>> Tuesday, July 28, 2009
flit asked about Lagrange points and I meant to get to them. But I'm swamped and it ain't gonna happen tonight. So, instead, I thought I'd pass along an interesting bit of trivia about one of the most interesting spaceflights ever: Soyuz T-15 and the extended stay mission that resulted, including sojourns on two different stations.
That's right. Two. Different. Stations.
Historically the Soviet Union (and/or the Russians) have been the experts at juggling multiple concurrent flights like no one else, and that goes double for space stations. They've had ten of them since 1971 and they have a sizable chunk of the International Space Station.
When they first put up the Mir Space Station, they still had another station up, Salyut 7. Admittedly, it was plagued with problems and funding was tight, making trips up challenging. So, they made the best possible use of the first Mir flight. First, the crew of Soyuz T-15, Cosmonauts Leonid Kizim and Solovyov Vladimir, docked to Mir, checked it out and got it going. Six weeks later, they undocked and cruised over to the Salyut 7 which was dead in sky, dark and ice bound. They revived it, got it back into working order and then removed a number of experiments from it's interior.
Then, as if that wasn't impressive enough, 20 days later, they flew back to the Mir Space Station and transferred the equipment they'd collected from Salyut 7.
Did I mention they did all this in 1986? Cool, no?