Salyut 6

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Salyut 6
Salyut 6 with docked Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.
Salyut programme insignia.
Station statistics
Call sign Salyut 6
Crew 3
Launch 29 September 1977
06:50:00 UTC
Launch pad LC-81/24, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Soviet Union
Reentry 29 July 1982
Mass 19,824 kilograms
Length 15.8 metres
Diameter 4.15 metres
Pressurised volume 90 metres³
Perigee 219 kilometres (136 mi)
Apogee 275 kilometres (171 mi)
Orbital inclination 51.6 degrees
Orbital period 89.1 minutes
Orbits per day 16.16
Days in orbit 1,764 days
Days occupied 683 days
Number of orbits 28,024
Distance travelled ~1,136,861,930 km
(~706,413,253 mi)
Statistics as of deorbit on 29 July 1982
References: [1][2]
Configuration
Basic orbital configuration of Salyut 6

Salyut 6 (Russian: Салют-6; lit. Salute 6), DOS-5, was a Soviet orbital space station, the eighth flown as part of the Salyut programme. Launched on 29 September 1977 by a Proton rocket, the station was the first of the 'second-generation' type of space station. Salyut 6 possessed several revolutionary advances over the earlier Soviet space stations, which it nevertheless resembled in overall design. These included the addition of a second docking port, a new main propulsion system and the station's primary scientific instrument, the BST-1M multispectral telescope. The addition of the second docking port made crew handovers and station resupply by unmanned Progress freighters possible for the first time, which in turn allowed the programme to evolve from short-duration station visits to long-duration expeditions, marking the beginning of the transition to multi-modular, long-term research stations in space.

From 1977 until 1982, Salyut 6 was visited by five long- and eleven short-duration crews, including cosmonauts from Warsaw Pact countries as part of the Intercosmos programme. These crews were responsible for carrying out the primary missions of Salyut 6, including astronomy, Earth-resources observations and the study of the effect of spaceflight on the human body. Following the completion of these missions and the launch of its successor, Salyut 7, Salyut 6 was deorbited on 29 July 1982, almost five years after its launch.[1][3]

Description[edit]

Salyut 6, launched on a Proton 8K82K rocket on 29 September 1977,[4] marked the switch from engineering development stations to routine operations, and united the most effective elements from each of the previous stations. Its navigation system, made up of the Delta semi-automatic computer to depict the station's orbit and the Kaskad system to control its orientation, was based on that used on Salyut 4, as was its power system, which consisted of a trio of steerable solar panels together producing a peak of 4 kilowatts of power over 51 m². The station's thermal regulation systems, which made use of a sophisticated arrangement of insulation and radiators, was also derived from that used on Salyut 4. In addition, Salyut 6 made use of environmental systems first used on Salyut 3, and controlled its orientation using gyrodenes first tested on that station.[1]

Salyut 6 with Progress (P) and Soyuz (F) spacecraft

The most important feature on Salyut 6, however, was the addition of a second docking port on the aft end of the station, which allowed two spacecraft to be docked at once. This, in turn, allowed resident crews to receive shorter, 'visiting' expeditions whilst they remained on board, and for crew handovers to take place. Such handovers, with one expedition vacating the station only after the next had arrived, permitted the long sought-after aim of continuous occupation to move a step closer. The very first long-duration crew to visit the station broke a long-standing endurance record set on board the American Skylab station, staying 96 days in orbit, whilst the longest expedition lasted 185 days. Some of the visiting expeditions were flown as part of the Intercosmos programme, with non-Soviet cosmonauts visiting the station. Vladimír Remek of Czechoslovakia, the first space traveller not from the US or USSR, visited Salyut 6 in 1978, and the station hosted cosmonauts from Hungary, Poland, Romania, Cuba, Mongolia, Vietnam, and East Germany.[1]

The rearward of the two ports was fitted with plumbing to allow the station to be refueled by unmanned Progress spacecraft. These freighters, which brought supplies and extra equipment to keep the station replenished, helped ensure that the crew were always able to carry out useful scientific work aboard the station. In all, twelve Progress flights delivered over 20 tonnes of equipment, supplies and fuel.[1]

The addition of the extra docking port caused the adoption of the Almaz-derived twin-chamber propulsion system first used on Salyut 3 and 5, with the two engine nozzles—each producing 2.9 kilonewtons of thrust—mounted peripherally on either side of the aft port. Salyut 6 introduced a Unified Propulsion System, with both the engines and the station's control thrusters running on unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, drawn from a common set of pressurised tanks, allowing the refueling capabilities of the visiting Progress tankers to be exploited to the maximum effect. The entire engine and fuel storage assembly was contained within an unpressurised bay at the rear of the station, which was the same diameter as the main pressurised compartment. However, the replacement of the Soyuz engine used on previous stations with the bay meant that the station kept a similar overall length to its predecessors.[1]

To enable spacewalks, Salyut 6 was equipped with an inward-opening EVA hatch on the side of the forward transfer compartment, which could be used as an airlock in a similar way to the system used on Salyut 4. This compartment contained two new semi-rigid spacesuits which allowed much greater flexibility than earlier suits, and could be donned within five minutes in case of an emergency. Finally, the station offered considerable improvements in living conditions over previous outposts, with machinery being soundproofed, the crews being provided with designated 'cots' for sleeping and the equipping of the station with a shower and extensive gymnasium.[1]

Instruments[edit]

The primary instrument carried aboard the station was the BST-1M multispectral telescope, which could carry out astronomical observations in the infrared, ultraviolet and submillimetre spectra using a 1.5 metre-diameter mirror which was operated in cryogenic conditions at around −269 °C. The telescope could be operated only when Salyut 6 was on the night side of the Earth, and had its cover closed for the rest of the time.[1]

The second major instrument was the MKF-6M multispectral camera, which carried out Earth-resources observations. An improved form of a camera first tested on Soyuz 22, the camera captured an area of 165×220 kilometres with each image, down to a resolution of 20 metres. Each image was captured simultaneously in six bands in 1200-frame cassettes, which required regular replacement due to the fogging effects of radiation. Salyut 6 also featured a KATE-140 stereoscopic topographic mapping camera with a focal length of 140 milimetres, which captured images of 450×450 kilometres with a resolution of 50 metres in the visible and infrared spectra, which could be operated either remotely or by the resident crews. The photographic capabilities of the station were, therefore, extensive, and the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture had planted a number of specifically selected crops at test sites to examine the capabilities of the cameras.[1]

To further expand its scientific capabilities, Salyut 6 was equipped with 20 portholes for observations, two scientific airlocks to expose equipment to space or eject rubbish, and various pieces of apparatus to carry out biological experiments. Later on during the flight, a Progress spacecraft delivered an external telescope, the KRT-10 radio observatory, which incorporated a directional antenna and five radiometers. The antenna was deployed on the rear docking assembly, with the controller remaining inside the station, and was used for both astronomical and meteorological observations.[1]

Support craft[edit]

The original Progress variant, which was first used to resupply Salyut 6 in 1978

Salyut 6 was primarily supported by the manned Soyuz spacecraft, which carried out crew rotations and would also have been used in the event of an emergency evacuation. The ferries docked automatically to the station, making use of the new Igla automatic docking system, and were used by departing crews to return to Earth at the end of their flight.[5]

The station was the first to be able to be resupplied by the newly developed unmanned Progress freighters, although they could only dock at the rear port, as the plumbing which allowed the spacecraft to replenish the station's fluids was not available at the front port. The freighters docked automatically to the station via the Igla, and were then opened and emptied by the cosmonauts on board, whilst transfer of fuel to the station took place automatically under supervision from the ground.[1][5]

In addition to the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, after the final crew had left, Salyut 6 was visited by an experimental transport logistics spacecraft called Kosmos 1267 in 1982. The transport logistics spacecraft, known as the TKS, was originally designed for the Almaz programme, and proved that large modules could dock automatically with space stations, a major step toward the construction of multimodular stations such as Mir and the International Space Station.[6] [7]

Resident crews[edit]

The station received 16 cosmonaut crews, including six long-duration crews, with the longest expedition lasting 185 days. Resident crew missions were identified with an EO prefix, whilst short-duration missions were identified with EP.

  1. On 10 December 1977 the first resident crew, Yuri Romanenko and Georgi Grechko, arrived on Soyuz 26 and remained aboard Salyut 6 for 96 days.
  2. On 15 June 1978, Vladimir Kovalyonok and Aleksandr Ivanchenkov (Soyuz 29) arrived and remained on board for 140 days.
  3. Vladimir Lyakhov and Valery Ryumin (Soyuz 32) arrived on 25 February 1979 and stayed 175 days.
  4. On 9 April 1980 Leonid Popov and Valery Ryumin (Soyuz 35) arrived for the longest stay on Salyut 6, 185 days. While aboard, on 19 July, they sent their greetings to the Olympians and wished them happy starts in the live communication between the station and the Central Lenin Stadium, where the opening ceremony of the 1980 Summer Olympics was held. They appeared on the stadium's scoreboard and their voices were translated via loud speakers.
  5. A repair mission, consisting of Leonid Kizim, Oleg Makarov, and Gennady Strekalov (Soyuz T-3) worked on the space station for 12 days starting on 27 November 1980.
  6. On 12 March 1981 the last resident crew, Vladimir Kovalyonok and Viktor Savinykh, arrived and stayed for 75 days.

