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Xero_Snake

Salyut-7: A decent Russian film based on true story

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In the beginning of my trip to Russia last month, I came across & watched a decent Russian film when I was in flight with an Air Astana airliner.

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Full movie with English subtitle:

http://moviesonline.la/watch/PGpVeqv3-salyut-7.html

Enter Salyut-7. This drama film was based on the true story of possibly the most technically challenging space rescue mission ever recorded in mankind history - the Soyuz T-13 mission. The incident was in 1985, where the Soviet Union was still alive & seemingly well, it began with the Salyut-7 space station struck by some sort of meteorites that caused the station's loss of power & drifting randomly in orbit, effectively lost contact with the ground control. But things couldn't get any worse as the geopolitical tension in space race between the US & the USSR was still at all time high, especially when the Soviet authority received information about NASA was planning to launch a Space Shuttle Challenger in attempt to steal the powerless space station with its empty cargo capacity of the right dimension, as well as a French visitor who once went on board the Salyut-7 with Vladimir, selected as one of the Challenger's crews. In response to that, the Salyut space command called for an emergency salvage mission to dispatch two cosmonauts - Vladimir (flight commander) & Viktor (engineer) to board & recover Salyut-7 ASAP in fear of the possible technological theft by NASA and to avert an unwanted catastrophe should the space station crash landed on the Earth surface.

Why David S. F. Portree said the Soyuz T-13 mission was considered as "one of the most impressive feats of in-space repairs in history"? And also why it was the most technically challenging space mission? Because it was the first time cosmonauts/astronauts were dealing with boarding a powerless space station that has its automatic docking system malfunctioned & the station was drifting on a random rotations at an abnormal rate that rendered direct docking almost impossible, as demonstrated in the flight simulations. Technical difficulties also faced both inside & outside of the station in attempt to get the power back online, and the film also shown how a one small oversight problem could lead to a grim disaster.

What is the movie about? Heroism, plain & simple. Because Russians hold great pride of their space engineering & technological achievements, just as much as Americans do. And it was rightfully presented when brave, calm & collected cosmonauts eager to take risks & face challenges to make the impossible possible, of what the helpless space command & the incompetent authority autocrats couldn't, while the latter don't give two hoots about the former's pride in their space programs & the cosmonauts' lives (i.e. shoot down the space station as their only option left) other than just saving their own faces. But with heroism being demonstrated, a respect is earned regardless of nationality & ideology. After all, in space, they (Americans & Russians) all are contributing for the good of mankind's future.

This is an excellent Russian film I ever watched to date. I'm not kidding, because it's really hard to find a decent ones in an international scale since the 9th Company, but that's probably just me. Even so, Salyut-7 is truly worth watching, it's intriguing to explore the other side of the space genre movies while the US has "The Martian", "Gravity" etc.

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Alpha Tester
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So basically Russian Apollo 13.

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Just now, 1Sherman said:

So basically Russian Apollo 13.

Uh huh. People has been comparing this with Apollo 13, which both are indeed a close match.

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Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
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Oooooo~

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I watched it today and it's more than decent, it's a fine film. Especially in the current cold war climate.

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18 minutes ago, Stauffenberg44 said:

I watched it today and it's more than decent, it's a fine film. Especially in the current cold war climate.

Current? Damn, are we so wrong to think that it should have been gone 26 years ago.

Oh yeah, because of that event, it led to the foundation of the multi-modular Mir space station program, just before the Salyut-7 was decommissioned in 1986. And then, the ISS replaced Mir after that in the 21st century.

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Sorry to bring this thread up again, but I just picked up a documentary video of Salyut-7 by Curious Droid recently. My god, the events in the movie were almost as accurate as was documented.

Not sure if any of you watched the movie or not, but what was mentioned in this video were unbelievably matched to how the movie progressed:
 

Spoiler

 

- In 1984, a year before the Salyut-7 got knocked down offline & drifted by an unknown cause (assume it was hit by small meteorites), Svetlana (first woman went on EVA space walk) & Vladimir went on an expedition to do welding when the space station was suspected of fuel leaking
- 3rd crew seat of Soyuz T-13 spacecraft removed for more food supplies & fuel capacity for at least a week of orbital operation
- Auto-docking system of the spacecraft was replaced with laser rangefinder to track distance, target's rotational speed, flight speed etc. (which was considered as an impressive feat for a space rescue mission)
- After successfully docked on board, when two cosmonauts first came into the dead space station, most of its interior were frozen
- Cosmonauts brought winter clothing & caps
- They have a precaution to check on the level of CO gas & other dangerous gases on board if there is a fire on board
- Salyut-7's solar panels were misaligned prior to the loss of power
- Source of the problem was identified to be a faulty power sensor that was responsible for recharging the station's batteries. So when the sensor failed, so as the power supply died with it

However...

- In real story, only one crew can work in the station one at the time while the other stay in the Soyuz to avoid the build-up of CO2 to a dangerous level because the air regulating system malfunctioned due to power loss
- The fire on board never really happened in real story, but the film did demonstrate what would happen if something went wrong with the electric circuit of Soyuz i.e. caused by hotwiring or a water droplet fried the electric circuit, which in turn could lead to a fatal consequences. Because a fire on board could also burn out most of the oxygen inside, since fire requires oxygen to combust

 

 

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