SYNOPSIS: On December 2 at 1240 Moscow time, the Soviet Union launched a two-man space craft Soyuz-16 into orbit.
CU - symbol on door of Soyu PULL MV - door opens - astronauts out and wave
CU - astronauts (3 shots)
MV - astronauts laughing - they go
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Background: SYNOPSIS: On December 2 at 1240 Moscow time, the Soviet Union launched a two-man space craft Soyuz-16 into orbit.
The mission is in preparation for the joint Soviet American space flight scheduled for the next July.
Soyuz-16 is piloted by Colonel Anatoli Filipchenko and Engineer Nikolai Rukovishnikov. Both have made space flights in the past.
Anatoli Filipchenko made his first space flight in October 1969 as commander of Soyuz-7.
Nikolai Rukovishnikov was flight engineer aboard Soyuz-10 in April 19???.
Soyuz-16 is a modified version of the Soyuz craft series. Its systems have been modernised to meet the demands of the joint Apollo-Soyuz project.
Soyuz-16 is identical to the space craft which is to take part in next year's docking experiment with an American Apollo craft.
Anatoli Filipchenko will be 47 next February. He is a professional airman. he graduated from an airforce academy in 1961 and from May 1973 has been preparing for the joint Soviet-American space flight.
Anatoli Filipchenki is married with two children-Igor and Alexander. His mother is retired and lives in Voronezh Region, home of the spaceman.
Nikolai Rukovishnikov, 42, Graduate of Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute in 1957, later a design bureau worker.
He was enrolled into spaceman training centre in 1967 From may 1973 he has been engaged in Soyuz-Apollo project.
His wife Nina is an employee at an engineering plant His son Vladimir, 9, goes to school. The mother is in retirement.
First reports indicate that the flight is going on well. Both cosmonauts are feeling well and successfully coping with the flight program.