For the film, see Interkosmos (film).

Interkosmos (Russian: Интеркосмос) was a Soviet space program, designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with manned and unmanned space missions.

The program included the allied east-European nations of the Warsaw Pact, CoMEcon, and other socialist nations like Afghanistan, Cuba, Mongolia, and Vietnam. In addition, pro-Soviet non-aligned nations such as India and Syria participated, and even France, despite it being a capitalist nation and part-time US/NATO ally.[1][2]

Following the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, there were talks between NASA and Interkosmos in the 1970s about a "Shuttle-Salyut" program to fly Space Shuttle missions to a Salyut space station, with later talks in the 1980s even considering flights of the future Soviet shuttles from the Buran programme to a future US space station.[3] Whilst the Shuttle-Salyut program never materialized during the existence of the Soviet Interkosmos program, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Shuttle–Mir Program would follow in these footsteps and pave the way to the International Space Station.

Beginning in April 1967 with unmanned research satellite missions, the first manned mission occurred in February 1978.[2] Interkosmos missions enabled 14 non-Soviet cosmonauts to participate in Soyuz space flights between 1978 and 1988. The program was responsible for sending into space the first citizen of a country other than the USA or USSR: Vladimír Remek of Czechoslovakia.[1] Interkosmos also resulted in the first black and Hispanic person in space, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez of Cuba, and the first Asian person in space, Phạm Tuân of Vietnam. Of the countries involved, only Bulgaria sent two cosmonauts in space, though the French spationaut, Jean-Loup Chrétien, flew on two separate flights.

The manned Interkosmos missions also had political goals as a means of strengthening Soviet relations with the Warsaw Pact nations when evidence of discontent in them was raising its head.

Manned missions

  Human spaceflight provider
Date Prime Backup Country Mission Space station
March 2, 1978 Vladimír Remek[4] Oldřich Pelčák


Soyuz 28
Salyut 6
June 27, 1978 Mirosław Hermaszewski Zenon Jankowski


Soyuz 30
Salyut 6
August 26, 1978 Sigmund Jähn Eberhard Köllner

East Germany

Soyuz 31
Salyut 6
April 10, 1979 Georgi Ivanov Aleksandr Aleksandrov


Soyuz 33
Salyut 6
(Docking failed)
May 26, 1980 Bertalan Farkas Béla Magyari


Soyuz 36
Salyut 6
July 23, 1980 Tuân Pham Thanh Liem Bui


Soyuz 37
Salyut 6
September 18, 1980 Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez Jose Lopez Falcon


Soyuz 38
Salyut 6
March 23, 1981 Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa Maidarjavyn Ganzorig


Soyuz 39
Salyut 6
May 14, 1981 Dumitru Prunariu Dumitru Dediu


Soyuz 40
Salyut 6
June 24, 1982 Jean-Loup Chrétien Patrick Baudry


Soyuz T-6
Salyut 7
April 2, 1984 Rakesh Sharma Ravish Malhotra


Soyuz T-11
Salyut 7
July 22, 1987 Muhammed Ahmed Faris


Soyuz TM-3
July 6, 1988 Aleksandr Aleksandrov Krasimir Stoyanov


Soyuz TM-5
August 29, 1988 Abdul Ahad Mohmand[5] Mohammad Dauran Ghulam Masum


Soyuz TM-6
November 26, 1988 Jean-Loup Chrétien Michel Tognini


Soyuz TM-7

Unmanned missions

East German postage stamp
A commemorative coin issued in Mongolia

See also


In general, most of the films associated with programs are propaganda short TV documents and relations from that era. The two exceptions include (largely fictionalised) Interkosmos from 2006, and cooperation document from 2009 (in Polish) titled "Lotnicy Kosmonauci"("Aviators-Cosmonauts").[6]


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Intercosmos.
  1. 1 2 Sheehan, Michael (2007). The international politics of space. London: Routledge. pp. 59–61. ISBN 0-415-39917-3.
  2. 1 2 Burgess, Colin; Hall, Rex (2008). The first Soviet cosmonaut team: their lives, legacy, and historical impact. Berlin: Springer. p. 331. ISBN 0-387-84823-1.
  3. Wikisource:Mir Hardware Heritage/Part 2 - Almaz, Salyut, and Mir#2.1.6 Shuttle-Salyut .281973-1978.3B 1980s.29
  4. Roberts, Andrew Lawrence (2005). From Good King Wenceslas to the Good Soldier Švejk: a dictionary of Czech popular culture. Budapest: Central European University Press. p. 141. ISBN 963-7326-26-X.
  5. Bunch, Bryan; Hellemans, Alexander (2004). The history of science and technology: a browser's guide to the great discoveries, inventions, and the people who made them, from the dawn of time to today. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 679. ISBN 0-618-22123-9.
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