Soyuz T-1
Soyuz T-1 was a 1979-80 unmanned Soviet space flight, a test flight of a new Soyuz
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

 craft which docked with the orbiting Salyut 6
Salyut 6
Salyut 6 , DOS-5, was a Soviet orbital space station, the eighth flown as part of the Salyut programme. Launched on 29 September 1977 by a Proton rocket, the station was the first of the 'second-generation' type of space station. Salyut 6 possessed several revolutionary advances over the earlier...

 space station
Space station
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time, and to which other spacecraft can dock. A space station is distinguished from other spacecraft used for human spaceflight by its lack of major propulsion or landing...


Mission parameters

  • Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-ST
  • Mass: 6450 kg
  • Crew: None
  • Launched: December 16, 1979
  • Landed: March 25, 1980

Mission highlights

Four months had passed since the last Salyut 6 crew (Soyuz 32
Soyuz 32
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 51.61°*Period: 89.94 minutes-Launch and station activation:...

) had landed, and since the same amount of time had passed between the previous space station's long-duration crews, a December 1979 launch was considered a real possibility by observers. However, though the secretive Soviets did launch a craft that month, it was not what observers expected.

Soyuz T-1 was launched 16 December, and was the fourth unmanned test flight of a modified version of the Soyuz spacecraft, the first to be given a "Soyuz" designation. Two days later, it approached the space station, but overshot it. A second dock attempt was made 19 December, and Soyuz T-1 successfully docked at the forward port.

The Soyuz lifted the orbit of the space station on 25 December and remained docked to it for 95 days, during which time the station remained unoccupied. It undocked on 23 March 1980, performed several days of tests, then was de-orbited 25 March. The landing date was outside a normal landing window as the craft was being flight-rated over the standard two-and-a-half months and the Soviets were planning to launch Soyuz 35
Soyuz 35
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 51.65°*Period: 88.81 minutes-Crew launch, station activation:...

during the next launch window in April.

The mission was unusual for several reasons. Unlike other previous long unmanned missions, Soyuz T-1 was not powered down while docked to the space station. And, its recovery saw a change from the norm as well. Previous Soyuz missions saw the entire spacecraft de-orbit. But with the Soyuz T craft, the orbital module was separated prior to retro-fire, to save propellant. This allowed for more maneuvers prior to de-orbit.
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