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Salyut 7



Salyut 7 was a second-generation Soviet space station. Its overall structure and operational activities were very similar to Salyut 6. It had two docking ports, one on either end of the station, to allow docking with the Progress unmanned resupply craft, and a wider front docking port to allow safer docking with a Heavy Cosmos module. It carried three solar panels, two in lateral and one in dorsal longitudinal positions, but they now had the ability to mount secondary panels on their sides. Internally, the Salyut 7 carried electric stoves, a refrigerator, constant hot water and redesigned seats at the command console (more like bicycle seats). Two portholes were designed to allow ultraviolet light in, to help kill infections. Further, the medical, biological and exercise sections were improved, to allow long stays in the station. The BST-1M telescope used in Salyut 6 was replaced by an X-ray detection system. Following up the use of Cosmos 1267 on Salyut 6, the Soviets launched Cosmos 1443 on March 2, 1983, from a Proton SL-13. It docked with the station on March 10, and was used by the crew of Soyuz-T 9. It jettisoned its recovery module on August 23, and re-entered the atmosphere on September 19. Cosmos 1686 was launched on September 27, 1985, docking with the station on October 2. It did not carry a recovery vehicle, and remained connected to the station for use by the crew of Soyuz-T 14. Ten Soyuz-T crews operated in Salyut 7. Only two InterCosmos "guest cosmonauts" worked in Salyut 7. Soyuz-T 10 was aborted on the launch pad when a fire broke out at the base of the vehicle. The payload was ejected, and the crew was recovered safely.

Salyut 7 had six resident crews. The first crew, Anatoli Berezovoi and Valentin Lebedev, arrived on 13 May 1982 on Soyuz T5 and remained for 211 days until 10 Dec. 1982. On 27 June 1983 the crew of Vladimir Lyakhov and Alexander Alexandrov arrived on Soyuz T9 and remained for 150 days, until 23 Nov. 1983. On 8 February 1984 Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov, and Oleg Atkov began a 237 day stay, the longest on Salyut 7, which ended on 2 Oct. 1984. Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Victor Savinyikh (Soyuz T13) arrived at the space station on 6 June 1985. On 17 Sept. 1985 Soyuz T14 docked with the station carrying Vladimir Vasyutin, Alexander Volkov, and Georgi Grechko. Eight days later Dzhanibekov and Grechko left the station and returned to Earth, while Savinyikh, Vasyutin, and Volkov remained on Salyut 7 and returned to Earth on 21 Nov. 1985. On 6 May 1986 Soyuz T15 carrying Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov docked with the space station. The Soyuz had come from the Mir space station and returned to Mir after a few days on Salyut. There were also four visiting missions, crews which came to bring supplies and make shorter duration visits with the resident crews.

Alternate Names

  • 13138
  • Salyut7

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1982-04-19
Launch Vehicle: Proton Booster Plus Upper Stage and Escape Stages
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 18900 kg

Funding Agency

  • Soviet Academy of Sciences (U.S.S.R)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Selected References

  • Harvey, B., The new Russian space programme from competition to collaboration, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, England, 1996.
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