Salyut 2

Salyut 2

Salyut 2 (OPS-1)
Station statistics
COSPAR ID 1973-017A
Call sign Salyut 2
Crew 3
Launch April 3, 1973
09:00:00 UTC
Launch pad Baikonur Site 81/23[1]
Reentry May 28, 1973
Mass 18,500 kilograms (40,800 lb)
Length 14.55 metres (47.7 ft)
Diameter 4.15 metres (13.6 ft)
Pressurised volume 99 cubic metres (3,500 cu ft)
Perigee 257 kilometres (160 mi)
Apogee 278 kilometres (173 mi)
Orbital inclination 51.6°
Orbital period 89.8 minutes
Days in orbit 54 days
Number of orbits 866
Distance travelled 35,163,530 kilometres (21,849,600 mi)
Statistics as of April 4, 1973
An Almaz space station

Salyut 2 (OPS-1) (Russian: Салют-2 meaning Salute 2) was a Soviet space station which was launched in 1973 as part of the Salyut programme. It was the first Almaz military space station to fly. Within two weeks of launch the station had lost attitude control and depressurised, leaving it unusable. Its orbit decayed and it re-entered the atmosphere on 28 May 1973, without any crews having visited it.


  • Spacecraft 1
  • Launch 2
  • Failure 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Salyut 2 was an Almaz military space station.[2] It was designated part of the Salyut programme in order to conceal the existence of the two separate space station programmes.[3]

Salyut 2 was 14.55 metres (47.7 ft) with a diameter of 4.15 metres (13.6 ft), and had an internal habitable volume of 90 cubic metres (3,200 cu ft). At launch it had a mass of 18,950 kilograms (41,780 lb).[4] A single aft-mounted docking port was intended for use by Soyuz spacecraft carrying cosmonauts to work aboard the station. Two solar arrays mounted at the aft end of the station near the docking port provided power to the station, generating a total of 3,120 watts of electricity.[5] The station was equipped with 32 attitude control thrusters, as well as two RD-0225 engines, each capable of generating 3.9 kilonewtons (880 lbf) of thrust, for orbital manoeuvres.[4]


Salyut 2 was launched from Site 81/23 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, atop a three-stage Proton-K rocket, serial number 283-01.[6] The launch took place at 09:00:00 UTC on 3 April 1973,[7] and successfully placed Salyut 2 into low Earth orbit.[6] Upon reaching orbit, Salyut 2 was assigned the International Designator 1973-017A, whilst NORAD gave it the Satellite Catalog Number 06398.[1] The third stage of the Proton-K rocket entered orbit along with Salyut 2. On 4 April, it was catalogued in a 192 by 238 kilometres (119 by 148 mi) orbit, inclined at 51.4 degrees.[8]


Three days after the launch of Salyut 2, the Proton's spent third stage exploded. Thirteen days into its mission, Salyut 2 began to depressurise, and its attitude control system malfunctioned.[3] An inquiry into the failure initially determined that a fuel line had burst, burning a hole in the station.[3] It was later discovered that a piece of debris from the third stage had collided with the station, causing the damage.

Several pieces of debris separated from the space station at around the time of its failure, including both solar panels, which removed its ability to generate power.[1] Three pieces of debris from the station were catalogued, and had decayed from orbit by 13 May.[8] The remainder of the station reentered the atmosphere on May 28, 1973[2][8] over the Pacific Ocean.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Salyut 2". United States National Space Data Center. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Portree, David S. F. (March 1995). "Mir Hardware Heritage" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 4 January 2011. Salyut 2, the first Almaz station, reached orbit on April 3, 1973. Soon after, Salyut 2 lost stability and began tumbling. In 1992, Mikhail Lisun, backup cosmonaut for the Soyuz 24 flight to Almaz station Salyut 5, attributed the loss of Salyut 2 to an electrical fire, followed by depressurization. Salyut 2 broke up on April 14, and all trackable pieces reentered by May 28, 1973. This was a huge discovery 
  3. ^ a b c Zak, Anatoly. "OPS-1 (Salyut-2) space station". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly. "Almaz space station technical overview". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "Almaz space station technical overview - Transfer section". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Proton-K". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 1973 April 3...Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 283-01...Salyut 2 
  7. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Wade, Mark. "1973.04.03 - Salyut 2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 4 January 2011.