On This Day In Space: July 29, 1982: Salyut 6 space station falls to Earth

On July 29, 1982, the Salyut 6 space station fell out of space and safely burned up in Earth’s atmosphere along the way.

Salyut 6 was the eighth space station the Soviet Union had built for its Salyut program. It spent almost five years in orbit and supported five different crewed cosmonaut missions. 

Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski captured the first photographic image of a total solar eclipse on July 28, 1851, as a daguerreotype, but the first human records referencing an eclipse are thousands of years old. (Image credit: RKK Energia)

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While aboard Salyut 6, those cosmonauts made astronomical observations and studied the effects of spaceflight on the human body.

Though the aging space station was still considered fully functional in 1982, a mold problem in the crew quarters led the Soviets to abandon the orbiting lab. They intentionally sent it plunging toward Earth, where it would burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the ground.

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