Soyuz T-13

Soyuz T -13 mission is the designation for the flight of a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft to the Soviet space station Salyut 7 It was the eighth visit of a Soyuz spacecraft in this space station and the 74th flight in the Soviet Sojusprogramm.


Start crew

  • Vladimir Alexandrovich Dzhanibekov ( fifth space flight ), Commander
  • Viktor Petrovich Savinykh ( second space flight), flight engineer

Dzhanibekov was already commander of the previous flight Soyuz T- 12th With this flight, he reached now at all five space flights as the first Soviet cosmonaut and the second astronaut. The record is held by John Young with six inserts.

Backup crew

  • Leonid Ivanovich Popov, commander
  • Alexander Pavlovich Aleksandrov, Flight Engineer

Return crew

  • Vladimir Alexandrovich Dzhanibekov ( fifth space flight ), Commander
  • Georgi Mikhailovich Grechko ( third space flight), flight engineer

Mission overview

The mission was the first real rescue mission for a previously completely failed space station. Soyuz T -13 was the first spacecraft, which docked at the inactive space station manually. Therefore, the spacecraft was adjusted in order to simplify the approach maneuver. Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Viktor Savinykh saved Salyut - 7 station, had the problems with the solar cells. The rescue was one of the greatest achievements in the history of space flight.

Vladimir Dzhanibekov certainly not expected so soon with Soyuz T-12 return to the Salyut station after his flight again. The crew noticed when approaching the non-aligned cells of the slowly rotating around the longitudinal axis station. They used a hand held laser to its distance from the station to measure and flew once around the station to check whether the station from the outside was intact.

Vladimir Dzhanibekov noticed that the thermal cover the transfer dull and gray looked Department, caused by the prolonged exposure to sunlight. Once the Soyuz spacecraft had docked for the first time at this inactive space station, the crew was able to confirm that the station was electrically dead after they had checked the electrical connections at the station.

Both cosmonauts tested the atmosphere of the station before they opened the hatch. The air was cold, but could be breathed. Frost covered the walls and equipment. The cosmonauts wore winter clothes, including fur-lined caps, as they entered the station.

The first task was to restore the power supply. The eight batteries were discharged and destroyed two of them. Dzhanibekov found that a sensor measures the orientation of the solar panels, and therefore the batteries are prevented from charging. A problem with the radio telemetry prevented the TsUP could discover the problem. Salyut 7 has therefore discharge the batteries, shut down all systems and disrupted radio contact. First, the cosmonauts had to recharge the batteries. They used the Sojusraumschiff to rotate the solar panels to the sun. On June 10, they turned on the air heating. The cosmonauts to the air renewal systems in the Soyuz T -13 until they leave the Saljutsysteme had rebooted. The orientation control was switched on again on June 13. This was a prerequisite for receiving a Progress supply spacecraft with much needed spare parts. The heating in the walls could be turned on, as all the frost had evaporated, otherwise the condensation would be penetrated into the equipment. A normal humidity was reached in late July. The water tank of the station thawed end of June. The frost had destroyed the kettle so that the cosmonauts had to use strong television lights for heating.

Savinykh was 169 days on board and returned with Soyuz T -14, Dzhanibekov with Soyuz T -13 after he had with Grechko (come with Soyuz T -14) spent 110 days aboard the Salyut 7. Before returning to Earth, led by Soyuz T -13 thirty hours long approach and coupling tests.