Soyuz T-8

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Soyuz T-8
Mission duration 2 days, 17 minutes, 48 seconds
Orbits completed 32
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Soyuz-T
Manufacturer NPO Energia
Launch mass 6,850 kilograms (15,100 lb)
Crew
Crew size 3
Members Vladimir Titov
Gennady Strekalov
Aleksandr Serebrov
Callsign Okean (Ocean)
Start of mission
Launch date April 20, 1983, 13:10:54 (1983-04-20UTC13:10:54Z) UTC
Rocket Soyuz-U
Launch site Baikonur 1/5
End of mission
Landing date April 22, 1983, 13:28:42 (1983-04-22UTC13:28:43Z) UTC
Landing site 60 kilometres (37 mi) NE of Arkalyk
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 200 kilometres (120 mi)
Apogee 230 kilometres (140 mi)
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Period 88.6 minutes

Soyuz programme
(Manned missions)
← Soyuz T-7 Soyuz T-9

Soyuz T-8 was a manned mission to the Salyut 7 space station in 1983. Shortly into the mission, the spacecraft failed to dock with the space station due to an incident involving an antenna being torn off the craft by the protective launch shroud. After a fuel-consuming attempt made in darkness for an optical rendezvous with Salyut 7 resulted in an abort in order to avoid collision, it was decided to de-orbit T-8 two days into the mission in order to ensure that the spacecraft had a sufficient amount of propellant for the de-orbit maneuver. After de-orbiting, landing of the craft occurred normally.

Crew[edit]

Position Crew
Commander Vladimir Titov
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer Gennady Strekalov
Second spaceflight
Research Cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebrov
Second spaceflight

Backup crew[edit]

Position Crew
Commander Vladimir Lyakhov
Flight Engineer Aleksandr Aleksandrov
Research Cosmonaut Viktor Savinykh

Mission parameters[edit]

  • Mass: 6850 kg
  • Perigee: 200 km
  • Apogee: 230 km
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Period: 88.6 minutes

Mission highlights[edit]

Failed to dock with Salyut 7 due to problems with automated docking system. First failure to dock at a space station since Soyuz 33 in 1979.

Once in orbit the Soyuz rendezvous radar antenna boom failed to deploy properly. Several attitude control maneuvers at high rates were made but failed to swing the boom out. (The postflight inquiry later discovered that the antenna had been torn off when the Soyuz payload shroud separated.) The crew believed the boom remained attached to the spacecraft’s orbital module, and that it had not locked into place. Accordingly, they shook the spacecraft using its attitude thrusters in an effort to rock it forward so it could lock. With FCC permission, the crew attempted a rendezvous using only an optical sight and ground radar inputs for guidance. During the final approach, which was made in darkness, Titov believed that the closing speed was too great. He therefore attempted a braking maneuver, but felt that the two spacecraft were still closing too fast. He aborted the rendezvous to avoid a crash, and no further attempts were made. The abortive docking attempts consumed much propellant. To ensure that enough would remain to permit deorbit, the cosmonauts shut down the attitude control system and put Soyuz T-8 into a spinstabilized mode of the type used by Soyuz Ferries in the early 1970s. The three men returned to Earth after a flight lasting just 2 days, 17 minutes, 48 seconds and landing occurred as normal.