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Soyuz Apollo Test Project


Tyneside, UK
2018 Apr 21
Saturday, Day 111

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Elsewhere:

The Partnership: A History of the Apollo Soyuz Test Project

Press Kit (PDF Download)
The Precursors

Two missions flown under the 'Cosmos' programme during 1974 had links with ASTP. One of them, Cosmos 672, tested elements of the upcoming piloted mission but the earlier Cosmos 638 has a more-tenuous link.

The Soviet Union was constantly testing improvements and modifications to the Soyuz spacecraft in both piloted and unpiloted mode. Although Cosmos 638 may have had connections with ASTP, it could have been testing a series of new systems so there is no certainty in the connection being a close one.

For one thing, it flew a longer mission - ten as opposed to six days, and for another it did not orbit at the same height as the ASTP craft. For completeness, highlights of its mission are listed here.

Date Time (UTC) Event
1974 Apr 3 07:40 Cosmos 638, a Soyuz spacecraft without crew, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Soyuz rocket into 187 x 309 kilometre orbit at 51.8 degrees inclination - its mission may be related to the upcoming ASTP
1974 Apr 7 After several manoeuvres, Cosmos 638 orbit is 258 x 274 kilometres
1974 Apr 13 04:07 Cosmos 638 fires its manoeuvring engine to initiate re-entry
1974 Apr 13 04:48 Cosmos 638 lands in Khazakhstan
1974 Aug 12 06:30 Cosmos 672, a Soyuz spacecraft without crew, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Soyuz rocket into 195 x 305 kilometre orbit at 51.8 degrees inclination - its mission is to follow the flight profile, and test systems for, the upcoming ASTP
1974 Aug 14 After several manoeuvres, Cosmos 672 orbit is 227 x 237 kilometres - similar to the one planned for ASTP
1974 Aug 18 04:07 Cosmos 672 fires its manoeuvring engine to initiate re-entry
1974 Aug 18 04:48 Cosmos 672 lands in Khazakhstan
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