The Next Crews

As the resources of the station (propellant, air, food and water) were sufficient to continue manned operations until 20 August, the return of Soyuz 11 was set for the last day of June and the launch of Soyuz 12 for between 15 and 20 July. The second crew would depart from the station just before its resources expired. In addition, a review of the resources on Soyuz 11 determined that it was capable of 57 hours of autonomous flight after undocking from the station.

Meanwhile, after a 10-day break on the Black Sea, Leonov's crew returned to the TsPK. There was a debate as to who should replace the ailing Kubasov. In the backup crew were Gubaryev, Sevastyanov and Voronov. Serving as flight engineer on Soyuz 9 Sevastyanov had performed the longest spaceflight a year ago, but the schedule did not provide sufficient time for him to train for Soyuz 12. Although in a short period of time Filipchenko, Grechko and Makarov all joined the DOS group, in mid-June they were reassigned yet again, this time to fly an autonomous Soyuz mission. Then Kubasov passed a detailed medical screening at the Institute for Biomedical Problems, indicating that he had suffered from no more than a simple allergy, which had almost cleared up. Nevertheless, when on 15 June Kamanin recommended that the Soyuz 12 crew should start training to fly the second DOS-1 mission, Mishin nominated Rukavishnikov to replace Kubasov on this crew.14

14 If this were to be done, and the Soyuz 12 launch was on schedule, then Rukavishnikov would establish the world record for the shortest interval between successive missions: 101 days.

In addition, Kamanin nominated commanders and military research engineers for three more DOS crews. Later on, Mishin would add his flight engineers to complete them. Using the labels C for commander, FE for flight engineer and RE for research engineer, the assignments were:

• Prime crew (the second crew for DOS-1): Aleksey Leonov (C), Nikolay Rukavishnikov (FE), Pyotr Kolodin (RE);

• Backup crew: Aleksey Gubaryev (C), Vitaliy Sevastyanov (FE), Anatoliy Voronov (RE);

• The third crew: Pyotr Klimuk (C), FE from the TsKBEM, Yuriy Artyukhin (RE);

• The fourth crew: Valeriy Bykovskiy (C), FE from the TsKBEM, Vladimir Alekseyev (RE);

• The fifth crew: Viktor Gorbatko (C), FE and RE both from the TsKBEM.

In general, Leonov and Gubaryev's crews trained for the final mission to DOS-1, and Gubaryev's crew expected to fly in early 1972 as the first to DOS-2, followed by Klimuk's crew. Bykovskiy and Gorbatko's crews were to backup DOS-2. Although Kamanin allowed the last of the four crews for DOS-2 to have two civilian cosmonauts, their chances of flying were low.

Interestingly, one of Mishin's candidates for flight engineer on the DOS-2 crews was Feoktistov who, with Mishin and Tregub's support, approached Kamanin with a view to entering training, but Kamanin's negative attitude towards him remained strong.

The first two crews, prime and backup, were to end their training by 30 June, the day of Soyuz 11's planned return to Earth. In early July they would fly to Baykonur to prepare for a launch less than three weeks later. Although there was only a month remaining before his flight, Leonov asked Kamanin for permission to travel to the GDR (East Germany) to deliver personally to the Dresden Gallery his cosmic water colours. Kamanin refused the request with the following words: ''If you do not want to place yourself in a stupid position, then don't tell anyone of this desire of yours. But, know that I will be categorically against your trip to GDR.'' Kamanin wrote in his diary on 15 June: ''It was only a little bit over two weeks left before departure to the cosmodrome, and the commander of Soyuz 12 thinks not so much of the flight in space but about delivering his paintings to the Dresden Gallery.''

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