The road to recovery

The programme was immediately suspended for a thorough safety overhaul, adding to the woes of the Soviet lunar effort. It was to be 18 months before a Soyuz took to the skies again, in October 1968. This was Soyuz 2, an unmanned vehicle that would act as a rendezvous

DOCKING IN SPACE

Soyuz 4 Commander Vladimir Shatalov demonstrates how Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 met in Earth orbit in January 1969 - the first time that two piloted spacecraft docked in space.

target for Georgi Beregovoi, launched aboard Soyuz 3 the next day. After achieving the mission's limited aim of testing the spacecraft's manoeuvring and rendezvous systems, Beregovoi returned to Earth safely four days after launch, and the Soyuz programme began to inspire some confidence.

The following January, a joint flight of Soyuz 4 and 5 finally achieved the aims of the original Soyuz 1 mission. The two spacecraft rendezvoused and docked in orbit, and Yevgeny Khrunov and Alexei Yeliseyev spacewalked from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4, joining their comrade Vladimir Shatalov for the return to Earth, while Boris Volynov came home alone aboard Soyuz 5. The transfer was another indication of the spacecraft's versatility - the orbital module could be sealed off from the descent module and drained of air before an external hatch was opened for spacewalk access - effectively, it was functioning as a large airlock.

The next Soyuz mission, in October 1969, was an ambitious group flight of three spacecraft. The intention was for Soyuz 7 and 8 to dock while the crew of Soyuz 6 filmed the manoeuvre. The rendezvous in orbit went well, but faults in the spacecraft electronics prevented the docking, and the three crews returned to Earth. Soyuz 9, launched in June 1970, set a new space endurance record, of 18 days, for its two-man crew. HW This was intended to be the last independent Soyuz mission - flights H^L^ would now rendezvous with the new Salyut

EATING BREAKFAST

Andrian Nikolayev samples breakfast aboard Soyuz 9. When the cosmonauts landed after 18 days, they were weakened by their experience, though they mode a good recovery. Later flights showed that longer stays would allow the body to adapt better and that if they exercised properly the cosmonauts would actually return in better shape.

16 January 1969

Soyuz 4 and 5 rendezvous and dock in orbit, transferring crew between spacecraft during a spacewalk.

14 October 1969

Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 conduct the first rendezvous between three spacecraft in orbit, but Soyuz 7 and 8 fail to dock.

1 June 1970

Soyuz 9 is launched on an 18-day endurance mission for its crew.

TECHNOLOGY

THE SOYUZ ROCKET

The Soyuz spacecraft was considerably heavier than previous Soviet manned spacecraft. In order to lift it to orbit, Korolev's bureau developed a modified version of the R-7, which by the mid-1960s was an established, trustworthy launch vehicle. Like the Vostok rocket, the Soyuz has two main stages with four boosters around the lower stage - the main difference is that in this case the upper stage was provided with a more powerful engine. Despite its age, the launcher's reliability has ensured that it remains in service today.

space stations.

ZARYA CALLING

Controllers and visiting family members at Baikonur's Spaceflight Control Centre (often known by its callsign Zarya, meaning "Sunrise") take advantage of a brief communication window during the Soyuz 9 mission.

18 October 1965

The Soyuz programme is reoriented to the development of a smaller Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

23 April 1968

Soyuz 1 runs into trouble after launch and plans to rendezvous with another Soyuz are cancelled.

23 April 1968

Vladimir Komarov is killed when Soyuz 1's parachute fails after re-entry.

26 October 1968

Georgi Beregovoi is launched aboard Soyuz 3 on a mission to rendezvous with the unmanned Soyuz 2.

18 October 1965

The Soyuz programme is reoriented to the development of a smaller Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

23 April 1968

Soyuz 1 runs into trouble after launch and plans to rendezvous with another Soyuz are cancelled.

23 April 1968

Vladimir Komarov is killed when Soyuz 1's parachute fails after re-entry.

26 October 1968

Georgi Beregovoi is launched aboard Soyuz 3 on a mission to rendezvous with the unmanned Soyuz 2.

1984

1985 ¡986

1987

1988

1989

1984

1985 ¡986

1987

1988

1989

antenna short-range radar transponder for docking electrical interface

DOCKING IN SPACE

In January 1969, Soyuz 5 loomed large in the porthole of Vladimir Shotalov's Soyuz 4 spacecraft, moments before the first docking of two manned vehicles in space. Shatalov picked up two passengers from Soyuz 5, but they hod to space walk between the orbital modules in order to reach him.

solar array span maximum diameter 2.72m (8ft 11in)

docking assembly storage

Orbital Module control console compartments fold-away work areas ionic tracker solar array rendezvous and attitude-control thrusters search radar transponder

SOYUZ 7K-OK SPACECRAFT

The Soyuz had a modular three-part design, with a Descent Module for use in launch and landing, an Orbital Module for use in space, and a Service Module for propulsion, which also supplied power through solar arrays.

crew seating window

DOCKING PROBE

Soyuz spacecraft dock using a long probe that is inserted into a cone-like target mechanism on the other vehicle. The probe is then retracted, triggering latches that pull the spacecraft back in to form an airtight seal.

length 7.95m (26ft lin)

weight at launch weight at landing crew engine manufacturer

1 x main engine: nitric acid/ hydrazine; 36 x RCS thrusters: hydrogen peroxide

Korolev (OKB-1)

TECHNOLOGY

RUSSIA'S MULTI-PURPOSE SPACECRAFT

FLIGHT CONTROLS

Soyuz was the first Soviet spacecraft with its own propulsion, enabling it to change its orbit and make other manoeuvres in space. An increasingly sophisticated Igla rendezvous system used radio signals to guide the Soyuz to words a docking target. The more recent Kurs system allows the entire process to take place automatically and is used on Progress, the Soyuz-derived unmanned ferry (see p. 210).

0 0

Post a comment