An ??? Soviet spacecraft, Progress-1 on Sunday (22 January) successfully docked with the orbiting Salyut-6?
An ??? Soviet spacecraft, Progress-1 on Sunday (22 January) successfully docked with the orbiting Salyut-6 space station. It brought fresh supplies and equipment to the two cosmonauts on board, Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Romanenko and Engineer Georgy Grechko. They gave now been in space for over six weeks and may soon surpass the Soviet space endurance record of 63 days.
SYNOPSIS: The Progress-1, launched on Friday (20 January) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Central Asia, was the first of a new type of Soviet craft. Described as a tanker, it has automatic controls and is guided by ground stations. Its existence was kept a strict secret until its launching.
The docking operation was carried out fully automatically. Lieutenant-Colonel Romanenko and Engineer Grechko watched without assisting. Loaded aboard Progress-1 were fuel and scientific equipment, plus vital life support materials for the marathon-stay cosmonauts. The location, approach and final locking operations were completed with the use of radio and computer devices on board the spacecraft.
Progress-1 will not return to Earth. Once unloaded, the cosmonauts will fill it with exhausted scientific equipment and it will be sent to burn-up on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.