Encyclopedia Astronautica
Salyut 6

Salyut 6
The Salyut 6 station as displayed in Moscow, November 1981. At the aft end a Progress resupply craft is docked. At the forward docking station is a Soyuz spacecraft, representing Soyuz 34 according to the lettering on the side. Unusually, the Soyuz Ferry (7K-T) spacecraft is shown with solar panels, which was thought never to be the case by Western observers.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Salyut 6 KRT-10
Salyut 6 KRT-10 deployment
Credit: RKK Energia
Salyut 6 Engines
Close-up of the engines of Salyut 6 as displayed in Moscow in 1981.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Salyut 6 in Assembly
Salyut 6 in Assembly Hall
Credit: RKK Energia
Salyut 6 model
Salyut 6 model showing cosmonaut on treadmill and bulk of solar camera on the right
Credit: © Mark Wade
Salyut 6 In Space
Credit: RKK Energia
Salyut 6 Cutaway
The Salyut 6 space station was the first evolved design with two docking ports.
Credit: RKK Energia
Salyut 6
Salyut 6 as displayed in Moscow in 1981.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Salyut 6 Poster
Russian manned space station. One launch, 1977.09.29. The Salyut 6 space station was the most successful of the DOS series prior to Mir. It was aloft for four years and ten months, completing 27,785 orbits of the earth.

Five main expeditions and 11 short duration expeditions visited the station, of which nine had international crews. A total of 676 days of piloted operations were conducted by 27 cosmonauts with steadily increasing flight duration: 18, 75, 96, 140, and 185 days. 35 automatic dockings were conducted with the station by 20 Soyuz, 12 Progress, and 1 TKS spacecraft.

Autopilot: Digital. Propulsion/RCS Systems: Unitary. Main propulsion 2 x 300 kgf, stabilization and orientation motors 32 x 24 kgf. Telemetry: High Rate. Rendezvous/Docking: Kurs. Equipment: - MKF-6 multispectral camera system - KT-140 high resolution topographical camera system (200,000 sq. km. per film frame) KRT-10 10 m diameter radio telescope - Splav alloying/materials processing furnace - Kristal containerless processor for semiconductor materials - BST-1M 1.5 m diameter cryogenic submillimeter/ ultraviolet/infrared telescope Refraktion and Zarya spectrometers for sun/moon views through earth's limb - Ispartitel experiment for coating of plates with materials - Yelena gamma ray telescope - Oasis plant growth unit - Polinom cardiovascular monitoring system.


Habitable Volume: 90.00 m3. RCS Coarse No x Thrust: 14 X 98 N. RCS Fine No x Thrust: 18 x 10 N. Electric System: 2.00 average kW.

AKA: 11F715.
Gross mass: 19,824 kg (43,704 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 18,624 kg (41,058 lb).
Payload: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb).
Height: 14.40 m (47.20 ft).
Span: 17.00 m (55.00 ft).
Thrust: 5.88 kN (1,322 lbf).
Specific impulse: 305 s.
First Launch: 1977.09.29.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • KRD-79 Isayev N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 3.090 kN. Salyut 6, 7and Mir orbital propulsion maneuvering engine. In Production. Probably derived from engine of propulsion system KDU-426. Pressure fed engine. More...

See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • Proton-K Russian orbital launch vehicle. Development of a three-stage version of the UR-500 was authorised in the decree of 3 August 1964. Decrees of 12 October and 11 November 1964 authorised development of the Almaz manned military space station and the manned circumlunar spacecraft LK-1 as payloads for the UR-500K. Remarkably, due to continuing failures, the 8K82K did not satisfactorily complete its state trials until its 61st launch (Salyut 6 / serial number 29501 / 29 September 1977). Thereafter it reached a level of launch reliability comparable to that of other world launch vehicles. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Salyut 6 Mishin was authorised in December 1973 to build an improved design DOS-5 version of the Salyut station using Almaz facilities. Mishin's bureau borrowed the two docking port configuration of Chelomei's Almaz OPS-2 This station's second docking port would allow rotation of crews and resupply/refueling using unmanned Progress spacecraft. More...

Associated Propellants
  • N2O4/UDMH Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
  • Clark, Philip, The Soviet Manned Space Program, Salamander Books, London, 1988.
  • Furniss, Tim, Manned Spaceflight Log, Jane's, London, 1986.
  • Oberg, James, Red Star in Orbit, Random House, New York, 1981.
  • Wilson, Keith T., "EVA Log 1965-1997", Spaceflight, 1998, Volume 40, page 85.
  • Kaesmann, Ferdinand, et. al., "Proton - Development of A Russian Launch Vehicle", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1998, Volume 51, page 3.
  • Semenov, Yu. P., S P Korolev Space Corporation Energia, RKK Energia, 1994.
  • Vladimirov, A, "Tablitsa zapuskov RN 'Proton' i 'Proton K'", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 10, page 25.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Salyut 6 Chronology

1977 September 29 - . 06:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 295-01.
  • Salyut 6 - . Payload: Zarya s/n 125 s/n 5L. Mass: 19,824 kg (43,704 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Salyut 6. Duration: 1,763.71 days. Decay Date: 1982-07-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 10382 . COSPAR: 1977-097A. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi). Perigee: 188 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Conduct of scientific and technical research and experiments; further testing of station design, on-board system and equipment. Soyuz 25 docking unsuccessful. EVA 20 Dec 1977 to examine forward docking port (no damage). EVA 29 July 1978 to retrieve externally mounted experiments (micrometeorites, biopolymers, radiation plates, materials tests). Soyuz 33 failure to dock due to propulsion failure April 1979. Soyuz 34 launched unmanned to provide replacement vehicle June 1979. EVA August 15 to dislodge 10 m diameter KRT-10 radio telescope from aft docking collar. Repair mission Soyuz T-3 December 1980 (temperature control hydraulics). Repair mission Soyuz T-4 March 1981 (stuck solar array). Salyut ejected a module on May 31 (perhaps retained Soyuz Orbital Module). Kosmos 1267 docks 19 June 1981. Commanded to reentry using Kosmos 1267 propulsion system over Pacific July 29 1982. Additional Details: here....

1977 December 19 - . 21:36 GMT - .
1978 July 29 - . 04:00 GMT - .
1979 August 15 - . 14:16 GMT - .
  • EVA Salyut 6 EO-3-1 - . Crew: Lyakhov; Ryumin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0576 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Lyakhov; Ryumin. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Salyut 6 EO-3. Spacecraft: Salyut 6. Summary: Jettisoned KRT-10 antenna from rear docking port..

1982 July 29 - .
  • Burnup of Salyut 6 Space Station (USSR) - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Salyut 6.

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