Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cosmos 997


Planned manned single-orbit flight aboard the TKS space capsule during a series of two-TKS-launched-by-one-Proton flight tests. Flown unmanned due to inability to demonstrate two consecutive failure-free launches.

Given the on-pad explosion of the LVI-2 launch attempt, plans to crew the upper VA re-entry capsule in the next test was abandoned. LVI-3 (VA's 102P and 102L / Cosmos 997 and Cosmos 998) was launched unmanned four months behind the original schedule. Both capsules were recovered after one orbit. One source indicates that one of the capsules was 009P, on its third launch and second flight to orbit. This was said to have demonstrated the multiple re-entry capability of the heat shield and the first planned reuse of a spacecraft (Gemini 2 was refurbished and reflown as MOL-1 in the 1960's, but was not designed for that purpose).

First Launch: 1978.03.30.

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Associated Countries
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Associated Programs
  • Almaz The only manned military space station to have ever flown, it served only to prove that manned stations provided no cost-effective substitute to unmanned military satellites. Derivatives of the design continue in service into the 21st Century as modules of the Salyut, Mir, and International Space Stations. More...

Cosmos 997 Chronology


1978 March 30 - . 00:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. Launch Pad: LC81/24?. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 292-01.
  • Cosmos 997 - . Payload: TKS VA s/n 102L. Mass: 4,250 kg (9,360 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Cosmos 997. Spacecraft: TKS VA . Decay Date: 1978-03-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 10770 . COSPAR: 1978-032A. Apogee: 230 km (140 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Given the on-pad explosion of the LVI-2 launch attempt, plans to crew the upper VA re-entry capsule in the next test was abandoned. LVI-3 (VA's 102P and 102L / Cosmos 997 and Cosmos 998) was launched unmanned four months behind the original schedule. Both capsules were recovered after one orbit. One source indicates that one of the capsules was 009P, on its third launch and second flight to orbit. This was said to have demonstrated the multiple re-entry capability of the heat shield and the first planned reuse of a spacecraft (Gemini 2 was refurbished and reflown as MOL-1 in the 1960's, but was not designed for that purpose).

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