The DOS Space Stations
2016 Feb 9
Tuesday, Day 40
The next Salyut gets a new name
Fourth Expedition to Salyut 7 - 1985
This was a busy year and, for the first time there was a hand-over between resident crews. This process was unusually complicated by the fact that Vladimir Dzhanibekov was selected for the first crew to perform a specific job.
After the winter of 1984-5, Salyut 7 was 'dead in the water. Dzhanibekov's job was to undertake a manual approach and docking with Salyut 7 without the aid of the usual radio-guidance system. He and Viktor Savinikh then had the task of reviving a frozen space station that had lost most of its supply of power because of a problem with its electrical system toward the end of 1984.
The two men did a magnificent job and then controllers had to use the next mission to retrieve Dzhanibekov and re-constitute the planned long stay crew.
The year ended unfortunately when station commander Vladimir Vasyutin succumbed to depression, causing an early end to the mission.
A launch of a Progress vehicle was named Cosmos 1669. There are two possible reasons for it.
There may have been some sort of systems problem early in the mission making it look as though it would fail. The 'Cosmos' name would then have been applied as was standard Soviet practice for flights that were unsuccessful. In the event, it was possible for it to catch up with, and dock with Salyut 7 but it was too late to rename it 'Progress'.
Alternatively, there could have been an administrative slip up that got into the public domain before anyone could stop it. A month after Cosmos 1669, a TKS spacecraft that got the name Cosmos 1686 was launched. There is a possibility that the publicity system confused the two craft and, thinking the TKS had been launched rather than the Progress, the next available Cosmos number was applied.
Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited