Soyuz 22

generic Soyuz image - no mission-specific photos availableThe Soviet Union launches Soyuz 22, a vehicle originally built as a backup for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Unusually, the vehicle does not dock at the recently-launched Salyut 5 space station, but is instead placed in an unusual orbit that happens to make it easy to monitor a major NATO exercise near Norway. Cosmonauts Valery Bykovsky and Vladimir Aksyonov remain in that orbit for nearly eight days before returning to Earth.