Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 96

Soyuz T-12



Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  17.07.1984
Launch time:  17:40:53.945 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  31
Altitude:  192 - 218 km
Inclination:  51.6°
Docking Salyut 7:  18.07.1984, 19:16:35 UTC
Undocking Salyut 7:  29.07.1984, 09:38 UTC
Landing date:  29.07.1984
Landing time:  12:55:30 UTC
Landing site:  140 km SE of Dzheskasgan

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz T-12

hi res version (1,03 MB)

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Dzhanibekov  Vladimir Aleksandrovich  Commander 4 11d 19h 14m 36s  186 
2  Savitskaya  Svetlana Yevgeniyevna  Flight Engineer 2 11d 19h 14m 36s  186 
3  Volk  Igor Petrovich  Research Cosmonaut 1 11d 19h 14m 36s  186 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Dzhanibekov
2  Savitskaya
3  Volk
1  Dzhanibekov
2  Savitskaya
3  Volk

Animations: Soyuz

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with friendly permission of

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Vasyutin  Vladimir Vladimirovich  Commander
2  Ivanova  Yekaterina Aleksandrovna  Flight Engineer
3  Savinykh  Viktor Petrovich  Research Cosmonaut

hi res version (746 KB)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 140 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.

Igor Volk was a test pilot, and was planned to be the Commander of the first Buran spaceflight. The rule introduced following the Soyuz 25 failure, insisted that all Soviet spaceflight must have at least one crew member who has been to space before. As a result, it was decided that Igor Volk should have spaceflight experience, and he was originally scheduled to visit Salyut 7 in 1983. But following the failure of Soyuz T-8 to dock to Salyut 7, in April 1983, the Soyuz launch schedule was disrupted, and Igor Volk's original crew members, Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Soloviyov, were rescheduled elsewhere. They later became long-duration crew members of the third resident crew, and Igor Volk was scheduled fly in the passenger seat of a visiting mission Soyuz T-12 to the third resident crew, but the other members of the Soyuz T-12 mission were not yet decided upon.

Following a one day solo flight Soyuz T-12 docked with Salyut 7 on July 18, 1984 and common work with the third resident crew was done. An EVA by Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Svetlana Savitskaya was performed on July 25, 1984 (3h 35m). Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman ever to perform an EVA. During the EVA they tested the URI multipurpose tool. They cut, welded, soldered, and coated metal samples.

The common work with the third resident crew crew included rezonans tests and collecting station air samples.

The Soyuz spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end - the Orbital Module, the Descent Module and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. The crew occupied the central element, the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned prior to re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returned to Earth.
Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet (121.9 kilometers) above the Earth, where friction due to the thickening atmosphere began to heat its outer surfaces. With only 23 minutes left before it lands on the grassy plains of central Asia, attention in the module turned to slowing its rate of descent.
Eight minutes later, the spacecraft was streaking through the sky at a rate of 755 feet (230 meters) per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet (1.5 meter) per second, and it lands at an even lower speed than that. Several onboard features ensure that the vehicle and crew land safely and in relative comfort.
Four parachutes, deployed 15 minutes before landing, dramatically slowed the vehicle's rate of descent. Two pilot parachutes were the first to be released, and a drogue chute attached to the second one followed immediately after. The drogue, measuring 24 square meters (258 square feet) in area, slowed the rate of descent from 755 feet (230 meters) per second to 262 feet (80 meters) per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters). Its harnesses shifted the vehicle's attitude to a 30-degree angle relative to the ground, dissipating heat, and then shifted it again to a straight vertical descent prior to landing.
The main chute slowed the Soyuz to a descent rate of only 24 feet (7.3 meters) per second, which is still too fast for a comfortable landing. One second before touchdown, two sets of three small engines on the bottom of the vehicle fired, slowing the vehicle to soften the landing.

Photos / Graphics

crew in training Volk in training

more EVA photos


Last update on May 11, 2016.