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Soyuz 13
Mission statistics
Mission name Soyuz 13
Spacecraft mass 6,560 kg (14,500 lb)
Crew size 2
Call sign Кавказ (Kavkaz - "Caucasus")
Launch pad Gagarin's Start[1]
Launch date December 18 1973 11:55:00 (1973-12-18T11:55) UTC
Landing December 26 1973 08:50:35 (1973-12-26T08:50:36) UTC
200 km (120 mi) SW of Karaganda
Mission duration 7d/20:55:35
Number of orbits 127
Apogee 247 km (153 mi)
Perigee 188 km (117 mi)
Orbital period 88.8 min
Orbital inclination 51.6°
Related missions
Previous mission Next mission
Soyuz 12 Soyuz 14

Soyuz 13 (Russian: Союз 13, Union 13) was a 1973 Soviet manned space flight, the second test flight of the redesigned Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft that first flew as Soyuz 12. The spacecraft was specially modified to carry the Orion 2 Space Observatory. The flight, manned by Pyotr Klimuk and Valentin Lebedev, was the Soviet Union's first dedicated science mission,[2] and was the first mission controlled by the new Kaliningrad Mission Control Center.[3]



Position Cosmonaut
Commander Pyotr Klimuk
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer Valentin Lebedev
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Lev Vorobiyov
Flight Engineer Valeri Yazdovsky

Reserve crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Vladimir Kovalyonok
Flight Engineer Yuri Ponomaryov

Mission parameters

  • Mass: 6,560 kg (14,500 lb)
  • Perigee: 188 km (117 mi)
  • Apogee: 247 km (153 mi)
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Period: 88.8 min

Mission highlights

Launched 18 December 1973, the Soyuz 13 crew of Klimuk and Lebedev performed some of the experiments intended for the failed Salyut space stations from the previous year.[3] Unlike Soyuz 12, the craft was equipped with solar panels to allow for an extended mission. Additionally, an orbital module was attached replacing unneeded docking equipment. This module included the Orion 2 Space Observatory (see below).[3]

The crew used a mulispectral camera to measure the atmosphere and pollution.[3] They also tested the Oasis 2 closed ecology system, and harvested protein, yielding 30 times the original bio-mass. Medical tests were also carried out, including experiments to measure blood flow to the brain.[3]

The crew landed in a heavy snowstorm on 26 December, but were recovered a few minutes later, some 200 km southwest of Karaganda.[3]

Orion 2 Space Observatory

The Orion 2 Space Observatory, designed by Grigor Gurzadyan, was operated by crew member Lebedev. Ultraviolet spectrograms of thousands of stars to as faint as 13th magnitude were obtained by a wide-angle meniscus telescope of the Cassegrain system, with an aperture diameter of 240 mm, an equivalent focal length of 1,000 mm, and a 4-grade quartz prism objective. The dispersion of the spectrograph was 17, 28 and 55 nm/mm, at wavelengths of 200, 250 and 300 nm respectively. The first satellite UV spectrogram of a planetary nebula (IC 2149 in Auriga) was obtained, revealing lines of aluminium and titanium - elements not previously observed in objects of that type. Two-photon emission in that planetary nebula and a remarkable star cluster in Auriga were also discovered. Additionally, comet Kohoutek was observed.[3]


  1. ^ "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  
  2. ^ Clark, Phillip (1988). The Soviet Manned Space Program. New York: Orion Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc.. ISBN 0-517-56954-X.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Newkirk, Dennis (1990). Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight. Houston, Texas: Gulf Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87201-848-2.  
  • G.A.Gurzadyan, Ultraviolet spectra of Capella, Nature, vol. 250, p.204, 1974 [1]
  • G.A.Gurzadyan, S.S.Rustambekova, Silicon-rich stellar envelope? Nature, vol. 254, p.311, 1975 [2]
  • G.A.Gurzadyan, A.L.Jarakyan, M.N.Krmoyan, A.L.Kashin, G.M.Loretsyan, J.B.Ohanesyan, Space astrophysical observatory Orion-2, Astrophysics and Space Science, vol.40, p.393, 1976 [3]
  • G.A.Gurzadyan, Two-photon emission in planetary nebula IC 2149, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Publications, vol.88, p.891, 1976[4]
  • H.A.Abt, Spectral types in Gurzadyan's clustering in Auriga, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Publications, vol.90, p.555, 1978 [5]


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