Thursday, October 13, 2016

Soyuz 8 launches 1969

Commander Vladimir Shatalov and Flight Engineer Aleksei Yeliseyev blasted off in Soyuz 8, October 13, 1969, with all intent to dock with Soyuz 7, which launched the previous day.  Soyuz 6 took off just two days before.  It was the first time seven cosmonauts were in orbit at the same time. 

The “official” plan was to dock with Soyuz 7 and transfer one cosmonaut via EVA while Soyuz 6 filmed the whole operation.  However, due to mechanical failures, the docking procedure never happened.  In all, three attempts were made but none were successful.  Therefore, the Soviets stated they never really meant to dock.

Shatalov and Yeliseyev returned to Earth on schedule October 18.

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