The Soyuz-9 spacecraft, with 2 Soviet cosmonauts aboard, today (Monday 15th June) beat the American-held space endurance record set up in December 1965 by Gemini-7.
LV Soyuz-9 on pad (Prod 5308/70 refers)
SV Nikolayev and Sevastyanou to launching pad
SV Technicians watch
LV Soyuz-9 during countdown and blastoff
MV Russian spacemen
CU Ground to Air Soyuz-9 in flight
LV Gemini 7 rocket on pad (Prod 11673/65 refers)
MV Astronaut climbs into capsule
MV Men around capsule
CU Astronaut prone in capsule
LV Rocket rises (2 shots)
In space - spacecraft in orbit (Prod 12207/65 refers)
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Background: The Soyuz-9 spacecraft, with 2 Soviet cosmonauts aboard, today (Monday 15th June) beat the American-held space endurance record set up in December 1965 by Gemini-7.
Two weeks ago, on the 1st June, veteran cosmonaut Colonel Andrian Nikolayev....the spacecraft commander....and flight engineer Vitali Savastyanov were launched into orbit, abroad Soyuz-9, from the Baikonur Centre.
Main purpose of the flight is to make a report of how manned spacecraft could be used for geological surveys and to discover new mineral reserves. Snowfields are also being studied with a view to the future prediction of spring river and flood levels.
As the flight continued today into its 221st orbit, two weeks and more than 5 million miles (8 million kilometres)after launching, Tass News Agency in Moscow announced that the 5-year-old space endurance record, set up by Frank Borman and James Lovell in america's Gemini-7, had been passed.
Nikolayev and Sevastyanov yesterday (Sunday 14th) reported feeling somewhat tired but were continuing to cope with their programme of scientific research and body exercises designed to gunge man's ability to work in weightless conditions.
American astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell have sent congratulations to the two Russians on breaking the space endurance record which resulted from Gemini-7's historic flight. On that occasion a giant Titan rocket blasted the American capsule towards a space rendezvous with Gemini-6 and eventual 14-day journey. Meanwhile there is no indication from Russia's space officials on how long Soyuz-9 is likely to remain in orbit.