Thirty years ago today — April 19, 1982 — the Salyut-7 space station launched from Baikonur on a Proton-K rocket.

(Salyut-7. At bottom, a Soyuz vehicle is docked with the station. USSR image from Wikimedia Commons.)

Similar to Salyut-6, Salyut-7 was the latest in a series of space stations orbited by the Soviet Union. Its overall structure — two docking ports, carried three solar panels — were quite like Salyut-6, though the telescope used in Salyut-6 was replaced on Salyut-7 with an X-ray detector.

Salyut-7 hosted six resident crews and four transient crews over its operating life. The station fell back to Earth on February 7, 1991.

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