Today marks the 35th anniversary since the first automatic docking of satellites in space. Rosaviakosmos reminded the press that these satellites were Kosmos-186 and Kosmos-188.
Rosaviakosmos said that this was "a major victory for our scientists and constructors." The achievement paved the way in the space field for the construction of large facilities as individual pieces capable of docking automatically could be launched into orbit. It then became clear that the first stations, laboratories, and space observatories among other things could be built in space.
Of no less importance was the fact that the docking solved the problem of manned flights safety. For example, if a ship's systems failed, a rescue vessel could be sent to it, which after docking, could be boarded by the cosmonauts who had encountered difficulties.
Rosaviakosmos reported that "at the time it was not reported, but the Kosmos-186 satellite was none other than the new Soyuz space ship, launched without cosmonauts, the first trials of which had ended in the death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov some time earlier in April 1967." In October 1967, the docking was completed successfully and Russian cosmonauts were able to forge ahead into a new era of space research.
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