Salyut 5 (OPS-3) (Салют-5; Salute V/5) was launched on June 22, 1976 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Proton 8K82K rocket. It was the third and last Almaz military space station, included in the Salyut program to conceal its true purpose. Structurally similar to Salyut 3, it had a total mass of approximately 18-19 tons. It had two solar panels laterally mounted on the center of the station, and a detachable recovery module for the return of research data and materials. Its launch and subsequent mission were both completed successfully. It was inhabited by two Soyuz crews. The Soyuz 21 cosmonauts worked in the station from July 7 - August 24, 1976. Soyuz 23 attempted to dock on October 15, but was unable to enter the station. The Soyuz 24 crew worked in the station from February 8 - 25, 1977. Its research module was ejected on February 26, 1977, and recovered. Salyut 5's orbit decayed, and it re-entered the atmosphere on August 8, 1977, after fuel reserves were depleted and the planned Soyuz 25 mission was no longer possible.
|Expedition||Crew||Launch Date||Flight Up||Landing Date||Flight Down||Duration (Days)||Notes|
|Soyuz 21|| Boris Volynov,|
| June 6, 1976|
|Soyuz 21|| August 24, 1976|
|Soyuz 21||49.27||Launch from Baikonur; landing 200 km southwest of Kokchetav. Docking with Salyut 5; main military experiments; observation of aquarium-fishes in the microgravity; solar observation; TV-conference with pupils; premature return to Earth because of poisonous steam in the spacestation; Zholobov suffered from space sickness and the crew from psychological problems; at landing date the crew was in very bad psychological and mental condition.|
|Soyuz 24|| Viktor Gorbatko,|
| February 7, 1977|
|Soyuz 24|| February 25, 1977|
|Soyuz 24||17.73||Launch from Baikonur; landing 36 km northeast of Arkalyk; docking with spacestation Salyut 5 on second flight day; repairing work on the station and changing cabin air, although the air was not toxic; then scientific experiments for solar studies.|
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