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Space Exploration

Salyut

biology experiments, Soyuz spacecraft, space station Mir, cosmonauts, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

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Salyut, series of space stations designed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to provide a safe space environment in which crew members could live and work on scientific and military projects. Salyut space stations were launched unpiloted—their crews of two or three cosmonauts flew to the stations in Soyuz spacecraft, which remained docked at the stations as long as the cosmonauts were there. Between 1971 and 1982 the USSR launched nine Salyut space stations, six of which made it successfully into orbit. Four of the successful Salyut space stations had mainly civilian objectives; the others were designed for military activity.

The Salyut space stations became laboratories for learning to live and work in space. Soviet cosmonauts lived on the Salyut space stations for up to 237 days to study the human body’s reaction to prolonged weightlessness. They also observed the Earth, Sun, and stars; performed biology experiments; manufactured new metals in furnaces in the absence of gravity; and tested equipment for future stations. The experiences provided by the Salyut program helped the USSR prepare for the space station Mir.

Contributors

Portree, David S. F., B.A., M.S.

Freelance writer and space historian. Author of "Walking to Olympus: An EVA Chronology".



Article key phrases:

biology experiments, Soyuz spacecraft, space station Mir, cosmonauts, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, orbit, human body, furnaces, crew members, crews, reaction, laboratories, Sun, stars, days

 
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