Two Soviet cosmonauts blasted into orbit on Thursday (15 June) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft aiming for a new link-up with the space laboratory Salyut-6.
GV Cosmonauts walk towards capsule as cameraman films (3 shots)
GV Blastoff (3 shots)
SV (BLACK & WHITE) Cosmonauts in craft during takeoff
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Two Soviet cosmonauts blasted into orbit on Thursday (15 June) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft aiming for a new link-up with the space laboratory Salyut-6. The two cosmonauts were following the space trail blazed by two other cosmonauts who set a space endurance record of 96 days aboard Salyut-6 earlier this year.
SYNOPSIS: Both of the Cosmonauts aboard soyuz 29 are Russians....and as with many of the previous Soviet missions, the crew is made up of one veteran and one novice. The mission commander is a 36-year-old Air Force Colonel, Vladimir Kovalyonok, who was aboard an earlier Soyuz mission which failed to dock with the Salyut orbiting lab last autumn. His engineer is a 37-year-old civilian, Aleksandr Ivanchenko, who has never been in space before. Reports from the Soviet Union indicate the two men may remain in orbit for up to four months following their late-night liftoff from the Soviet Cosmodrome in Central Asia on Thursday (15 June).
Officials in the Soviet Union say the two men may be joined in the Salyut Lab later on by astronauts from Poland and East Germany who have been training under the Eastern bloc's Intercosmo programme.