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Space


Soyuz 31

1971-1975/1976-1980

II. THE SOYUZ PROGRAM

Soviet Manned Space Programs: 1957-80

MANNED MISSIONS TO SALYUT 6: 1977-80

SOYUZ 31/29: FIRST EAST GEKMAN COSMONAUT

Soyuz 31 (Yastreb), carrying the first East German cosmonaut, was launched at 1451 GMT on August 26, 1978. The crew consisted of Col. Valeriy Bykovskiy and Lt. Col. Sigmund Jahn. By 1200 GMT on August 27, the Soyuz 31 was in an orbit at 326x271 km. The crew docked with Salyut 6/Soyuz 29 at 1628 GMT on August 27.

The visitors brought gifts for their hosts, including a Russian doll, the traditional bread and salt, a toy Mishka bear (symbol of the Moscow Olympics), a special issue of Izuestiya, and a souvenir watch for each of them made in East Germany. They also brought onions, garlic, lemons, apples, milk, soup, honey, pork, Bulgarian peppers, and gingerbread.

The two crews conducted a wide variety of joint experiments during the 7-day joint mission. In order to leave a fresh Soyuz spacecraft for the long duration crew, the Soyuz 31 crew returned in the Soyuz 29 spaceship which had been in orbit for 80 days. The crew landed 140 km southeast of Dzhezkazgan, and while the Soviets did not announce the time of landing, it must have been 1140 GMT based on other data they have published. Crew duration was 188 hours, 49 minutes. Among other things, they brought back 25 ampules from the materials processing experiments.

References:

A. SOVIET SPACE PROGRAMS: 1976-80, (WITH SUPPLEMENTARY DATA THROUGH 1983) MANNED SPACE PROGRAMS AND SPACE LIFE SCIENCES PREPARED AT THE REQUEST OF HON. BOB PACKWOOD, Chairman, COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION UNITED STATES SENATE, Part 2, OCTOBER 1984, Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D. C., 1984