Thirty five years ago, on March 2, 1978 the international crew consisting of Alexei Gubarev and Vladimir Remek was launched to orbital station "Salyut-6".

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An era of international space programs on Soviet orbital station "Salyut-6", "Salyut-7" and "Mir" began, which was further developed into the International Space Station (ISS).  

The foundation of international cooperation in the area of manned space flights was laid by implementing Soviet/American "Soyuz-Apollo" program (ASTP) in July 1975. The ASTP program was approved by the USSR/USA agreement of May 24, 1972 on cooperation in space exploration and peaceful use of space.

In a period from July 15 to July 25, 1975 the first docking of space vehicles of different countries and astronauts transferred from one vehicle to the other one were performed.

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The international cooperation in manned space flights was continued by flights of international crews aboard Soviet spacecraft "Soyuz" to orbital station "Salyut-6". They were performed under the Intercosmos program with participation of astronauts of the socialist countries in a timeframe of 1978-1981.

 
"Salyut-6"

Station "Salyut-6" was subject to significant modifications as compared to its predecessors. It had two docking ports, as well as a large internal useful volume. This made it possible to deliver crews and cargo to the station at a time by two spacecraft, for which purpose along with manned spacecraft "Soyuz" logistics vehicles "Progress" were first used.

New capabilities made it possible to rotate crews in space, which ensured a continuous manned flight of the station and short-duration flights of visiting crews aboard the stations. Foreign astronauts were participating in these flights.

In December 1976 candidates for a space flight from Czechoslovakia, Poland and German Democratic Republic (two representatives from each country) arrived to the Cosmonaut Training Center for preparation for a joint mission. In March 1978, they were joined by their colleagues from Bulgaria, Hungary, Cuba, Mongolia, Romania, and in April 1979 - from Vietnam. Totally nine flights were implemented under the Intercosmos program.

#
Name
(country)
Date of launch and landing,
SC, station
Total
flight duration
(days:hours:minutes)
1
Vladimir Remek
(Czechoslovakia)
02.03.78-10.03.78
"Soyuz-28" - "Salyut-6"
07.22.17
2
Miroslav Germashevsky
(Poland)
27.06.78 - 05.07.78
"Soyuz-30" - "Salyut-6"
07.22.03
3
Sigmund Jahn
(Germany)
26.08.78 - 02.11.78
"Soyuz-31" - "Salyut-6"
07.20.49
4
Georgi Ivanov
(Bulgaria)
10.04.79 - 12.04.79
"Soyuz-33" - "Salyut-6"
01.23.01*
5
Farkas Bertalan
(Hungary)
26.05.80 - 03.06.80
"Soyuz-36" - "Salyut-6"
07.20.46
6
Pham Tuan
(Vietnam)
23.07.80 - 31.07.80
"Soyuz-37" - "Salyut-6"
07.20.42
7
Tamayo Mendez
(Cuba)
18.09.80 - 26.09.80
"Soyuz-38" - "Salyut-6"
07.20.43
8
Jugderdemidiin Gurragchaa
(Mongolia)
22.03.81 - 30.03.81
"Soyuz-39" - "Salyut-6"14.
07.20.42
9
Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu
(Romania)
05.81 - 22.05.81
"Soyuz-40" - "Salyut-6"
07.20.42

* The Soviet/Bulgarian crew failed to dock to the station due to Soyuz spacecraft problems. The crew was forced to urgently return to the ground.

Subsequently, international flights were performed based on bilateral agreements. Two such flights were performed to orbital station "Salyut-7". The first Soviet/French flight was performed in 1982, and the second Soviet/Indian flight was performed in 1984.

#
Name
(country)
Date of launch and landing,
SC, station
Total
flight duration
(days:hours:minutes)
1
Jean-Loup Chretien
(France)
24.06.82 - 02.07.82
"Soyuz Т-6" - "Salyut-7"
07.21.51
2
Rakesh Sharma
(India)
03.04.84 - 11.04.84
"Soyuz Т-11" - "Salyut-7"
07.21.41
"Salyut-7"
R. Sharma (India) onboard "Salyut-7" station

A new stage of international cooperation in human spaceflights is associated with orbital research station "Mir".

Mir orbital station
On the left, Jean Loup Chretien (France) among Soviet cosmonauts on board space station "Mir"

The Mir manned orbital station is a multi-purpose international center, which for 15 years has been the only space laboratory in the world used for checking and testing basic areas of utilization of future manned stations providing a human access for the Universe exploration.

Since 1987 the international research programs (total 27) were implemented on the station. 7600 experiment sessions in the area of medicine, biology, technology, engineering, and biotechnology were conducted. Astronauts from 12 countries were involved in performance of these programs directly aboard the space station.

Over a period from 1995 to 1998 Russian/US joint programs "Mir/Shuttle", "Mir/NASA" were conducted on the Mir station.

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The following foreign citizens performed the longest flights under the "Mir" program: Jean-Pierre Haigneré (France (188 days.), Shannon Lucid (the USA, 188 days.), Thomas Reiter (ESA, Germany, 179 days.).

Three US astronauts, 2 French astronauts, and 1 ESA astronaut (citizen of Germany) participated in extravehicular activities.

On the left, T. Reiter (ESA) among Soviet cosmonauts aboard Mir station
STS-71 and PC-18 crews. First Shuttle docking to Mir station

OAO RSC Energia continues implementation of the international space programs. Since 1993 Corporation is an active participant in the International Space Station activities.

However, the ISS is not the final stage of international human spaceflights, the ISS partners are negotiating further joint manned space exploration projects.

 

 

 

 

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