Station operations[edit]

Docking operations[edit]

Spacecraft Docking day Docking time Port Undocking day Undocking time Duration (days)
Soyuz 25 10 October 1977 07:09 front 11 October 1977 ~08:00 1.03
Soyuz 26 11 December 1977 06:02 rear 16 January 1978 14:22 36.35
Soyuz 27 11 January 1978 17:06 front 16 March 1978 11:00 63.75
Progress 1 22 January 1978 13:12 rear 7 February 1978 08:55 15.82
Soyuz 28 3 March 1978 20:10 rear 10 March 1978 13:25 6.72
Soyuz 29 17 June 1978 00:58 front 3 September 1978 11:23 78.43
Soyuz 30 29 June 1978 20:08 rear 5 July 1978 13:15 6.71
Progress 2 9 July 1978 15:59 rear 2 August 1978 07:57 23.66
Progress 3 10 August 1978 03:00 rear 21 August 1978 - ~11
Soyuz 31 27 August 1978 19:37 rear 7 September 1978 13:53 10.76
Soyuz 31 7 September 1978 14:21 front 2 November 1978 10:46 55.85
Progress 4 6 October 1978 04:00 rear 24 October 1978 16:07 18.50
Soyuz 32 26 February 1979 08:30 front 13 June 1979 12:51 107.18
Progress 5 14 March 1979 10:20 rear 3 April 1979 19:10 20.37
Progress 6 15 May 1979 09:19 rear 8 June 1979 11:00 24.07
Soyuz 34 8 June 1979 23:02 rear 14 June 1979 19:18 5.84
Soyuz 34 14 June 1979 ~19:50 front 19 August 1979 12:08 65.86
Progress 7 30 June 1979 14:18 rear 18 July 1979 06:50 17.69
Soyuz T-1 19 December 1979 17:05 front 24 March 1980 00:04 94.29
Progress 8 29 March 1980 23:01 rear 25 April 1980 11:04 26.50
Soyuz 35 10 April 1980 18:16 front 3 June 1980 14:47 53.85
Progress 9 29 April 1980 11:09 rear 20 May 1980 21:51 21.45
Soyuz 36 27 May 1980 22:56 rear 4 June 1980 18:08 7.86
Soyuz 36 4 June 1980 19:38 front 31 July 1980 14:55 56.86
Soyuz T-2 6 June 1980 18:58 rear 9 June 1980 12:24 2.73
Progress 10 1 July 1980 08:53 rear 18 July 1980 01:21 16.69
Soyuz 37 24 June 1980 23:02 rear 1 August 1980 19:43 7.86
Soyuz 37 1 August 1980 ~20:10 front 11 October 1980 09:30 70.56
Soyuz 38 19 September 1980 20:49 rear 26 September 1980 12:35 6.62
Progress 11 30 September 1980 20:03 rear 9 December 1980 13:23 69.72
Soyuz T-3 28 November 1980 18:54 front 10 December 1980 09:10 11.59
Progress 12 26 January 1981 18:56 rear 19 March 1981 21:14 52.09
Soyuz T-4 13 March 1981 23:33 front 26 May 1981 - ~74
Soyuz 39 23 March 1981 19:28 rear 30 March 1981 11:22
Soyuz 40 15 May 1981 21:50 rear 22 May 1981 13:37 6.66
Kosmos 1267 19 June 1981 10:52 front permanently docked - -

Dates and times are 24-hour Moscow Time. Source:[1]

Station crews[edit]

