Soyuz 9

Soyuz 9 is the mission name for the flight of a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. It was the 17th manned space mission of the Soviet Union. With this flight, a new record for the longest space flight was erected.


  • Andrian Grigoryevich Nikolayev ( second space flight), Commander
  • Vitaly Ivanovich Sevastyanov ( first space flight), flight engineer

With Nikolayev first came a Vostok cosmonaut to a second use. Before him already Komarov, Shatalov and Eliseev had performed two space flights.

Backup crew

  • Anatoly Vasilyevich Filipchenko, Commander
  • Georgi Mikhailovich Grechko, Flight Engineer

Support team

  • Vasily Grigoryevich Lazarev
  • Valery Alexandrovich Jasdowski


The end of 1969 the idea of ​​a long-duration flight to Lenin's 100th birthday to fly on April 22, In 1970. This would the Americans snatch the current long-term record of 13 days, the Frank Borman and Jim Lovell had set up in 1965 with Gemini 7, while the Soviet space program had not yet progressed beyond 5 days.

For the end of 1970 the start of a Salyut space station was intended. Biological data were to prepare for long-term stays of several weeks still needed, because the Soviet Union previously had little experience of the health impairment in prolonged weightlessness. It was also important how the team works together in orbit, and what is the social impact of the long stay in space.

As commander of Soyuz 9 of the Vostok -3 veteran Andrian Nikolayev was nominated. Flight engineer was the Space newcomer Vitaly Sevastyanov. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov had previously been the backup crew of Soyuz 8 times, also Pyotr Kolodin and Georgi Grechko were as crew for Soyuz 9 in conversation.

The launch was scheduled for April first and was then moved to the May and finally on 1 June.

History of the flight

The launch took place on June 1, 1970 at 19:00 GMT. It was the first night launch of manned spaceflight.

On the fourth day of flying turned out that the solar cells provided too little current. Should therefore discharge the batteries prematurely, the mission would have to be shortened. The spacecraft has been placed in a slow rotation, so that the solar cells have long been possible to face the sun.

On the fifth day, the cosmonauts discussed with the ground station Notlandemaßnahmen, because if the battery voltage falls below a critical value, Soyuz 9 had to return to Earth within two hours, possibly outside the Soviet Union. However, a reading error on the instruments could not be excluded.

On the seventh day the problem seemed to have been overcome. The crew was in good shape, and it was given to extending the mission in 20 days. In the evening Nikolayev talked about picture radio with his wife Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman had been in space with Vostok 6, and his daughter, who was then six years old on the day.

From the ninth day of flying the condition of the cosmonauts deteriorated again. You took too little fluid intake and consumed too little oxygen. The tenth day was a day of rest, on which the crew had to take care of any experiments. Over the radio, they played correspondence chess with the cosmonauts Gorbatko in the ground station.

From the 13th day were fatigue on at Nikolayev and Sevastyanov. They made some mistakes. The ground station decided to constantly monitor the weather conditions in the intended landing areas, so that a landing could be introduced quickly, but the state of the cosmonauts improved the next day.

On the 15th day of flying Sevastyanov operated inadvertently, the automatic landing system. This remained without consequences, but the same operator error had occurred already with Soyuz 7, and one had requested backup inappropriate. In the afternoon, the atmosphere deteriorated on board: the breathing air containing too little oxygen and too much carbon dioxide. Replacing the cartridges in the life support system brought the atmosphere back to normal.

On the 19th day of flying, the cosmonauts had now broken the old record period of 1965, the landing of the Soyuz spacecraft was launched. Since the flight path led across the Aral Sea, had there additional emergency personnel on board ships and helicopters ready.

The landing took place without any problems on June 19 at 11:59 GMT. From a height of 83 km, a Soviet radar station had located the landing capsule, later helicopters were in sight, even as the capsule came down on a parachute. Just one minute after landing were rescuers on the capsule. However, the condition of the cosmonauts was shockingly bad. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov could not keep up without help on her legs and had to be supported. A plane took them to Moscow, where they first made ​​themselves known to the State Commission before they were brought for examination in a hospital.


Nikolayev and Sevastyanov remained several days for rest and observation in a hospital. They got used to slow back to the earthly gravity, which expressed itself mainly through rapid fatigue. Only on 3 July, two weeks after the landing, they were open to the public. The two astronauts had sacrificed some of its reserved for the recreational sports time for scientific work in orbit. The reaction of her body showed how important sporting load in weightlessness.

At the latest Soyuz 9, the focus of manned space flight of the manned lunar landing long stays in orbit has been postponed. In the aftermath, both the USSR and the U.S. focused on the construction and operation of space stations.

The record of Soyuz 9 was the last, which was set up in a space ship that is not coupled to a space station. The next time record was set in June 1971, the crew of Soyuz 11, which was 23 days in space, mostly 1 on board the Salyut