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Waspie_Dwarf

30 Years Since Russia's Brush With Disaster

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'We Were Swearing!' Thirty Years Since Russia's Brush With Disaster

Praskovya Mikhailovna Strekalova did not want her son to fly into space. It was not just the fact that 43-year-old Gennadi Strekalov would be sitting atop thousands of pounds of volatile propellants, about to be blasted off the planet, but there was something inexplicable about her words of warning. Even though he had flown twice before, Mrs. Strekalova had an uncanny feeling that this one—his third—would end unhappily. In April 1983, her son had flown aboard Soyuz T-8 and his crew had returned to Earth after two days, having failed to dock with the Salyut 7 space station. Now, she was convinced that Strekalov’s launch would be a bad one. How right she was, for 26 September 1983—30 years ago this week—her son came within a whisker of losing his life in what has been described as “almost” Russia’s Challenger.

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