Space Programs

Early Space Stations

What milestones were achieved by the Salyut stations?

Salyut 6 was launched on September 29, 1977, and remained in orbit until July 1982. During that time, it received numerous sets of cosmonauts, as well as supplies carried by unpiloted Progress spacecraft. The longest stay on Salyut 6 by any crew was 185 days. Salyut 7 was launched on April 19, 1982, and also hosted many delegations of cosmonauts. The longest visit lasted 237 days, and the last time the space station was occupied was in March 1986, when cosmonauts living aboard the space station Mir visited the spacecraft. They spent six weeks there before returning to their larger, more permanent home. Salyut 7 burned up in Earth’s atmosphere on February 7, 1991.

Skylab was the first U.S. space station and had a highly successful run from 1973 through 1979. This 1974 photo shows the gold shield erected to protect the station’s workshop after the original micrometeoroid shield was lost. (NASA)


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