|Mission duration||23 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes, 43 seconds|
|Spacecraft type||Soyuz 7K-OKS|
|Launch mass||6,790 kilograms (14,970 lb)|
|Callsign||Янтарь (Yantar – "Amber")|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||6 June 1971, 07:55:09UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 1/5|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||30 June 1971, 02:16:52UTC|
|Perigee||163 kilometres (101 mi)|
|Apogee||237 kilometres (147 mi)|
|Epoch||13 June 1971|
|Docking with Salyut 1|
Soyuz 11 (Russian: Союз 11, Union 11) was the only manned mission to board the world's first space station, Salyut 1 (Soyuz 10 had soft-docked but had not been able to enter due to latching issues). The mission arrived at the space station on 7 June 1971 and departed on 30 June. The mission ended in disaster when the crew capsule depressurised during preparations for reentry, killing the three-man crew. The Soyuz 11 crew members were Vladislav Volkov, Georgy Dobrovolsky, and Viktor Patsayev.
|Flight Engineer||Vladislav Volkov
|Test Engineer||Viktor Patsayev
|Flight Engineer||Vitali Sevastyanov|
|Test Engineer||Anatoli Voronov|
|Flight Engineer||Valeri Kubasov|
|Test Engineer||Pyotr Kolodin|
The original prime crew for Soyuz 11 consisted of Alexei Leonov, Valeri Kubasov and Pyotr Kolodin. A medical X-ray examination four days before launch suggested that Kubasov might have tuberculosis, and according to the mission rules, the prime crew was replaced with the backup crew. For Dobrovolski and Patsayev, this was to be their first space mission. After the failure of Salyut 2 to orbit, Kubasov and Leonov were reassigned to Soyuz 19 for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975.
The Soyuz 7K-OKS spacecraft was launched on 7 June 1971, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in central Kazakh SSR. Several months earlier, the first mission to the Salyut, Soyuz 10, had failed to successfully dock with the station. Soyuz 11 successfully docked with Salyut 1 on 7 June and the cosmonauts remained on board for 22 days, setting space endurance records that would hold until the American Skylab 2 mission in May–June 1973.
Upon first entering the station, the crew encountered a smoky and burnt atmosphere and after replacing part of the ventilation system spent the next day back in their Soyuz until the air cleared. Their stay in Salyut was productive, including live television broadcasts. A fire broke out on day 11 of their stay, causing mission planners to consider abandoning the station. The planned highlight of the mission was to have been the observation of an N1 rocket launch, but the launch was postponed. The crew also found that using the exercise treadmill as they were required to do twice a day caused the whole station to vibrate. Pravda released news of the mission and regular updates while it was in progress.
Death of crew
Kerim Kerimov, chair of the State Commission recalled: "Outwardly, there was no damage whatsoever. They knocked on the side, but there was no response from within. On opening the hatch, they found all three men in their couches, motionless, with dark-blue patches on their faces and trails of blood from their noses and ears. They removed them from the descent module. Dobrovolski was still warm. The doctors gave artificial respiration. Based on their reports, the cause of death was suffocation..." 
It quickly became apparent that they had asphyxiated. The fault was traced to a breathing ventilation valve, located between the orbital module and the descent module, that had been jolted open as the descent module separated from the service module, 723 seconds after retrofire. The two were held together by explosive bolts designed to fire sequentially; in fact, they fired simultaneously. The force of this caused the internal mechanism of the pressure equalisation valve to loosen a seal that was usually discarded later and normally allowed automatic adjustment of the cabin pressure. The valve opened at an altitude of 168 kilometres (104 mi), and the gradual loss of pressure was fatal within seconds. The valve was located beneath the seats and was impossible to find and block before the air was lost. Flight recorder data from the single cosmonaut outfitted with biomedical sensors showed cardiac arrest occurred within 40 seconds of pressure loss. By 935 seconds after the retrofire, the cabin pressure was zero, and remained there until the capsule entered the Earth's atmosphere. Patsayev's body was found positioned near the valve, and he may have been attempting to close or block the valve at the time he lost consciousness.
Film later declassified showed support crews attempting CPR on the cosmonauts. It was not known until an autopsy that they had died because of a capsule depressurisation. The ground crew had lost audio contact with the crew before reentry began and had already begun preparations for contingencies in case the crew had been lost.
The cosmonauts were given a large state funeral and buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis at Red Square, Moscow near the remains of Yuri Gagarin. US astronaut Tom Stafford was one of the pallbearers. They were also each posthumously awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal. Craters on the Moon were named after the three cosmonauts: Dobrovol'skiy, Volkov, and Patsaev.
The American people join in expressing to you and the Soviet people our deepest sympathy on the tragic deaths of the three Soviet cosmonauts. The whole world followed the exploits of these courageous explorers of the unknown and shares the anguish of their tragedy. But the achievements of cosmonauts Dobrovolsky, Volkov and Patsayev remain. It will, I am sure, prove to have contributed greatly to the further achievements of the Soviet program for the exploration of space and thus to the widening of man's horizons.
The Soyuz 11 landing coordinates are Karazhal, Karagandy, Kazakhstan and about 550 km northeast of Baikonur. At the site is a memorial monument in the form of a three-sided metallic column. Near the top of the column, on each of the three sides, is the engraved image of the face of each crew member set into a stylised triangle. The memorial is in open, flat country, far from any populated area. It is within a small, circular, fenced area.which is 90 km southwest of
The Soyuz spacecraft was extensively redesigned after this incident to carry only two cosmonauts. The extra room meant that the crew could wear Sokol space suits during launch and landing. The Sokol was a lightweight pressure suit intended for emergency use; updated versions of the suit remain in use to the present day.
A Soyuz capsule would not hold three crew members again until the Soyuz-T redesign in 1980, which freed enough space for three people in lightweight pressure suits to travel in the capsule.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "SATCAT". Jonathan's Space Pages. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
- "Google Maps – Soyuz 11 Landing Site – Monument Location". Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- "Google Maps – Soyuz 11 Landing Site – Monument Photo". Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- Mir Hardware Heritage/Part 1- Soyuz (wikisource) http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Mir_Hardware_Heritage/Part_1_-_Soyuz#1.7.3_Salyut_1-Type_Soyuz_Mission_Descriptions
- Time Magazine (12 July 1971). "Triumph and Tragedy of Soyuz 11". Time Magazine. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- Encyclopedia Astronautica (2007). "Soyuz 11". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- Mamta Trivedi (2001). "30 Years Ago: The World's First Space Station, Salyut 1". Space.com – Imaginova Corp. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- CNN (1997). "After glory era, cash woes hobble Russian space program". CNN. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- STS107 had rentered the atmosphere when its accident occurred.
- "Space disasters and near misses". Channel 4. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Time Magazine (10 May 1971). "A Troubled Salyut". Time Magazine. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (2007). "Soyuz 11: Triumph and Tragedy". NASA -National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- USA Today (1 February 2003). "Deadly accidents in the history of space exploration". USA Today. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- Ben Evans (24 April 2013). "The Crew That Never Came Home: The Misfortunes of Soyuz 11". Space Safety Magazine. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- NASA (1974). "The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project". NASA. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- NASA. "The crew of Soyuz 11". NASA. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- Jane's Information Group (2003). "A brief history of space accidents". Jane's Information Group. Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- This footage was shown during the 1994 TV adaptation of the documentary Moon Shot by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton.
- "Google Maps – Soyuz 11 Landing Site – Monument Photo closeup". Retrieved 25 December 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Soyuz 11.|
- Burgess, Colin; Doolan, Kate; Vis, Bert (2003). Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-6212-4.
- Ivanovich, Grujica S. (February 2008). Salyut – The First Space Station: Triumph and Tragedy. Praxis. pp. 300 pages. ISBN 0-387-73585-2.
- United States Congress: Office of Technology Assessment (30 March 2005). Salyut: Soviet Steps Toward Permanent Human Presence in Space – A Technical Memorandum. Seattle: University Press of the Pacific. pp. 80 pages. ISBN 1-4102-2138-5.