Soviets push toward permanent orbital station
On the heels of the latest flight of the US space shuttle, Moscow would like to erase the embarrassment of a recently aborted docking mission by taking a further step toward creating a permanent Soviet orbital complex.Skip to next paragraph
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Literally at the core of such plans is the Soviets' Salyut-7 orbital station, which was sent up in 1982 and enlarged this spring by the addition of an independently launched ''module'' to one of its two docking ports. Moscow hopes eventually to construct a huge orbital complex by adding similar modules.
In April, Soviet cosmonauts had to abort what would have been the first manned linkup with the enlarged Salyut-7 and return their capsule to earth. This followed apparent recurrence of guidance problems that have nagged the Soviet space program for some years.
Yet sources here say another similar manned launch is planned ''soon,'' and one Soviet source has told the Monitor it could come as early as June 27.