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Soyuz 4



Soyuz 4, piloted by pilot-cosmonaut Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir A. Shatalov, was the first manned spacecraft to be launched by the U.S.S.R. during the winter and had an enhanced water-landing capability. On January 16, during its 34th orbit, Soyuz 4 began a docking exercise with Soyuz 5, which was on its 18th orbit. When the automatic system had brought the ships within 99 m of one another, a manual approach of Soyuz 4 was completed. While docked, the ships completely interlocked controls, power, and telephones. On the 51st orbit of Soyuz 4, cosmonauts Ye. V. Khrunov and A. S. Yeliseyev of Soyuz 5 passed into the orbital work compartment of their ship, donned pressure suits, opened the outer hatch, and floated and climbed hand over hand using handrails from Soyuz 5 through the opened hatch and into Soyuz 4. TV cameras recorded coverage of the whole procedure, both inside and outside the ships. The two ships remained docked for 4 hr and 35 min and were hailed in Soviet announcements as the world's first space station. Soyuz 4 returned to earth after 3 days, carrying a crew of three men instead of one.

Alternate Names

  • 03654
  • Soyuz4

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1969-01-14
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation (Longer) Upper Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 6000 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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