Landing of Kosmos-186

The Soyuz 7K-OK No. 6 spacecraft completed its mission on Oct. 31, 1967.

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Vehicle No. 6 lands in ballistic mode

After the successful undocking, the Soyuz engineers faced another critical phase of the mission that had given them so much grief in the recent past -- the reentry and landing.

With its propellant cache nearly depleted, Vehicle No. 6 (Kosmos-186), was set for reentry first on Oct. 31, 1967. Yet again, the 45K optical sensor of the celestial and sun-orientation system demonstrated poor performance, probably due to excessive interference from sunlight. Because the sensor could not lock in on a necessary navigation star, it was impossible to orient the ship accurately enough to provide aerodynamic lift during the reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.

As a result, the descent module made a ballistic reentry which, fortunately, still concluded with a soft landing.


Next chapter: Landing of Soyuz 7K-OK No. 5 (Kosmos-188)


The article and illustrations by Anatoly Zak; Last update: March 2, 2024

Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last update: October 30, 2017

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A touchdown of the Soyuz spacecraft.