Expedition Crew Launch date Flight up Landing date Flight down Duration (days)
Salyut 6 -
EO-1
Yuri Romanenko,
Georgi Grechko
10 December 1977
01:18:40
Soyuz 26 16 March 1978
11:18:47
Soyuz 27 96.42
Salyut 6 -
EP-1
Vladimir Dzhanibekov,
Oleg Makarov
10 January 1978
12:26:00
Soyuz 27 16 January 1978
11:24:58
Soyuz 26 5.96
Salyut 6 -
EP-2
Aleksei Gubarev,
Vladimír Remek - Czechoslovakia
2 March 1978
15:28:00
Soyuz 28 10 March 1978
13:44:00
Soyuz 28 7.93
Salyut 6 -
EO-2
Vladimir Kovalyonok,
Aleksandr Ivanchenkov
15 June 1978
20:16:45
Soyuz 29 2 November 1978
11:04:17
Soyuz 31 139.62
Salyut 6 -
EP-3
Pyotr Klimuk,
Miroslaw Hermaszewski - Poland
27 June 1978
15:27:21
Soyuz 30 5 July 1978
13:30:20
Soyuz 30 7.92
Salyut 6 -
EP-4
Valery Bykovsky,
Sigmund Jähn - German Democratic Republic
26 August 1978
14:51:30
Soyuz 31 3 September 1978
11:40:34
Soyuz 29 7.87
Salyut 6 -
EO-3
Vladimir Lyakhov,
Valery Ryumin
25 February 1979
11:53:49
Soyuz 32 19 August 1979
12:29:26
Soyuz 34 175.02
Salyut 6 -
EO-4
Leonid Popov,
Valery Ryumin
9 April 1980
13:38:22
Soyuz 35 11 October 1980
09:49:57
Soyuz 37 184.84
Salyut 6 -
EP-5
Valery Kubasov,
Bertalan Farkas - Hungary
26 May 1980
18:20:39
Soyuz 36 3 June 1980
15:06:23
Soyuz 35 7.87
Salyut 6 -
EP-6
Yuri Malyshev,
Vladimir Aksyonov
5 June 1980
14:19:30
Soyuz T-2 9 June 1980
12:39:00
Soyuz T-2 3.93
Salyut 6 -
EP-7
Viktor Gorbatko,
Pham Tuan - Vietnam
23 July 1980
18:33:03
Soyuz 37 31 July 1980
15:15:02
Soyuz 36 7.86
Salyut 6 -
EP-8
Yuri Romanenko,
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez - Cuba
18 September 1980
19:11:03
Soyuz 38 26 September 1980
15:54:27
Soyuz 38 7.86
Salyut 6 -
EO-5
Leonid Kizim,
Oleg Makarov
Gennady Strekalov
27 November 1980
14:18:28
Soyuz T-3 10 December 1980
09:26:10
Soyuz T-3 12.80
Salyut 6 -
EO-6
Vladimir Kovalyonok,
Viktor Savinykh
12 March 1981
19:00:11
Soyuz T-4 26 May 1981
12:37:34
Soyuz T-4 74.73
Salyut 6 -
EP-9
Vladimir Dzhanibekov,
Jugderdemidiyn Gurragcha - Mongolia
22 March 1981
14:58:55
Soyuz 39 30 March 1981
11:40:58
Soyuz 39 7.86
Salyut 6 -
EP-10
Leonid Popov,
Dumitru Prunariu - Romania
14 May 1981
17:16:38
Soyuz 40 22 May 1981
13:58:30
Soyuz 40 7.86

Dates and times are 24-hour Coordinated Universal Time.

Spacewalks[edit]

EVA Spacewalkers Date EVA Start EVA End Duration
(hours)
Comments
Salyut 6 - PE-1 Romanenko & Grechko 19 December 1977 21:36 23:04 1:28 Test of Orlan-D spacesuit, inspection of docking apparatus and Medusa cassette deployment.
Salyut 6 - PE-2 Kovalyonok & Ivanchenkov 29 July 1978 04:00 06:20 2:05 Retrieval of Medusa cassette and passive micrometeoroid detector, deployment of radiation detector & new experimental cassettes.
Salyut 6 - PE-3 Ryumin & Lyakhov 15 August 1979 14:16 15:39 1:23 Removal of KRT-10 radio telescope dish, retrieval of experiment cassettes.

Dates and times are 24-hour Coordinated Universal Time. Source:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Harland, David (14 February 2005). The Story of Space Station Mir. Glasgow, United Kingdom: Springer-Praxis. ISBN 978-0-387-23011-5. 
  2. ^ "NASA – NSSDC – Spacecraft – Details". NASA. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  3. ^ Baker, Philip (1 June 2007). The Story of Manned Space Stations: An Introduction. New York, United States of America: Springer-Praxis. ISBN 978-0-387-30775-6. 
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "Salyut 6". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  5. ^ a b Hall & Shayler (7 May 2003). Soyuz: A Universal Spacecraft. London, United Kingdom: Springer-Praxis. ISBN 978-1-85233-657-8. 
  6. ^ David S. F. Portree (March 1995). "Mir Hardware Heritage" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  7. ^ Wade, Mark. "Cosmos 1267". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 28 June 2007.