Two Soviet Cosmonauts aboard the Salyut-6 space station broke the record for the longest manned space-flight on Sunday (15 July).
SV Soviet cosmonauts, Mission Commander Vladimir Lyakhov and Valery Ryumin in spacecraft and hold up tank with plant, then they hold up cake with candles
Western scientific experts in Moscow believe Lyakhov and Ryumin will stay on board their space station for some two weeks more, then Salyut-6 -- like its predecessors -- will probably be brought down to the upper layers of the atmosphere to burn up.
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Background: Two Soviet Cosmonauts aboard the Salyut-6 space station broke the record for the longest manned space-flight on Sunday (15 July). Mission Commander Vladimir Lyakhov and his co-pilot Valery Ryumin established the new record at 02.42 GMT, just 139 1/2 days after boarding their orbiting space station.
SYNOPSIS: The cosmonauts celebrated their achievement by taking time off from their daily work routine to watch Moscow Television programmes relayed from earth. To thousands celebrating with them on earth the cosmonauts showed off the piece of home they brought with them to space -- an aquarium in which they grew a plant.
The previous endurance record was also held by the Soviets on board the same space station last November. But this time the record-breaking cosmonauts spent their flight alone. Originally a two-man Bulgarian-Soviet team, and later a Hungarian-Soviet duo was to join them for a week, but the first of these flights failed during the docking manoeuvre, and the second was scrapped before take-off.
A cake was supposed to help the cosmonauts overcome their isolation, but Soviet doctors say the spacemen have suffered no ill effects during their five months in space.