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The Interkosmos crest.

Interkosmos (Russian: Интеркосмос) was a Soviet space program, designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with crewed and uncrewed space missions.

The program included the allied east-European nations of the Warsaw Pact, CoMEcon, and other socialist nations like Afghanistan, Cuba, Mongolia, and Vietnam. In addition, pro-Soviet non-aligned nations such as India and Syria participated, and even France and Austria, despite them being capitalist nations.[1][2]

Following the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, there were talks between NASA and Interkosmos in the 1970s about a "Shuttle-Salyut" program to fly Space Shuttle missions to a Salyut space station, with later talks in the 1980s even considering flights of the future Soviet shuttles from the Buran programme to a future US space station.[3] Whilst the Shuttle-Salyut program never materialized during the existence of the Soviet Interkosmos program, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Shuttle–Mir Program would follow in these footsteps and pave the way to the International Space Station.

Beginning in April 1967 with uncrewed research satellite missions, the first crewed Interkosmos mission occurred in February 1978.[2] So called joint crewed spaceflights enabled 14 non-Soviet cosmonauts to participate in Soyuz space flights between 1978 and 1988. The program was responsible for sending into space the first citizen of a country other than the USA or USSR: Vladimír Remek of Czechoslovakia.[1] Interkosmos also resulted in the first black and Hispanic person in space, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez of Cuba, and the first Southeast Asian person in space, Phạm Tuân of Vietnam. Of the countries involved, only Bulgaria sent two cosmonauts in space, although the second one did not fly under the Interkosmos program, and the French spationaut, Jean-Loup Chrétien, flew on two separate flights. The Soviet Union also made offers of joint crewed spaceflight on a commercial basis to the United Kingdom, Japan and Finland resulting in the first British and Japanese cosmonauts.

The crewed Interkosmos and similar missions also had political goals as a means of strengthening Soviet relations with the Warsaw Pact and other Soviet-friendly nations when evidence of discontent in them was raising its head.

Crewed missions[edit]

  Human spaceflight provider
Date Prime Backup Country Mission Space station
March 2, 1978 VladimirRemek.jpg Vladimír Remek[4] Oldřich Pelčák


Soyuz 28
Soyuz 28 mission patch.svg
Salyut 6
June 27, 1978 Miroslaw H.jpg Mirosław Hermaszewski Zenon Jankowski


Soyuz 30
Soyuz 30 mission patch.svg
Salyut 6
August 26, 1978 Sigmund Jahn cropped.jpg Sigmund Jähn Eberhard Köllner


Soyuz 31
Soyuz 31 mission patch.svg
Salyut 6
April 10, 1979 Georgi Ivanov detail.png Georgi Ivanov Aleksandr Aleksandrov


Soyuz 33
Soyuz-33 patch.png
Salyut 6
(Docking failed)
May 26, 1980 Bertalan Farkas (Author - Rudolf Csiba).jpg Bertalan Farkas Béla Magyari


Soyuz 36
Soyuz36 patch.png
Salyut 6
July 23, 1980 TUÂN PHAM.JPG Phạm Tuân Bùi Thanh Liêm


Soyuz 37
Soyuz37 patch.png
Salyut 6
September 18, 1980 Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez José López Falcón


Soyuz 38
Soyuz38 patch.png
Salyut 6
March 23, 1981 Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa.jpeg Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa Maidarjavyn Ganzorig


Soyuz 39
Soyuz39 patch.png
Salyut 6
May 14, 1981 Stamp of Moldova md389.jpg Dumitru Prunariu Dumitru Dediu


Soyuz 40
Soyuz 40 mission patch.svg
Salyut 6
June 24, 1982 Chretien.jpg Jean-Loup Chrétien Patrick Baudry


Soyuz T-6
Soyuz T-6 mission patch.png
Salyut 7
April 2, 1984 Rakesh sharma.jpg Rakesh Sharma Ravish Malhotra


Soyuz T-11
Soyuz T-11 mission patch.gif
Salyut 7
July 22, 1987 Muhammed Ahmed Faris.jpg Muhammed Ahmed Faris Munir Habib Habib


Soyuz TM-3
Soyuz TM-3 mission patch.svg
July 6, 1988 Александр Александров Панайотов.JPG Aleksandr Aleksandrov Krasimir Stoyanov


Soyuz TM-5
Soyuz TM-5 mission patch.svg
August 29, 1988 Abdul Ahad Mohmand[5] Mohammad Dauran Ghulam Masum


Soyuz TM-6
Soyuz TM-6 patch.svg
November 26, 1988 Chretien.jpg Jean-Loup Chrétien Michel Tognini


Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7 patch.png

Uncrewed missions[edit]

