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Unmanned Soyuz

The following preceded the ill-fated Soyuz 1:

Cosmos 133: 28-30 November 1966. This was the first flight of the original Soyuz. The craft could not be controlled while the main engine was firing and thus could not be lined up for reentry. It was destroyed to prevent it from landing in China.

Launch failure: December 1966. A on-pad explosion of the Soyuz launch vehicle ended the second test. The Soyuz orbital and descent modules were safely ejected.

Cosmos 140: 7-9 February 1967. A nominal orbital mission was achieved. During reentry,  a plug on the forward heat shield burned through and caused severe damage. The descent module landed in the Aral Sea and sank in 10 m of water.

The next set of flights came between Soyuz 1 and Soyuz 3.

Cosmos 186: 27-31 October 1967.

Cosmos 188: 30 October - 2 November 1967. There was an automated docking between Cosmos 186 and Cosmos 188.

Cosmos 212: 14-19 April 1968.

Cosmos 213: 15-20 April 1968. There occurred an automated docking between Cosmos 2w12 and Cosmos 213.

Cosmos 238: 28 August - 1 September 1968. This was either a test to re-qualify the Soyuz for flight, or meant to be the target for a subsequent manned launch which was cancelled.

Soyuz 2: 25-28 October 1968. This vehicle served as the target for Soyuz 3, launched the next day.


Page last modified: 20 June 2022 16:59:11.