The Soviet Union launches a second space station, and the first station designed exclusively for military tasks in orbit. Salyut 2 is the first station to use the Almaz military space station design devised in the 1960s as a response to the US Air Force’s never-flown Manned Orbiting Laboratory. Within two weeks, however, technical difficulties take their toll: Salyut 2 begins to tumble out of control, and its crew compartment depressurizes. (The redesigned Soyuz vehicle is not ready to fly yet, so no crew ever visits Salyut 2.) The second Soviet space station burns up in the atmosphere less than two months after launch.