Four Soviet Cosmonauts celebrated the world's first triple link-up in space on Wednesday (11 January) with toasts of cold fruit juice squeezed out of plastic tubes as they hugged each other in greeting.
CU: Cosmonauts Colonel Yury Romanenko and engineer Georgy Grechko (in light coloured space suit) welcome Colonel Vladimir Dzhanibekov and flight engineer Oleg Makarov aboard the Salyut laboratory.
CU: The four men celebrate with opening of packages from Earth.
It is suggested by some observers that the Soviet Union may be trying to establish an endurance record in space. Research into endurance is one of the main purposes of the current Salyut programme. The longest any crew has remained aboard a Salyut station is 63 days. the record is held by the United States with 84 days set by a Skylab crew in 1974.
WE APOLOGISE FOR THE POOR QUALITY OF THIS TELERECORDING WHICH IS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL.
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Background: Four Soviet Cosmonauts celebrated the world's first triple link-up in space on Wednesday (11 January) with toasts of cold fruit juice squeezed out of plastic tubes as they hugged each other in greeting. The crew of Soyuz-27, launched from the Soviet Union the day before, successfully docked their craft aboard the orbiting Salyut-6 space laboratory, which has been manned by two other cosmonauts since December the 11th. The four men will remain in orbit for five days to carry out a joint programme of research before the Souyz-27 crew return to Earth.
SYNOPSIS: Colonel Yury Romanenko and engineer Georgy Grechko were waiting aboard Salyut-6 to greet the two Soyuz cosmonauts who completed the three hour docking operation without a hitch. Then Colonel Vladimir Dzhanibekov and his engineer Oleg Makarov entered the space station through a hatch to make the historic meeting in space. It was a moment of personal jubilation and of celebration in the Soviet Union. The Soyuz programme had, until this important operation, been plagued with setbacks.
The operation, hailed by Soviet commentators as a major step in research, means supplies step in research, means supplies and relief crews can now be ferried to manned station.
After their greeting, the four men had a toast of chilled orange juice. Then Romanenko and Grechko opened supplies, letters from their families and copies of Pravda, the Communist Party Newspaper, which their visitors had brought with them. Ramanenko told the two newly arrived Cosmonauts: "You're the first earthmen we've seen up here in a month". The four men will work together for a week, but then the visitors will return to Earth and leave the two Salyut men to continue their marathon.