SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Soyuz 11, Soviet rocket, after take-off. Soyuz 11 was launched on June 6 1971. It was crewed by Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev and Vladislav Volkov. Soyuz flights have formed the backbone of the Soviet space manned space programme, but Soyuz 11 went disastrously wrong. The crew spent 23 days onboard Salyut 1 space station. On re-entry there was a leak in the descent module. When it landed the crew were found asphyxiated due to the loss of gas from its atmosphere. Following from this, Soyuz crew was reduced to two so that there was room for them to wear space suits on take-off and landing.
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