Soyuz 24
Commemorative stamp of 1977 of
Viktor Gorbatko and Yuri Glazkov
OperatorSoviet space program
COSPAR ID1977-008A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.09804
Mission duration17 days 17 hours 26 minutes
Orbits completed285
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSoyuz 7K-T No.11
Spacecraft typeSoyuz 7K-T/A9
ManufacturerNPO Energia
Launch mass6750 kg [1]
Landing mass1200 kg
Crew size2
MembersViktor Gorbatko
Yuri Glazkov
CallsignТерек (Terek)
Terek River
Start of mission
Launch date7 February 1977, 16:11 UTC
Launch siteBaikonur, Site 1/5[2]
End of mission
Landing date25 February 1977, 09:38 UTC
Landing site37 km at the northeast of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[3]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude184.7 km
Apogee altitude346.2 km
Period89.52 minutes
Docking with Salyut 5
Docking date8 February 1977
Undocking date25 February 1977
Time docked17 days

Vimpel Diamond patch  

Soyuz 24 (Russian: Союз 24, Union 24) was a February, 1977, Soviet mission to the Salyut 5 space station, the third and final mission to the station, the last purely military crew for the Soviets and the final mission to a military Salyut.[4] The cosmonauts Viktor Gorbatko and Yuri Glazkov re-activated the station after toxic fumes had apparently terminated the mission of Soyuz 21, the previous crew.

They performed biological and materials experiments while on board. Other presumed activities included photographic reconnaissance, and finishing tasks the previous crew was forced to abandon when their mission abruptly ended. The Soyuz 24 crew landed after spending 18 days in space, and the Salyut station was de-orbited six months later.


Position Cosmonaut
Commander Soviet Union Viktor Gorbatko
Second spaceflight
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Yuri Glazkov
Only spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Soviet Union Anatoly Berezovoy
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Mikhail Lisun

Reserve crew

Position Cosmonaut
Commander Soviet Union Vladimir Kozelsky
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Vladimir Preobrazhensky

Mission highlights

The cosmonauts Gorbatko and Glazkov were the back-up crew for Soyuz 23, which failed to dock with Salyut 5 several months earlier.[5] Soyuz 24 was launched 7 February 1977, and successfully docked with the orbiting space station the next day. However, the crew did not immediately enter the station, atypically having a sleep period first and delaying their entry by some 11 hours.[5] Observers speculate that problems with fumes which may have caused the Soyuz 21 crew to leave were resolved or dealt with by the new crew.[5] They entered the station wearing breathing apparatus and made numerous tests of the atmosphere before apparently concluding conditions were safe and removing their breathing devices.[6]

Observers speculate that the flight had a specific objective and was not meant to be a long-duration mission. In any case, fuel for the station to maneuver was too depleted to attempt a long mission.[5] The crew continued the research started by the Soyuz 21 crew,[6] performed Earth resources work, biological and materials experiments. But, being a part of the Almaz military Salyut program, other unrevealed projects were likely carried out. The flight would prove to be not only the final flight to a military Salyut station, but also the final all-military crew to be launched by the Soviets.[6] On 21 February 1977, the crew performed an air-changing experiment, shown on TV, slowly venting air from one end of the station to the other while releasing 100 kg of air from tanks in the docked Soyuz orbital module. This was a test of the future air replenishment techniques to be carried out with Progress transports in subsequent space stations.[5]

They began to activate the Soyuz 24 on 23 February 1977, then deactivate the space station, and undocked and landed near Arkalyk on 25 February 1977. The Soyuz landed in a blowing snowstorm and recovery crews could not locate the space capsule. As it turned out, the search and rescue beacon was unable to deploy due to being jammed shut from snow, so Gorbatko had to free it by hand.[5]

On 26 February 1977, Salyut 5 ejected a research module. The research module, which was recovered on Soviet territory, containing exposed film and experiments carried out by the two crews who crewed the space station.[5][6] The Salyut 5 space station was deorbited on 8 August 1977.

Mission parameters


  1. ^ a b "Display: Soyuz 24 1977-008A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Trajectory: Soyuz 24 1977-008A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ The mission report is available here:
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Newkirk, Dennis (1990). Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight. Houston, Texas: Gulf Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87201-848-2.
  6. ^ a b c d Clark, Phillip (1988). The Soviet Manned Space Program. New York: Orion Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-56954-X.