyut 7 station aboard Soyuz T-13 with flight engineer V P Savinykh to carry out emergency repairs. The repairs completed, he returned with cosmonaut Grechko on Soyuz T-13, leaving the three-man TKS-3 crew to conduct military experiments with the Cosmos-1686 module.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
It was originally planned that TKS-3 would conduct military experiments of vital interest to Soviet state security while docked to Salyut-7. The decision to abandon the TKS as a manned spacecraft meant that the crew of Savinykh, Vasyutin, and Volkov would have to be launched separately aboard a Soyuz-T instead. The further complication of the breakdown of Salyut-7 in February 1985 meant that the TKS-3 crew would have to give up seats to engineer cosmonauts from NPO Energia who could repair the station. Therefore the TKS-3 mission cosmonauts were launched over two separate Soyuz-T missions.
First up was Soyuz T-13, which remained docked to Salyut 7 from June 8-23, 1985. By the end of March the Soviets had decided to attempt a Salyut 7 rescue. The effort turned out to be one of the most impressive feats of in-space repairs in history. As the Soyuz T-13 crew approached the inert station, they saw that its solar arrays were pointing randomly as it rolled slowly about its long axis. They used a hand-held laser range finder to judge their distance, and conducted a fly-around inspection to be certain the exterior was intact. Dzhanibekov noted that the thermal blankets on the transfer compartment had turned a dull grey from prolonged exposure to sunlight. Upon achieving hard dock -- the first time a Soyuz docked with an inactive station -- the crew confirmed through the electrical connectors in the docking collars that the Salyut 7 electrical system was dead. They carefully sampled the air in the station before opening the hatch.
The station air was very cold, but breathable. Frost covered the walls and apparatus. The cosmonauts wore winter garb, including fur-lined hats, as they entered the station. The first order of business was to restore electric power. Of the eight batteries, all were dead, and two were destroyed. Dzhanibekov determined that a sensor had failed in the solar array pointing system, preventing the batteries from recharging. A telemetry radio problem prevented the TsUP from detecting the problem. Salyut 7 had quickly run down its batteries, shutting down all its systems and accounting for the break in radio contact.
The cosmonauts set about recharging the batteries. They used Soyuz T-13 to turn the station to put its solar arrays in sunlight. On June 10 they turned on the air heaters. The cosmonauts relied on the Soyuz T-13 air regeneration system until they could get the Salyut 7 system back in order. On June 13 the attitude control system was successfully reactivated. This was cause for jubilation, as it meant a Progress bearing replacement parts could dock with Salyut 7. Wall heaters were turned on only after all the frost had evaporated, in order to prevent water from entering equipment. Normal atmospheric humidity was achieved only at the end of July. The station's water tanks thawed by the end of June. Freezing destroyed the water heater, so the cosmonauts used a powerful television light to heat fluids.
Progress 24 was docked to the station from June 23-July 15, 1985. The freighter delivered propellant, solar array extensions, a new water heater, three new batteries, and about 40 kg of other replacement parts. It was followed by Cosmos 1669 from July 21-August 29, 1985. This was a Progress spacecraft incorporating upgrades for use with Mir.
On August 2 the Soyuz T-13 crew stepped outside to add the third and final pair of solar array add-ons to Salyut 7. They wore new semi-rigid suits delivered by Progress 24. The EVA duration was about 5 hr.
Salyut 7 now having been brought to life and generating sufficient power for the military experiments, Soyuz T-14 now arrived at the station on September 17, 1985. It brought up the rest of the TKS-3 crew (Vasyutin and Volkov) together with senior cosmonaut Grechko. After Grechko had inspected the repairs and condition of the station, he and Dzhanibekov, from Soyuz T-13, returned to earth aboard Soyuz T-13 on 26 September.
Docked with Salyut 7. Delivered to the Salyut-7 orbital station a crew consisting of flight commander V A Dzhanibekov and flight engineer V P Savinykh to carry out emergency repairs to inert Salyut 7 station and to conduct scientific and technical research and experiments.
Delivery to the Salyut-7 orbital station of a mixed cargo with a total mass of 2,000 kg. Docked with Salyut 7 on 23 Jun 1985 02:54:00 GMT. Undocked on 15 Jul 1985 12:28:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 15 Jul 1985 22:33:31 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.51 days. Total docked time 22.40 days.
Progress vehicle, given Cosmos designation instead of Progress because control lost early in mission but regained later. Resupplied Salyut 7. On departure briefly undocked and redocked to verify reliability of docking system. Transported of various cargoes to the Salyut-7 orbital station. Docked with Salyut 7 on 21 Jul 1985 15:05:00 GMT. Undocked on 28 Aug 1985 21:50:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 30 Aug 1985 01:20:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.23 days. Total docked time 38.28 days.
Docked with Salyut 7. Transported a crew comprising ship's commander V V Vasyutin, flight engineer G M Grechko and cosmonaut-researcher A A Volkov to the Salyut-7 orbital station to conduct scientific and technical studies and experiments. Grechko returned in Soyuz T-13 on 25 September 1985 - emergency return.