East German postage stamp
  • 1970 November 28 - Vertikal-1 Aeronomy/Ionosphere/Solar mission.
  • 1971 August 20 - Vertikal-2 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1972 April 7 - Interkosmos 6 - Investigation of primary cosmic radiation and meteoritic particles in near-earth outer space.
  • 1973 April 4 - Interkosmos 9 "Copernicus-500" - satellite of cooperation of the Polish People's Republic and Soviet Union to study the Sun and ionosphere. Orbit around 200–1550 km.
  • 1975 June 3 - Interkosmos 14
  • 1975 September 2 - Vertikal-3 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1976 - Re-entry Vehicle Test mission.
  • 1976 June 19 - Interkosmos 15. Testing of new systems and components of satellite under space flight conditions.
  • 1977 March 29 - Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
  • 1977 June 17 - Signe 3 - Twenty French specialists worked on the satellite.
  • 1977 August 30 - Vertikal-5 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1977 September 24 - Interkosmos 17 - Investigation of energetic charged and neutral particles and micrometeorite fluxes in circumterrestrial space.
  • 1977 October 25 - Vertikal-6 Ionosphere/Solar mission?.
  • 1978 October 24 - Interkosmos 18 - Conduct of complex investigations on the interaction between the magnetosphere and ionosphere of the earth. Cooperation with the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic, the Polish People's Republic and the Socialist Republic of Romania.
  • 1978 October 24 - Magion 1 - The Czechoslovak satellite MAGION was launched into orbit by the Soviet spacecraft Interkosmos 18
  • 1978 November 3 - Vertikal-7 Ionosphere/Solar mission
  • 1979 February 27 - Interkosmos 19 - Cooperation with the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic and the Polish People's Republic.
  • 1979 September 26 - Vertikal-8 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1979 November 1 - Interkosmos 20. (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic and the Socialist Republic of Romania).
  • 1981 - Re-entry Vehicle Test mission.
A commemorative coin issued in Mongolia
  • 1981 February 6 - Interkosmos 21 - (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic and the Socialist Republic of Romania)
  • 1981 August 7 - Interkosmos 22 "Bulgaria-1300" (People's Republic of Bulgaria).
  • 1981 August 28 - Vertikal-9 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1981 September 21 - Oreol 3 - Developed by Soviet and French specialists under the joint Soviet-French project 'Arkad-3'.
  • 1985 April 26 - Interkosmos 23 - Developed by scientists and specialists of the USSR and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
  • 1986 December 18 - Kosmos 1809
  • 1989 September 28 - Magion 2 - Magion 2 forms a part of the scientific programme of Interkosmos 24 (project Aktivnyj) Execution of the scientific programme of the 'Aktivny' project in conjunction with Interkosmos-24, permitting simultaneous spatially separating investigations of plasma processes in circumterrestrial space.
  • 1989 September 28 - Interkosmos 24 - US participation, in cooperation with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania (the international scientific project entitled 'Aktivny'). Carrying the Czechoslovak Magion-2 satellite.
  • 1991 December 18 - Interkosmos 25 - experiments from Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary. Comprehensive study of the effects of artificial impact of modulated electron flows and plasma beams on the ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth (forming part of the Apex international scientific project, conducted jointly with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania.)
  • 1991 December 28 - Magion 3 [1]
  • 1994 March 2 - Interkosmos 26 - Conduct of comprehensive investigations of the sun under the Coronas-I international project developed by Russian and Ukrainian experiments in cooperation with specialists from Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Bulgaria, France, and the United Kingdom.

See also[edit]


In general, most of the films associated with programs are propaganda short TV documents and relations from that era. The two exceptions include (largely fictionalised) Interkosmos from 2006, and cooperation document from 2009 (in Polish) titled "Lotnicy Kosmonauci"("Aviators-Cosmonauts").[6]


  1. ^ a b Sheehan, Michael (2007). The international politics of space. London: Routledge. pp. 59–61. ISBN 0-415-39917-3.
  2. ^ a b Burgess, Colin; Hall, Rex (2008). The first Soviet cosmonaut team: their lives, legacy, and historical impact. Berlin: Springer. p. 331. ISBN 0-387-84823-1.
  3. ^ Wikisource:Mir Hardware Heritage/Part 2 - Almaz, Salyut, and Mir#2.1.6 Shuttle-Salyut .281973-1978.3B 1980s.29
  4. ^ Roberts, Andrew Lawrence (2005). From Good King Wenceslas to the Good Soldier Švejk: a dictionary of Czech popular culture. Budapest: Central European University Press. p. 141. ISBN 963-7326-26-X.
  5. ^ Bunch, Bryan; Hellemans, Alexander (2004). The history of science and technology: a browser's guide to the great discoveries, inventions, and the people who made them, from the dawn of time to today. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 679. ISBN 0-618-22123-9.
  6. ^ "FilmPolski". Retrieved 10 August 2017.