II. THE SOYUZ PROGRAM
Soviet Manned Space Programs: 1957-80
MANNED MISSIONS TO SALYUT 6: 1977-80
SOYUZ 34: UNMANNED TEST AND REPLACEMENT SPACECRAFT
The unmanned spacecraft Soyuz 34 was launched on June 6, 1979 at 1813 GMT into a 270x198 km orbit. For the next 2 days, it performed a series of maneuvers to check out the modifications made to its engine in light of the Soyuz 33 experience. Not only were the Soviets concerned about the health of the Soyuz 32 engines, but that ship had been in space past the 90-day period for which it had been rated for powered-down operations, and had to be replaced in order to bring the crew back to Earth.
When Soyuz 34 was launched, the Soviets announced that "For the sake of caution it was decided to implement the first flight without people on board, to test the spacecraft unmanned . . . and should it pass that test, it should be passed for manned flights. (168)
The tests were successful, and Soyuz 34 docked at the aft end of Salyut 6 on June 8 at 2002 GMT. The ship also served a resupply function, bringing the Soyuz 32/34 crew currant juice and more tulips.
As noted earlier, Soyuz 34 was subsequently moved to the forward docking unit on Salyut, and brought the Soyuz 32/34 crew home on August 19. The ship's duration was 74 days (1,770 hours, 17 minutes).
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
168. Moscow Domestic Service, 2000 GMT, 6 June 79.