March 5, 2024

On This Day in Space! Jan. 16, 1969: 1st docking of 2 crewed spacecraft

On January 16, 1969, 2 crewed spacecraft docked in orbit for the very first time. When the Soviet Union launched the Soyuz 4 spacecraft, just one cosmonaut was on board. But it returned with a team of 3 after 2 cosmonauts from Soyuz 5 moved spacecrafts in orbit.An artists illustration of the first-ever docking of 2 crewed spacecraft during the Soviet Unions Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 objectives on Jan. 16, 1969. (Image credit: Lunokhod 2 CC BY-SA 3.0) Soyuz 4 securely went back to Earth, however the one unlucky cosmonaut who was left behind in Soyuz 5 had a quite rough landing. Throughout reentry, the service module stopped working to separate from the descent module, and the spacecraft got turned upside-down. To top it off, the parachutes and soft-landing rockets failed to release correctly. That cosmonaut, Boris Volynov, amazingly endured the crash– but he did lose a couple of teeth.Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist. On This Day in Space Archive! Still not enough area? Dont forget to have a look at our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week. Email Hanneke Weitering at [email protected] or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook..