Soyuz 5

Soyuz 5 is the mission name for the flight of a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. It was the fourth manned flight of a Soyuz spacecraft and the 13th flight in the Soviet Sojusprogramm.

  • 2.1 spacewalk
  • 2.2 return
  • 2.3 Miscellaneous


Start crew

  • Boris Valentinovich Wolynow ( first space flight), Commander
  • Yevgeny Vasilyevich Khrunov ( first space flight), flight engineer
  • Alexei Stanislavovich Jelissejew ( first space flight), flight engineer

Wolynow had previously been substitute on several missions. Khrunov and Jelissejew (and their replacements Gorbatko and Kubasov ) had already trained the transfers from one spacecraft to another for the canceled flight Soyuz 2A in 1967.

Replacement crew

  • Anatoly Vasilyevich Filipchenko
  • Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko
  • Valeri Nikolayevich Kubasov

The support team consisted of Anatoli Petrovich Kuklin, Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov and Pyotr Ivanovich Kolodin.

Return crew

  • Boris Valentinovich Wolynow ( first space flight), Commander

Mission overview

Soyuz 5 was part of a composite mission with Soyuz 4 The two Soviet spaceships were together in space with a total of four cosmonauts on board.

The two spacecraft docked on 16 January 1969. It was the first coupling of two manned spacecraft in space history. Both spacecraft were electrically and mechanically connected to each other, but had no access hatch to the other spacecraft. The Soviet news agency TASS wrote: " ... it was a mutual coupling of the two ships ... and their circuits were connected. Therefore, the world's first experimental space station from four departments was assembled for the crew and started to work ... "

Alexei Eliseev and Yevgeny Khrunov began immediately after the coupling to prepare for the Weltraumaustieg. Boris Wolynow, who remained on board of Soyuz 5, filmed, as his two colleagues docked Jastreb space suits.


  • Participants: Khrunov and Jelissejew
  • Start: January 16, 1969, 12:38 UTC
  • End: January 16, 1969, 01:15 UTC
  • Duration: 37 min

During the mission, part of the planned Soviet Moon landing should be performed. The Soviet television broadcast the live preparations for spacewalk. Jelissejew and Khrunov drew their " Jastreb " suits in the orbital module of Soyuz 5 with the help of the commander Boris Wolynow. With the development of " Jastreb " space suits was started in 1965 shortly after Alexei Leonov problematic first spacewalk. Leonov was a consultant with during development, which was completed in 1966. The preparation and the test was carried out in 1967, but the accident with Soyuz 1 and the coupling problems of Soyuz 2 and Soyuz 3 in October 1968 moved the first use in space up to this mission. To overcome the problems that have made the exit Leonov so problematic, used the " Jastreb " Suits a rope -roll joint system. Large metal rings around the made ​​of nylon fabric undersuit served as an anchor for the upper joints. The suit had a regenerative life support system is in a white metal box on the abdomen of the suit. Wolynow checked the life support and communication systems of the two cosmonauts suits before he returned to the command module, closed the connection and the orbital module hatch decompressed.

During the 35th orbit both cosmonauts got out. It was only the second Soviet spacewalk ever. At the exit there Chrunows tethers tangled and he accidentally turned his suit of ventilation. This distracted Jelissejew and he forgot to turn on the film camera before he left the orbital module. Therefore, there is of this historic spacewalk just a bad video recording and no filming.

Khrunov then moved first to the orbital module of Soyuz 4, when the two spaceships over South America and so out of radio contact to ground station were. Jelissejew increased when the complex was located over the Soviet Union. In the orbital module of Soyuz 4 arrived, they closed the hatch behind him. The commander Vladimir Shatalov put the cabin pressure restores and saved them out of their suits. Khrunov and Jelissejew brought newspapers, letters and telegrams that had been printed by Schatalows start, as evidence that the transfer had really taken place.

After both ships were coupled for four hours and 35 minutes together, they separated again and began separate descents.

This mission demonstrated the possibility that the necessary for the Soviet lunar program steps in space were executed. The plan called for a single cosmonaut, who arrived on an exit from the lander back to the spaceship. Unlike the Apollo spacecraft had the Soviet model no connecting tunnel between the landing and command module.


After undocking of Soyuz 4 Soyuz 5 Wolynow stayed in for a while in the cosmos, only to return in a spectacular re-entry maneuver to earth. For this pilot Wolynow tested a manual orientation of the spacecraft for later braking ignition. He succeeded in a test in space, but not in the two trials ( 8:50 clock and 10:20 clock ) for the actual braking maneuvers which he triggered the imaginary emergency autoland, which in turn a descent on a ballistic curve with 9 g instead of 3 g deceleration meant. But it got even worse. After the end of the braking maneuver indeed lit the pyrotechnics for separating the service module (whose power is too weak now suspected as the cause of the problem ), but this did not separate completely from the return module and as the spacecraft lurched dangerously. For a demolition it was now too late. This issue was already on some Vostok, Voskhod - as well as a Mercury mission, but in this case was a much more serious problem for the pilot, because the service module of the Soyuz is much larger than it was in the previous types. Unfortunately, at this time was also chief engineer Vasily Mishin was absent because he was still in honor of coupling a day before sleeping off his intoxication of the banquet and only eleven clock appeared in the control room. When the Soyuz landing capsule plunged into the atmosphere, the partially coherent spacecraft sought the aerodynamically stable position - ahead with the nose. This means that the heavy return module was exposed above the unprotected side of the air resistance. The seals of the forward rails Luke began to burn, filling the landing capsule with toxic vapors. The braking acceleration expressed Wolynow who was not wearing a pressure suit, against the straps, rather than in its upholstered seat This tried in this situation, yet the important records from the coupling course save by tucking it into its seat in the hope that these suspected in coming catastrophe lived there. On the tape recordings with Wolynows protocol was heard next the crash of the explosion of the fuel tanks of the device section of what the hatch bulged inwards, but they nevertheless withstood. Also the braking rockets return module that should normally slow down the re-entry did not work (although the automatic indicating this ), because their fuel from the computer had been in a vain attempt to compensate for the swaying movements, consumed.

Fortunately, broke or burned the connecting struts between return and service module before the hatch broke, as the thermal and aerodynamic load increased. The return capsule was directed immediately to the heat- protected page to the front of.

Another problem for Wolynow was that the parachute ropes were partially entangled, the screen but still at least partially unfolded and the (probably in the unfortunate descent damaged ) landing rockets were not working properly. The cosmonaut broke in the subsequent hard landing the upper jaw and hit some teeth out. The capsule landed southeast of the Urals, very far ( about 600 miles) away from their intended landing site in the Kazakh SSR near the border with Orenburg Oblast. The temperature at this time was -38 ° C and as Wolynow knew that the rescue teams would need several hours to find him, he left the landing capsule and ran several kilometers until it reaches the house of a farmer found where he could warm up.

The technicians themselves were surprised by the robustness of the spaceship, which is attributed to the titanium structures used.


On January 24, 1969, the crews of both ships should take the former CPSU General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev during a welcoming ceremony in front of the Moscow Kremlin. However, this was prevented by an attack on the Soviet leaders. The lieutenant Viktor Ilyin scored eight times on the convoy, but mistakenly aimed not at Brezhnev's car, but the one to which the previously flown in space cosmonauts Georgi Beregowoi, Alexei Leonov, Andrian Nikolayev and Valentina Tereshkova sat. The driver of the car was killed, a driver of the motorcycle escort, Beregowoi and Nikolayev were slightly injured, the latter was able to stop the vehicle. The car then drove past the Brezhnev waiting in the stands Soyuz 4 and 5 crews.