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Soyuz 11



Soyuz 11 was piloted by Commander of the Spacecraft Dobrovolski, Flight Engineer Volkov, and Research Engineer Patsayev. The callsign Yantar (amber) was used. During the first day of flight, maneuvers were made to effect a rendezvous with the unmanned Salyut (71-032A). When Soyuz 11 was 6 to 7 km from Salyut, automatic devices took over and in 24 min closed the gap between the two ships to 9 m and reduced the relative speed difference to 0.2 m/sec. Control of the ships went from automatic back to manual at 100 m. Docking took 3 hr 19 min to complete and involved making the connection mechanically rigid, engaging various electrical and hydraulic links, and establishing air-tight seals before locks could be opened. When the pressure was equalized between the ships, the locks were opened and all three members of the crew passed into Salyut and remained there for 22 days. On June 29 the crew loaded scientific specimens, films, tapes, and other gear into Soyuz 11, then transferred manual control back from Salyut to Soyuz 11 and returned to their ferry craft. Undocking occurred at 1828 UT. Soyuz 11 flew co-orbit for a while, and retrofired at 2235 UT. The work compartment and service module were routinely cast off prior to entering the dense atmosphere. Radio communications abruptly ended at the moment of separating the work compartment (about 2247 UT), before the normal ionospheric blackout. Automatic systems landed the craft safely at approximately 2317 UT. Total flight duration of the crew was 570.22 hr and involved 383 orbits -- 18 prior to docking, 362 docked, and 3 after undocking. On reaching the landing site and opening the hatch, the helicopter rescue crew discovered all three men dead in their seats. The official investigation results showed that the men died of pulmonary embolisms when the imperfect seal of the hatch between their command module and work compartment permitted the air supply to evacuate in the seconds after the two crafts separated.

Alternate Names

  • 05283
  • Soyuz11

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1971-06-06
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation (Longer) Upper Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 6565 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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