Space: A Final Salute to Salyut 6

Lessons learned from the Soviet mobile home in the sky

The successful flight of the space shuttle Columbia did more than raise American spirits. It broke a Soviet monopoly. For nearly six years before Columbia 's mission, earth orbit had been an exclusive Soviet preserve. Not a single U.S. astronaut flew in space during that period, while Soviet cosmonauts set one orbital endurance mark after another, finally reaching 185 days, more than twice the duration of America's longest Skylab mission. Most of this time was spent aboard a single Soviet spacecraft, a remarkable 20-ton...

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