|Mission duration||7 days, 22 hours, 16 minutes|
|Spacecraft type||Soyuz 7K-T|
|Launch mass||6,800 kilograms (15,000 lb)|
|Callsign||Зенит (Zenit – "Zenith")|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||March 2, 1978, 15:28UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 1/5|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||March 10, 1978, 13:44UTC|
|Perigee||198.9 kilometres (123.6 mi)|
|Apogee||275.6 kilometres (171.2 mi)|
|Docking with Salyut 6|
Soyuz 28 (Russian: Союз 28, Union 28) was a 1978 Soviet manned mission to the orbiting Salyut 6 space station. It was the fourth mission to the station, the third successful docking, and the second visit to the resident crew launched in Soyuz 26.
Cosmonaut Vladimír Remek from Czechoslovakia became the first person launched into space who was not a citizen of the United States or the Soviet Union. The other crew member was Aleksei Gubarev. The flight was the first mission in the Intercosmos program that gave Eastern Bloc and other Communist countries access to space through manned and unmanned launches.
|Research Cosmonaut||Vladimír Remek, IK
|Research Cosmonaut||Oldřich Pelčák, IK|
- Mass: 6,800 kg (15,000 lb)
- Perigee: 198.9 km (123.6 mi)
- Apogee: 275.6 km (171.2 mi)
- Inclination: 51.65°
- Period: 88.95 minutes
The Soyuz 28 mission was the first Intercosmos flight, whereby military pilots from Soviet bloc nations were flown on flights of about eight days to a Soviet space station. Pilots from other nations would eventually also fly. The program was a reaction to American plans to fly Europeans on space shuttle missions.
Gubarev and Remek, the first non-Soviet, non-American to travel to space, were launched aboard Soyuz 28 on 2 March 1978, after a three-day delay of unspecified cause. The crew docked with the orbiting Salyut 6 space station, and greeted the occupants Georgi Grechko and Yuri Romanenko who had arrived on Soyuz 26 in December. Gubarev and Grechko had previously flown together on Soyuz 17 to the Salyut 4 space station in 1975.
The mission's purpose was mainly political. The four crew members aboard Salyut 6 received messages from Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev and Gustáv Husák, the leader of Czechoslovakia. It was hoped that the Intercosmos flights would help prop up some of the failing communist regimes in the Bloc. Husák was unpopular in Czechoslovakia after reversing the reforms of his predecessor (who had been ousted by Warsaw Pact countries). Romanenko spoke on behalf of the crew saying:
- "We shall apply all our strengths and knowledge to defend the great honour of this international crew, which has started to carry our this joint program of socialist countries' research and utilization of outer space for peaceful purposes."
While the mission had a political purpose, experiments were carried out, including one which monitored the growth of Chlorella seaweed in zero gravity, another which used the on-board Splav furnace to melt glass, lead, silver, and copper chlorides, and an experiment called Oxymeter which measured oxygen in human tissue.
On 10 March, the Soyuz 28 crew prepared for their return to Earth, packing experiments and testing systems. They undocked from the station and landed 310 kilometres (190 mi) west of Tselinograd later that day.
A joke appeared soon after the mission that Remek's hand had mysteriously turned red. He informed the doctors, the joke goes, that this was because every time he went to touch something, the Soviet crewmembers would slap his hand and yell, "Don't touch that!"
- "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- The mission report is available here: http://www.spacefacts.de/mission/english/soyuz-28.htm
- Newkirk, Dennis (1990). Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight. Houston, Texas: Gulf Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87201-848-2.
- Clark, Phillip (1988). The Soviet Manned Space Program. New York: Orion Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-56954-X.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Douglas A. Vakoch (6 July 2011). Psychology of Space Exploration: Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective. Government Printing Office. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-0-16-088358-3. Retrieved 5 August 2012.