15
$\begingroup$

Has a spacecraft ever docked with the same space station twice in one mission?

This is the "corollary" to the question How many times has a spacecraft docked with two or more different space stations during a single mission?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Not a space station, but the Command Module of the Apollo missions has docked with the Lunar Module twice each lunar landing mission. $\endgroup$ – Yogu Jul 8 '17 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Yogu good point, thanks! I'm wondering if this is close enough to add as an additional, supplementary answer. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 9 '17 at 2:07
5
$\begingroup$

In short, the answer to your question is "Yes"

Spacecraft, especially cargo transports, are frequently moved between docking ports on space stations. This was done on Mir, and is being done on the ISS. It was first done on a Salyut station, but I would have to dig through my Space History News database to find the reference(s).

EDIT:

To test the new manual docking system, Progress 62 (Progress MS) cargo spacecraft automatically undocked from the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station and manually re-docked. The undocking occurred at 05:36 UTC (1:36 a.m EDT) and re-docking at 06:05 UTC (2:05 a.m EDT), on 1 July 2016.

Video at

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I should have read @SF's answer before posting mine - there's more data there... $\endgroup$ – FKEinternet Jul 8 '17 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer; this is the only mention so far of the ISS! Any chance you could add just an example of an ISS re-docking? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 9 '17 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ There are multiple good answers here, but this one has a movie! :) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 17 '17 at 11:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm glad you enjoyed it :) $\endgroup$ – FKEinternet Jul 17 '17 at 11:46
20
$\begingroup$

The first, experimental redocking was performed on Soyuz 29 (though by crew of Soyuz 31) with the Salyut 6 station.

Afterwards, the maneuver was repeated several times, usually between different ports of a station, moving a docked craft from one port to another, in order to make room for a new arrival, although other purposes happened too - e.g. visual inspection of Mir by a Soyuz, after Progress M-34 failed to redock (testing a new docking procedure), crashing into Mir instead.

Another notable case is Soyuz T-15, which after 55 day stay on Mir, went to (obsolete) Salyut 7, primarily to retrieve experiments and equipment, which would be useful on Mir. Their absence on Mir laster 28 days (with another 20 days spent on Mir afterwards before return), which makes it the longest period spent between undocking and redocking to the same station in the same mission.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Weren't there several trips back and forth from Mir to Salyut 7 as well? $\endgroup$ – mickburkejnr Jul 6 '17 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ @mickburkejnr: I know of one (Salyut to Mir). If there were more, I'm not aware of it. $\endgroup$ – SF. Jul 6 '17 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @mickburkejnr imho this answer is a bit on the weak side, but it addresses your comment. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 6 '17 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I had chance to research my question and decided to give it as an answer below. $\endgroup$ – mickburkejnr Jul 7 '17 at 6:13
9
$\begingroup$

When USSR were in the final stages of putting Mir in to orbit, Salyut 7 was still in orbit containing many devices and equipment that the USSR wanted on Mir.

So on 13th March 1986 the Soyuz T-15 launched, docking with Mir. On the 5th May 1986 it then undocked for the first time from Mir, and travelled to the orbiting Salyut 7 space station and docked successfully on the 6th May. It then undocked from Salyut 7 on the 25th June, docking with Mir again on the 26th June. Soyuz T-15 undocked from Mir for the final time on the 16th July.

It also remains the first and only time where a space craft has travelled back and forth between two places in space.

More information can be found here about the mission.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ That looks great! But I think you should use this answer on this question rather than here. You can just copy/paste the whole thing. It certainly looks like a complete answer to that question. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 7 '17 at 8:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.