The two Soviet cosmonauts, Colonel Vladimir Kovalyonok and Engineer Alexander Ivanchenkov, touches down safely in Central Asia on Thursday (2 November) after Man's longest trip in orbit -- a 20 week mission on board the Salyut-6 orbiting station.
The two Soviet cosmonauts, Colonel Vladimir Kovalyonok and Engineer Alexander Ivanchenkov, touches down safely in Central Asia on Thursday (2 November) after Man's longest trip in orbit -- a 20 week mission on board the Salyut-6 orbiting station. From the cosmonauts' control centre, a spokesman said the whole mission had been 'brilliantly executed'.
SYNOPSIS: The Soyuz ferry capsule that brought the two men back to earth re-entered the earth's atmosphere exactly on target, and floated gently through the thick cloud that obscured the final landing site.
Behind them, the cosmonauts left the giant space laboratory still orbiting above. Already Soviet scientists are saying the mission has been a big step towards the goal of a permanently manned space station. Two other crews, each including an Each European cosmonaut, had visited the Salyut pair during their long flight. There were also three flights by unmanned cargo craft which delivered fresh supplies and mail to the spacemen.
The capsule landed on t he steppes of Kazakhstan. Helicopter recovery teams reported that both men were in good health, and were able to cope with the difficult task of re-adapting to gravity.
Describing their first reactions, the cosmonauts said that, apart from slight feeling of dizziness when they shook their heads, they felt normal. Their morale, they said, was very high.
The cosmonauts' delight at the success of their mission was obvious. colonel Kovalyonok told reporters: "We are glad to feel the earth's gravity. We are happy to see the faces of our friends around us, and soon we'll see our families." It was in September that the pair broke the old 96-day space endurance record set up earlier this year by another Soviet crew. Colonel Kovalyonok and Engineer Ivanchenkov broadcast almost daily reports to Soviet Television during their flight. Now they have discovered that their frequent appearances on the small screen have turned them into television "personalities". Millions of viewers saw both men walk in space - the most spectacular of all the experiments they carried out during the four and a half month mission.