One Thousand Orbits Day Sunday June

At 2.14 a.m. the Salyut space station completed its 1,000th orbit since its launch on 19 April. It was in the communication zone at the time, and cosmonaut Gorbatko was the communication officer at the TsUP. He pointed out that the crew had been on board for 206 orbits, and joked that perhaps they should remain for an additional thousand orbits. In accordance with the flight plan, 20 June was a rest day in space. They made a TV report showing off the station's various sections and its equipment. While in radio contact, they reported observations of the Earth and its atmosphere

6 On Russian trains which travel for many days and nights, some wagons provide roomettes in which passengers can have privacy.

that they had made in recent days, including the African sand storm they had seen the previous day.

From Volkov's diary:

20 June. The third week of our work in orbit has started, but the station has been in space for two months, making 1,000 orbits. Because the commander Dobrovolskiy and research engineer Patsayev are sleeping, I'll be on duty at the time of the 1,000th orbit. In the sleeping bags, I can only see their heads. In these 'beds' you get so comfortable that sometimes you grow reluctant to get up.

There is only one orbit until the 1,000th circle. It has just started the 999th. In a few minutes, Zarya will call me. Through the static I hear: ''Yantar! Here is Zarya. On line!'' ''Zarya! I am Yantar 2, I hear you excellently!'' ''Yantar 2, how is it going?''

''How is it going? Normal. My crewmates are asleep. With no one to talk to, I don't feel so cosy in this huge space home. It is a feeling that is familiar to anyone who, as the sailors say, has duty on the ship's bow. As I speak to you I feel as if I am at home. I know that the weather below isn't very good, being cloudy, windy and rainy. Up here, away from the portholes, the Sun is blinding and the Earth is covered with the clouds.'' ''Don't you have rain?'' Zarya asked in jest.

''No, we don't have rain. Nothing Earth-like is in this vicinity. Just the real splendour of space!''

''Here, they are preparing the With Good Morning radio programme.'' ''That is good news.''

We have heard the pre-recorded selections of music on our tape recorder so often that they are no longer our favourites! We are therefore eager for the promised radio programme, in particular our music requests.

It is interesting how the commander and I look with bearded faces on the TV screens. My beard reminds me of a Tatarian-Mongolian man. Honestly, I don't tend to it any more.

The Earth asked: ''How do you hear the short waves?'' ''It is good - especially in the western hemisphere. It is so pleasant to hear words in your own language while passing over South America.'' Next a question about our plants: ''Do you look after the shrubs?'' ''Of course! In fact, more often than planned in our flight programme. We have a special love for our greenery. We feel that it links us to the remote - yet so close - Earthly realm. We devote great attention to our 'little cosmic garden'. The vegetables grow well.''

The communication session is over. The next will be on the 1,000th orbit. How long will my two crewmates sleep? Will I alone see the number 1,000 appear on the display of the globe? No, the crew commander will be with me. I'll awaken him in half an hour. He will take the duty, and communicate with Zarya.

We know that the 1,000th orbit will start at 00.44.44 on 20 June. In these final minutes, the only thing that I do is watch the onboard clocks. Yes! The first seconds of the jubilee orbit have begun.

When journalists at the TsUP asked Yeliseyev, the flight director, about the crew, he said: "Each man has a different character and, of course, during communication sessions this is very noticeable. Patsayev doesn't speak very often, we almost never hear him. He will just let us know which experiment he has finished, or ask details about his work. Volkov speaks the most. He also expresses his emotions the most. He not only talks about the flight programme and the investigations, he also asks us about soccer scores and weather conditions. He sends his regards. This is totally in accordance with his spirit and nature - on the Earth he was also so communicative. In terms of emotions, Dobrovolskiy is somewhere in the middle. He always speaks calmly and certainly.''

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