Encyclopedia Astronautica
Salyut 6 EO-6


Crew: Kovalyonok, Savinykh. Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Carried out repair and preventive maintenance work and some scientific and technical investigation and experiments. Backup crew: Andreyev, Zudov.

Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Transported to the Salyut-6 orbital station cosmonauts V V Kovalenok and V P Savinykh to carry out repairs and preventive maintenance and scientific and technical investigations and experiments. Recovered June 10, 1981 12:38 GMT.

Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)

Soyuz T-4 arrived at Salyut 6 on 13 March, 1981, having been preceded by the Progress 12 resupply craft. After unloading the Progress, it was cast off on 19 March, clearing the docking port for Soyuz 39. Soyuz 39 docked on March 23 with the first Mongolian cosmonaut aboard. The EO-6 crew assisted the Intercosmos crew with station equipment and oriented the station according to the needs of the Visiting Expedition's experiments. On March 24 the cosmonauts installed cosmic ray detectors in the work and transfer compartments. On March 26 the cosmonauts performed the Illyuminator ('viewing port') experiment, which studied the degradation of the station's viewports. On March 27 Kovalyonok and Savinykh used the Gologramma ('hologram') apparatus to image a viewing port damaged by micrometeoroids. They repeated this March 28, when they also collected samples of the station's air and microflora and removed the cosmic ray detectors for return to Earth. March 28-29 were largely devoted to studies of Mongolia from space. The Visiting Expedition crew checked out their spacecraft on March 29. The Soviet news service Tass noted that by March 29 Salyut 6 had conducted 20,140 revolutions of Earth. The visiting crew departed the next day, leaving the EO-4 crew alone aboard the station until May 15, 1981

On theat day, Soyuz 40 arrived. This was the last flight of the Soyuz ferry model and the last Soyuz spacecraft to dock with Salyut 6. It also ended the first phase of the Intercosmos program by carrying Romanian cosmonaut Dumitriu Prunariu and Soviet cosmonaut Leonid Popov to the station. Prunariu studied Earth's magnetic field. Earth observations had to be delayed until the last day of his flight, when Salyut 6 at last passed over Romania in daylight. During this time the crew also tested the station's orientation system.

The EO-4 crew departed on May 26, leaving the Soyuz T orbital module attached to the station for five days. This procedure was first followed on Soyuz-T 3, though then the module was left attached to the station for only a few hours. Although without a crew, Salyut 6 continued to set space milestones. On 19 June, 1981, Cosmos 1267 docked with the station. Cosmos 1267 was the FGB component of the first TKS manned ferry vehicle launched without a crew on April 25, 1981. Its VA return capsule had separated and landed in the Soviet Union on May 26.

Thereafter Salyut 6 was held in reserve. Salyut 6's replacement, Salyut 7, was launched on April 19, 1982. Salyut 6 remained in orbit, still docked to Cosmos 1267, at an average altitude of 385 km. The aged laboratory remained in orbit until after the conclusion of the joint Franco-Soviet mission to Salyut 7 (June 24-July 2), then was deorbited using the engines on Cosmos 1267. It may have been kept in orbit as a backup for the Franco-Soviet mission in the event Salyut 7 failed or had its launch delayed. Sending Chretien to Salyut 7 seems to have represented a change in plans -- in 1979, a French publication had quoted Vladimir Shatalov, head of cosmonaut training, as saying that a French cosmonaut would visit Salyut 6. The same publication stated in 1981 that Cosmos 1267 had been scheduled to be undocked from Salyut 6 to make ready for the joint Franco-Soviet crew, but that it was more likely that they would dock with Salyut 7.

AKA: Foton (Photon ); Soyuz T-4.
First Launch: 1981.03.12.
Last Launch: 1981.05.26.
Duration: 74.73 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Savinykh Savinykh, Viktor Petrovich (1940-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-6, Salyut 7 EO-4-1a, Mir EP-2. More...
  • Andreyev Andreyev, Boris Dmitriyevich (1940-) Russian engineer cosmonaut, 1972-1983. Off flight roster for medical reasons. Civilian Engineer, Korolev OKB More...
  • Zudov Zudov, Vyacheslav Dmitriyevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 23. More...
  • Kovalyonok Kovalyonok, Vladimir Vasilyevich (1942-) Belarusian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 25, Salyut 6 EO-2, Salyut 6 EO-6. More...

See also
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...

Salyut 6 EO-6 Chronology


1981 March 12 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz T-4 - . Call Sign: Foton (Photon ). Crew: Kovalyonok; Savinykh. Backup Crew: Andreyev; Zudov. Payload: Soyuz T s/n 10L. Mass: 6,850 kg (15,100 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kovalyonok; Savinykh; Andreyev; Zudov. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Salyut 6 EO-6. Spacecraft: Soyuz T. Duration: 74.73 days. Decay Date: 1981-05-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 12334 . COSPAR: 1981-023A. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi). Perigee: 201 km (124 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Summary: Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Transported to the Salyut-6 orbital station cosmonauts V V Kovalenok and V P Savinykh to carry out repairs and preventive maintenance and scientific and technical investigations and experiments..

1981 March 22 - . 14:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz 39 - . Call Sign: Pamir (Pamir mountains). Crew: Dzhanibekov; Gurragcha. Backup Crew: Ganzorig; Lyakhov. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T s/n 55. Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dzhanibekov; Gurragcha; Ganzorig; Lyakhov. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Salyut 6 EP-9; Salyut 6 EO-6. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. Duration: 7.86 days. Decay Date: 1981-03-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 12366 . COSPAR: 1981-029A. Apogee: 249 km (154 mi). Perigee: 198 km (123 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Transported to the Salyut-6 orbital station the eighth international crew under the INTERCOSMOS programme, comprising V A Dzhanibekov (USSR) and Z. Gurragchi (Mongolian People's Republic) to conduct scientific investigations and experiments.

1981 March 30 - .
1981 May 14 - . 17:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz 40 - . Call Sign: Dnepr (Dnieper ). Crew: Popov; Prunariu. Backup Crew: Dediu; Romanenko. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T s/n 56. Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Popov; Prunariu; Dediu; Romanenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Salyut 6 EP-10; Salyut 6 EO-6. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. Duration: 7.86 days. Decay Date: 1981-05-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 12454 . COSPAR: 1981-042A. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi). Perigee: 192 km (119 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.10 min. Summary: Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Transported to the Salyut-6 orbital station the ninth international crew under the INTERCOSMOS programme, comprising L I Popov (USSR), and D. Prunariu (Romania), to conduct scientific research and experiments..

1981 May 22 - .
1981 May 26 - .
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