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Space


Soyuz 37 and Soyuz 36

1971-1975/1976-1980

II. THE SOYUZ PROGRAM

Soviet Manned Space Programs: 1957-80

MANNED MISSIONS TO SALYUT 6: 1977-80

SOYUZ 37/36: FIRST VIETNAMESE COSMONAUT

On July 23, Soyuz 37 (Terek) was launched at 1833 GMT carrying Viktor Gorbatko and the first Vietnamese cosmonaut, Lt. Col. Pham Tuan. The crew became the third set of visitors to the Popov/Ryumin crew on Salyut 6 when they docked on July 23 at 2002 GMT.

The launch took place during the Moscow Olympic Games and Western experts considered the choice of a Vietnamese to fly on this mission to be a "clear bid for support and prestige in the Third World." (186)

As had been the case on previous international missions, a number of joint experiments were conducted. In this case, these included experiments with growing the aquatic fern Azolla, which is native to Vietnam; Earth observations of Vietnam to find the maximum boundaries of heavy floods, the inner boundaries of the penetration of tidal sea waters, and other projects related to agriculture, hydrology, geology, and forestry; materials processing experiments including one called Halong (after a Vietnamese bay) which involved the growing of bismuth-tellurium-selenium, and gallium phosphide with varying amounts of trace elements, in Kristall; and the "Imitator" experiment for determining temperature profiles in Kristall.

The crew returned to Earth in the Soyuz 36 spacecraft, leaving their fresh Soyuz 37 for the long duration crew. They landed at 1515 GMT on July 31, 180 km southeast of Dzhezkazgan after 8 days (188 hours 42 minutes) in space. The Soyuz 36 ship had been in space for 66 days.

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

186. Christian Science Monitor, July 25, 1980, p. 3.