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 and Austria, despite them being capitalist nations.[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 in the mid-1990s and eventually pave the way to the International Space Station.

Beginning in April 1967 with unmanned research satellite missions, the first manned Interkosmos mission occurred in February 1978.[2] So called joint manned spaceflights 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 Southeast Asian person in space, Phạm Tuân of Vietnam. Of the countries involved, only Bulgaria sent two cosmonauts in space, although the second one did not fly under the Interkosmos program, and the French spationaut, Jean-Loup Chrétien, flew on two separate flights. The Soviet Union also made offers of joint manned spaceflight on a commercial basis to the United Kingdom, Japan, and Finland resulting in the first British and Japanese cosmonauts.

Manned missions

DatePrimeBackupCountryMissionSpace station
2 March 1978 Vladimír Remek[4] Oldřich Pelčák


Soyuz 28
Salyut 6
27 June 1978 Mirosław Hermaszewski Zenon Jankowski


Soyuz 30
Salyut 6
26 August 1978 Sigmund Jähn Eberhard Köllner


Soyuz 31
Salyut 6
10 April 1979 Georgi Ivanov Aleksandr Aleksandrov


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


Soyuz 36
Salyut 6
23 July 1980 Phạm Tuân Bùi Thanh Liêm


Soyuz 37
Salyut 6
18 September 1980 Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez José López Falcón


Soyuz 38
Salyut 6
23 March 1981 Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa Maidarjavyn Ganzorig


Soyuz 39
Salyut 6
14 May 1981 Dumitru Prunariu Dumitru Dediu


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


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


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


Soyuz TM-3
7 June 1988 Aleksandr Aleksandrov Krasimir Stoyanov


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


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


Soyuz TM-7
2 December 1990 Toyohiro Akiyama


Soyuz TM-11
18 May 1991 Helen Sharman

United Kingdom

Soyuz TM-12
2 October 1991 Franz Viehböck Clemens Lothaller


Soyuz TM-13

Unmanned missions

  • 1970 November 28 - Vertikal-1 Aeronomy/Ionosphere/Solar mission.
  • 1971 August 20 - Vertikal-2 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1972 April 7 - Interkosmos 6 - Investigation of primary cosmic radiation and meteoritic particles in near-earth outer space.
  • 1973 April 4 - Interkosmos 9 "Copernicus-500" - satellite of cooperation of the Polish People's Republic and Soviet Union to study the Sun and ionosphere. Orbit around 200–1550 km.
  • 1975 June 3 - Interkosmos 14
  • 1975 September 2 - Vertikal-3 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1976 - Re-entry Vehicle Test mission.
  • 1976 June 19 - Interkosmos 15. Testing of new systems and components of satellite under space flight conditions.
  • 1977 March 29 - Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
  • 1977 June 17 - Signe 3 - Twenty French specialists worked on the satellite.
  • 1977 August 30 - Vertikal-5 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1977 September 24 - Interkosmos 17 - Investigation of energetic charged and neutral particles and micrometeorite fluxes in circumterrestrial space.
  • 1977 October 25 - Vertikal-6 Ionosphere/Solar mission?.
  • 1978 October 24 - Interkosmos 18 - Conduct of complex investigations on the interaction between the magnetosphere and ionosphere of the earth. Cooperation with the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic, the Polish People's Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Romania.
  • 1978 October 24 - Magion 1 - The Czechoslovak satellite MAGION was launched into orbit by the Soviet spacecraft Interkosmos 18
  • 1978 November 3 - Vertikal-7 Ionosphere/Solar mission
  • 1979 February 27 - Interkosmos 19 - Cooperation with the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic, and the Polish People's Republic.
  • 1979 September 26 - Vertikal-8 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1979 November 1 - Interkosmos 20. (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Romania).
  • 1981 - Re-entry Vehicle Test mission.
  • 1981 February 6 - Interkosmos 21 - (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Romania)
  • 1981 August 7 - Interkosmos 22 "Bulgaria-1300" (People's Republic of Bulgaria).
  • 1981 August 28 - Vertikal-9 Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission.
  • 1981 September 21 - Oreol 3 - Developed by Soviet and French specialists under the joint Soviet-French project 'Arkad-3'.
  • 1985 April 26 - Interkosmos 23 - Developed by scientists and specialists of the USSR and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
  • 1986 December 18 - Kosmos 1809
  • 1989 September 28 - Magion 2 - Magion 2 forms a part of the scientific programme of Interkosmos 24 (project Aktivnyj) Execution of the scientific programme of the 'Aktivny' project in conjunction with Interkosmos-24, permitting simultaneous spatially separating investigations of plasma processes in circumterrestrial space.
  • 1989 September 28 - Interkosmos 24 - US participation, in cooperation with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania (the international scientific project entitled 'Aktivny'). Carrying the Czechoslovak Magion-2 satellite.
  • 1991 December 18 - Interkosmos 25 - experiments from Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary. Comprehensive study of the effects of artificial impact of modulated electron flows and plasma beams on the ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth (forming part of the Apex international scientific project, conducted jointly with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.)
  • 1991 December 28 - Magion 3
  • 1994 March 2 - Interkosmos 26 - Conduct of comprehensive investigations of the sun under the Coronas-I international project developed by Russian and Ukrainian experiments in cooperation with specialists from Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Bulgaria, France, and the United Kingdom.

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]

Obliged to Survive, film in Bulgarian about the Bulgarian-Soviet flight Soyz 33:


  1. Sheehan, Michael (2007). The international politics of space. London: Routledge. pp. 59–61. ISBN 0-415-39917-3.
  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.
  6. "FilmPolski". Retrieved 10 August 2017.
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