Today in Space – August 8: Salyut 5 Space Station Burns Up

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On Aug. 8, 1977, the Salyut 5 space station fell out of space and burned up in Earth's atmosphere. Salyut 5 was a Soviet space station and part of the highly-secretive Almaz military space station program. It launched in 1976 and housed two crew of cosmonauts as they conducted military experiments and other scientific research in orbit. Originally, four crewed missions were supposed to go to Salyut 5. However, the third crew was unable to dock their spacecraft and had to return home. The fourth mission had to be cancelled because Salyut 5 was starting to run low on propellant for its main engines and attitude control system. Salyut 5 couldn't be refuelled, so it was deorbited and left to burn up in Earth's atmosphere.