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Soyuz 6
Mission insignia
Mission statistics
Mission name Soyuz 6
Spacecraft mass 6,577 kg (14,500 lb)
Crew size 2
Call sign Антей (Antey - "Antaeus")
Launch pad Baikonur Site 31/6[1]
Launch date October 11 1969 11:10:00 (1969-10-11T11:10) UTC
Landing October 16 1969 09:52:47 (1969-10-16T09:52:48) UTC
180 km (110 mi) NW of Karaganda
Mission duration 4d/22:42:47
Number of orbits 80
Apogee 218 km (135 mi)
Perigee 212 km (132 mi)
Orbital period 88.8 min
Orbital inclination 51.6°
Related missions
Previous mission Next mission
Soyuz-5-patch.png Soyuz 5 Soyuz-7-patch.png Soyuz 7

Soyuz 6 (Russian: Союз 6, Union 6) was part of a joint mission with Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 that saw three Soyuz spacecraft in orbit together at the same time, carrying seven cosmonauts. The crew of Georgi Shonin and Valeri Kubasov were meant to take high-quality movie photography of Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 docking but the rendezvous systems on all three spacecraft failed.

It is still not known exactly what the actual problem was, but it is often quoted as being a helium pressurization integrity test. The version of Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft used for the missions carried a torus shaped docking electronics equipment housing surrounding the motor assembly on the back of the service module. This is thought to have been pressurized with helium to provide a benign environment for the electronics. It was then jettisoned after docking to lower the mass of the spacecraft for reentry. What went wrong with the electronics on all three spacecraft is still not known.

The crew was made up of Georgi Shonin and Valeri Kubasov, who carried out important experiments in space welding. They tested three methods: using an electron beam, a low pressure plasma arc and a consumable electrode. The apparatus was designed at the E. O. Paton Electric Welding Institute, Kiev, Ukraine. The weld quality was said to be in no way inferior to that of Earth based welds.

After 80 orbits of the Earth they landed on October 16, 1969, 180 km (110 mi) northwest of Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

The radio call sign of the spacecraft was Antey, referring to the Greek hero Antaeus, but more important, at the time of the flight, however, it was also the name of the largest practicable aircraft, the Soviet Antonov 22, made in Ukraine. But unlike the call signs of Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8, this was not the name of a squadron in Soviet military training, of uncertain role, for the one that begins with the letter 'a' is Aktif, meaning Active.



Position Cosmonaut
Commander Georgi Shonin
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer Valeri Kubasov
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Vladimir Shatalov
Flight Engineer Aleksei Yeliseyev

Reserve crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Andriyan Nikolayev
Flight Engineer Georgi Grechko

Mission parameters

  • Mass: 6,577 kg (14,500 lb)
  • Perigee: 212 km (132 mi)
  • Apogee: 218 km (135 mi)
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Period: 88.8 min



  1. ^ "Baikonur LC31". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  


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