August 26, 1978 - September 3, 1978

Crew & Mission

Left: Valery Bykovski and Sigmund Jaehn in their training Sokols. The patch configuration is almost as it was on their flight Sokols, except for the seals on their chests, which were only worn on the intravehicular clothing. Right: Crew in intravehicular training suits. Jaehn's suit looks very similar to his flightsuit - it is only missing the bi-lingual nametag; Bykovski did not wear the Salyut patch in flight and had the crew patch on his right arm. Also, he was wearing a bigger Soviet seal.

Soyuz-31 was the third Interkosmos mission. Soyuz-31 was launched on August 26, 1978 and docked to the Salyut-6 station a little less than 26 hours later. Commander Valery Bykovsky and East-German Interkosmos cosmonaut Sigmund Jaehn joined the Salyut-6 Expedition crew for a week. They returned to Earth on September 3, 1978.

The yellow-type Interkosmos council patch (left), the East-German Seal.

the East-German Flag (r).

The Artwork
The Council for International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space (Interkosmos) was founded in 1976. Naturally, new emblems for uniforms and pressure suits were needed to reflect the cooperative nature of the missions. On December 14-15, 1977, a conference was held in Moscow by representatives of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and the USSR, discussing the public relations aspect, the creation of the emblems and logos, and candidates for the flights. On December 23, 1977, Chairman B.I. Petrov of the Interkosmos council informed Zvezda General Director/Designer G. I. Severin announcing that Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany had agreed to participate in joint missions. Probably, it was in this letter that Zvezda was instructed to produce the Bulgarian, Czechoslowakian and East German joint mission Sokol-K suits and mission patches.

The Real Thing

Left: Jaehn and Bykowski in their flight Sokols shortly after their mission. Right: detail from Jaehn's suit. Note that the border of the DDR-flag patch is dark, not yellow.

The joint mission patch was worn on the right sleeve of the intra-vehicular suits. The Interkosmos council logo (yellow version) was worn on the right lower torso, with the Soviet and East-German seals at the upper left chest. On the Sokol suits, the Interkosmos council patch was worn on the right sleeve. On both suits, the flags were worn on the left sleeve. The Soviet flag was a felt, square lettered type on both the Sokol and the intravehicular suit.

The Soyuz-31 visitors with the Salyut-6 expedition crew Vladimir Kovalyonok and Aleksandr Ivanchenkov. Note that - compared with Hermaszewski's visit - they are wearing Penguin-suits with a new patch-layout: a CCCP-felt flag and a Soviet seal, instead of the 'early Zvezda' only.

Left, center: Jaehn onboard Salyut-6. Note that the border of the DDR-flag patch is yellow. Jaehn is also wearing a pair of '30 years of DDR' pins in the center picture. Right: Jaehn's cold weather suit.

Source / Souvenirs

The Space Commerce Corporation reproduction (l) and the Stewart Aviation reproduction (center left). The patches at right is are souvenir versions made by Eagle One Aerospace.

The patch was designed and produced by the Zvezda corporation. Two souvenir versions were made in the West by Stewart Aviation in England and Space Commerce Corporation in the United States. A related patch was produced by Eagle One Aerospace. The Stewart Aviation version is still in their catalogue; the SCC version is offered every now and then on eBay and the EOA-version might still be available from Cargo Bay Emblems. The original Soviet-made patch was made available to officials as part of a Presentation Set, which is scarcely seen in auctions.

Some of the original patches shown on this page are scans from the book "40 Let Kosmicheskogo Polviga" ("40 Years of Spaceflight"; Moscow December 2000). The picture of the artwork and the SCC version were taken from eBay auctions. The Stewart Aviation and EOA patchers are in our collection.

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