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[space] The little-known Soviet mission to rescue a dead space station … The true story of how Salyut 7 was saved after a total systems failure in orbit whilst uncrewed.

They floated in with their flashlights and their winter coats, and found the station cold and dark, with frost along the walls. Savinikh tried to turn the lights on—nothing, not that he expected anything. They took off their gas masks—they were making it even more difficult to see around the darkened station, and there was no smell of fire. Savinikh dived to the floor and opened the shade covering a window. A ray of sunlight fell on the ceiling, illuminating the station a little bit. They found the crackers and salt tablets that were left on the table by the previous crew—part of a traditional Russian welcoming ceremony that is still performed on the ISS today—as well as all the onboard station documentation neatly packed and secured to its shelves. All of the ventilators and other systems that normally hummed noisily were off. Savinikh recalls in his flight journal “it felt like being in an old, abandoned home. There was a deafening silence pressing upon our ears.”

How to Rescue a Dead Soviet Space Station

This entry was posted on Monday, July 19th, 2021 at 11:45 am and is filed under Space.

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