All large space cargoes including the Salyut (Salute) and Mir (Peace) space stations were launched using the large Proton rocket launch vehicles whilst all other launches from Sputnik to Soyuz use the R-7 rocket launch vehicle.

Frequently with the launch of a new space station there was an overlap when the old space station was being decommissioned which saw cargo being ferried between vessels.

Space Stations Mission Summary 1971 - 2001

SALYUT 111971-04-1917524
SALYUT 201973-04-04540
SALYUT 311974-06-2521315
SALYUT 421974-12-2677092
SALYUT 521976-06-2241267
SALYUT 616 (14) [3]1977-09-291,764683
SALYUT 712 (15) [13]1982-04-193,216816
MIR39 (68) [?]1986-02-195,5194,592



SALYUT 1: Measuring about 16 by 4 meters, Salyut 1 was inhabited by just one crew (Soyuz 11), Salyut 1 was the worlds first space station. After the Soyuz 11 disaster, Salyut 1 was never used again and de-orbited 11-October-1971.
SALYUT 2: Salyut 2 was launched 4-April-1973. A problem after detachment of the launch vehicle meant that the station became unstable, lost its solar panels and thus power and depressurised. It was never used and was de-orbited 28-May-1973.
SALYUT 3: Salyut 3 was launched 24-June-1974 and successfully hosted just one crew (Soyuz 14) whilst in orbit. Salyut 3 was the first stabilised Salyut using special thrusters to regulate orientation. Dubbed the military Salyut, it also housed a gun designed to be fired upon other space objects. The recoil from firing such a weapon would have destabilised the orbiter and so was only tested when de-orbited on 24-January-1975.
SALYUT 4: Unlike Salyut's 2 and 3, Salyut 4 was not of military design and was akin to Salyut 1. Salyut 4 had two crews (Soyuz 17, 18b) and was manned at the same time as the joint Apollo Soyuz mission occurred. It was launched on 27-December-1974 and finally de-orbited on 2-February-1977.
SALYUT 5: Salyut 5 was of the same military design as the Salyut 2 and 3 was hosted two crews (Soyuz 21, 24). The Soyuz 21 stay was cut short due to crew sickness. Salyut 5 was launched 22-June-1976 and de-orbited 8-August-1977.
SALYUT 6: In an attempt to increase the duration that the space station crews remained in orbit, unmanned resupply craft were developed. Salyut 6 was the first space station to deploy duel docking stations allowing a manned Soyuz craft to be attached whilst an unmanned Progress craft also docked. Salyut 6 was launched 29-September-1977 and Progress 1 was launched 29-January-1978. Salyut 6 hosted 33 cosmonauts from various countries in 16 crews in a programme called "Intercosmos". Five of these crews were long term staying for months at a time. It was finally de-orbited 29-July-1982 after four and a half years.
SALYUT 7: Salyut 7 was the backup vehicle for Salyut 6 and was launched on 19-April-1982 due to delays in the Mir stations readiness. Salyut 7 hosted 26 cosmonauts in 12 crews including more intercosmos missions and the second female in space (Svetlana Savitskaya) who performed the first EVA by a female. It remained in orbit for over eight years before being de-orbited 7-February-1991, most of that time crewed.
MIR: Learning from the Salyut experience the Mir space station was devised with many more docking modules allowing it to be expanded in stages and to host multiple vehicles. Vehicles ferried supplies from Salyut 7 during the opening stages of Mir. It remained manned constantly from 1989 until 1999. After one last crew in 2000 it was decided to deorbit the station in March 2001 over the Pacific after some fifteen years in orbit. The learning and design of Mir has lent much to the International Space Station.

BURAN: The Buran was the Soviet Space shuttle. It had its maiden unmanned flight 15-November-1988, but never flew again due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Buran was lost due to a fire in its hanger.


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