Pyotr Ivanovich Kolodin

Fate was not very kind to Kolodin. Seven years after losing his chance to fly to the first Salyut in 1971 with Leonov and Kubasov he was named as flight engineer for Soyuz 27. It would be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Dzhanibekov, who, like Kolodin, had not yet been in space. The objective of the mission, planned

Pyotr Kolodin
Pyotr Kolodin, the eternal backup.

Reminiscence and legacies 379

for launch on 28 January 1978, was to dock with Salyut 6 in order to exchange the ferry for the station's main crew. It would be a historic mission for the Soviet space programme because for the first time two spacecraft would be docked at a station. However, when the rookie crew of Soyuz 25 failed to dock on the inaugural mission to the station it was decided that in the future at least one cosmonaut of each crew must be experienced. Although Kolodin had been a member of the cosmonaut corps for 13 years he was replaced just two months before launch by Oleg Makarov, who had flight experience. In his autobiography, Kolodin used on 14 occasions phrases such as: ''He was training...'', ''he was third backup'', ''second backup...'', ''was training as first backup...'' and ''member of the prime crew...''. However he never flew in space. Among the cosmonauts, he was legendary as one on whom the stars did not shine. In April 1983 he left the Air Force's cosmonaut group but continued to work at the TsPK. In November 1986 he retired with the rank of Colonel, then worked as a principal engineer in the Mission Control Centre in Kaliningrad.

Was this article helpful?

+1 0

Post a comment