Soyuz 10


Soyuz 10
OperatorSoviet space program
COSPAR ID1971-034A
SATCAT no.5172
Mission duration1 day, 23 hours, 45 minutes, 54 seconds
Orbits completed32
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSoyuz 7K-OKS
ManufacturerExperimental Design Bureau OKB-1
Launch mass6,800 kilograms (15,000 lb)
Crew size3
MembersVladimir Shatalov
Aleksei Yeliseyev
Nikolai Rukavishnikov
CallsignГранит (Granit - "Granite")[1]
Start of mission
Launch date22 April 1971, 23:54:06 (1971-04-22UTC23:54:06Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5[2]
End of mission
Landing date24 April 1971, 23:40:00 (1971-04-24UTC23:41Z) UTC
Landing site120 kilometres (75 mi) NW of Karaganda
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude209 kilometres (130 mi)
Apogee altitude258 kilometres (160 mi)
Inclination51.6 degrees
Period89.1 minutes
Epoch23 April 1971[3]
Soyuz 10 mission patch.png
Soyuz programme
(Crewed missions)
← Soyuz 9

Soyuz 10 (Russian: 'Союз 10', Union 10) was launched on 22 April 1971 as the world's first mission to the world's first space station, the Soviet Salyut 1. The docking was not successful and the crew returned to Earth without having entered the station. It would be the first of numerous docking failures in the Soviet space station program.[4]


Soyuz 10 was launched on 22 April 1971 to dock with Salyut 1. The spacecraft was the first of the upgraded Soyuz 7K-OKS, featuring the new "probe and drogue" docking mechanism with internal crew transfer capability, intended for space station visits.


The cosmonauts Vladimir Shatalov, Aleksei Yeliseyev, and Nikolai Rukavishnikov were able to navigate their Soyuz 10 spacecraft to the Salyut 1 station, yet during docking they ran into problems. The automatic control system failed during approach, owing to a serious design oversight: when soft dock was performed, the computer sensed an abnormality in the spacecraft's alignment and began firing the attitude control jets to compensate. With Soyuz 10 being pushed to one side by the attitude control system, it became impossible to achieve hard dock, and large quantities of propellant were expended doing so. The docking attempt was called off, but further difficulty occurred when the probe would not come out of the space station's docking cone. The obvious solution was simply to jettison the orbital module and leave it attached to Salyut 1, but this would make it impossible for future Soyuz missions to dock; thus, the space station would have to be abandoned. Eventually, ground controllers realized that the cosmonauts could throw a circuit breaker in the docking mechanism, for interrupting the power supply would cause the probe to automatically retract. This procedure worked, and undocking was completed.[1] The automatic control system would be redesigned on future Soyuz spacecraft.

After finally undocking, one last hitch presented itself when toxic fumes began to fill the capsule during reentry, causing Rukavishnikov to pass out; however, all three crew members were recovered unscathed.


Position Cosmonaut
Commander Vladimir Shatalov
Third and last spaceflight
Flight Engineer Aleksei Yeliseyev
Third and last spaceflight
Test Engineer Nikolai Rukavishnikov
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Alexei Leonov
Flight Engineer Valeri Kubasov
Test Engineer Pyotr Kolodin

Reserve crew

Position[1] Cosmonaut
Commander Georgi Dobrovolski
Flight Engineer Vladislav Volkov
Test Engineer Viktor Patsayev

See also

  • Soyuz T-13, a mission to manually dock to the crippled Salyut 7 space station.
  • Soyuz T-15, a mission to ferry equipment from Salyut 7 to Mir, which had to manually maneuver and dock to Mir.


  1. ^ a b c Mir Hardware Heritage - 1.7.3 (wikisource)
  2. ^ "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "SATCAT". Jonathan's Space Pages. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  4. ^ The mission report is available here: