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Soyuz 15

Soyuz 15
Mission duration 2 days, 12 minutes, 11 seconds
Orbits completed 32
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Soyuz 7K-T/A9
Manufacturer NPO Energia
Launch mass 6,760 kilograms (14,900 lb)
Crew size 2
Members Gennadi Sarafanov
Lev Dyomin
Callsign Дунай (Dunay - "Danube")
Start of mission
Launch date August 26, 1974, 19:58:05 (1974-08-26T19:58:05Z) UTC
Rocket Soyuz
Launch site Baikonur 1/5[1]
End of mission
Landing date Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. UTC
Landing site 48 kilometres (30 mi) SW of Tselinograd
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 173 kilometres (107 mi)
Apogee 236 kilometres (147 mi)
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Period 88.5 minutes

Soyuz programme
(Manned missions)
← Soyuz 14 Soyuz 16

Soyuz 15 (Russian: Союз 15, Union 15) was a 1974 manned space flight which was to have been the second mission to the Soviet Union's Salyut 3 space station with presumably military objectives.[2]

Launched 26 August 1974, the Soyuz spacecraft arrived at the station, but cosmonauts Lev Dyomin and Gennadi Sarafanov were unable to dock because the electronics in the Igla docking system malfunctioned. Without sufficient fuel for prolonged attempts at manual docking, the mission had to be abandoned. The cosmonauts powered down all nonessential systems in the Soyuz and waited until the next day for reentry.[3] The crew landed 28 August. Analysis of the launch window was cited by observers for concluding a flight of 19 to 29 days had been planned.[3]

In the event of the failure, official TASS statements merely claimed that the mission was intended to practice docking maneuvers with the Salyut 3 station.[2] They also said that a new automatic docking system was tested which would be used on future Progress transport craft.[3]

The failed mission exposed a number of serious design flaws in the Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft, namely its lack of reserve propellant and electrical power for repeated docking attempts. In addition, the Igla docking system was found to be in major need of improvement. Since it was impossible to carry out these changes before Salyut 3 finished its operating lifespan, they had to wait for future space stations. The backup spacecraft for the Soyuz 15 mission was placed in storage and later flown as Soyuz 20 despite being past its intended shelf life.


  • Crew 1
    • Backup crew 1.1
    • Reserve crew 1.2
  • Mission parameters 2
  • References 3


Position Cosmonaut
Commander Gennadi Sarafanov
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer Lev Dyomin
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Boris Volynov
Flight Engineer Vitaly Zholobov

Reserve crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Vyacheslav Zudov
Flight Engineer Valery Rozhdestvensky

Mission parameters

  • Mass: 6,760 kg (14,900 lb)
  • Perigee: 173 km (107 mi)
  • Apogee: 236 km (147 mi)
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Period: 88.5 min


  1. ^ "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b Clark, Phillip (1988). The Soviet Manned Space Program. New York: Orion Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc.  
  3. ^ a b c Newkirk, Dennis (1990). Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight. Houston, Texas: Gulf Publishing Company.  
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