Soyuz-T 13 - Salyut 7 Resurrection


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All or nothing

Savinykh and Dzhanybekov in the freeze Salyut 7

In February 1985, while temporary unmanned, the Salyut 7 lost electric power and its orbit began to decay slowly. A crew for a repair mission was choosen and in June the Soyuz-T 13 took off from Baykonur with a crew of two: Vladimir Dzhanybekov and Viktor Savinhkh.
When they reached the station's orbit, they saw it slowly rotating and Dzhanybekov had to took manual control for docking. He slowly made his ship rotate with the station and moved it closer and closer to a flawless docking. Then it come time to open the hatch and enter the station. It was cold and silent. Moisture from crew exhalations istantly freezed around their faces. The only way to know the temperature was to spit on a wall and time how long it took to freeze - ten seconds. From that flight controllers calculated the temperature inside the station was about minus 10 C.
Without electricity they had to work hardly for 24 hours in a row restoring the battery and reconnecting the solar panels.
It was hard but they did it. The mission was a successfull one and the Salyut 7 space station literally resurrected. The space program was safe!

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