|COSPAR ID 1973-017A|
Reentry May 28, 1973
|Call sign Salyut 2|
Launch pad Baikonur Site 81/23
Launch date 4 April 1973
|Mass 18,500 kilograms (40,800 lb)|
Similar Salyut 3, Salyut 1, Salyut 5, Salyut 4, Almaz
Ksp soviet stations part 4 salyut 2 almaz 1
Salyut 2 (OPS-1) (Russian: Салют-2 meaning Salute 2) was a Soviet space station which was launched in 1973 as part of the Salyut programme. It was the first Almaz military space station to fly. Within two weeks of launch the station had lost attitude control and depressurised, leaving it unusable. Its orbit decayed and it re-entered the atmosphere on 28 May 1973, without any crews having visited it.
Salyut 2 was an Almaz military space station. It was designated part of the Salyut programme in order to conceal the existence of the two separate space station programmes.
Salyut 2 was 14.55 metres (47.7 ft) with a diameter of 4.15 metres (13.6 ft), and had an internal habitable volume of 90 cubic metres (3,200 cu ft). At launch it had a mass of 18,950 kilograms (41,780 lb). A single aft-mounted docking port was intended for use by Soyuz spacecraft carrying cosmonauts to work aboard the station. Two solar arrays mounted at the aft end of the station near the docking port provided power to the station, generating a total of 3,120 watts of electricity. The station was equipped with 32 attitude control thrusters, as well as two RD-0225 engines, each capable of generating 3.9 kilonewtons (880 lbf) of thrust, for orbital manoeuvres.
Salyut 2 was launched from Site 81/23 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, atop a three-stage Proton-K rocket, serial number 283-01. The launch took place at 09:00:00 UTC on 3 April 1973, and successfully placed Salyut 2 into low Earth orbit. Upon reaching orbit, Salyut 2 was assigned the International Designator 1973-017A, whilst NORAD gave it the Satellite Catalog Number 06398. The third stage of the Proton-K rocket entered orbit along with Salyut 2. On 4 April, it was catalogued in a 192 by 238 kilometres (119 by 148 mi) orbit, inclined at 51.4 degrees.
Three days after the launch of Salyut 2, the Proton's spent third stage exploded. Thirteen days into its mission, Salyut 2 began to depressurise, and its attitude control system malfunctioned. An inquiry into the failure initially determined that a fuel line had burst, burning a hole in the station. It was later discovered that a piece of debris from the third stage had collided with the station, causing the damage.
Several pieces of debris separated from the space station at around the time of its failure, including both solar panels, which removed its ability to generate power. Three pieces of debris from the station were catalogued, and had decayed from orbit by 13 May. The remainder of the station reentered the atmosphere on May 28, 1973 over the Pacific Ocean.