|Mission Name:||Soyuz 9|
|Call Sign:||Сокол (Sokol - "Falcon")|
|Number of Crew Members:||2|
|Launch:||June 1, 1970|
|Landing:||June 19, 1970|
50° N, 72° E
|Duration:||17 days, 16 hours, 59 minutes|
|Number of Orbits:||288|
Soyuz 9 paved the way for the Salyut space station missions, investigating the effects of long-term weightlessness on crew, and evaluating the work that the cosmonauts could do in orbit, individually and as a team.
Commander Andrian Nikolayev and flight-engineer Vitali Sevastyanov spent eighteen days in space conducting various physiological and biomedical experiments on themselves, but also investigating the social implications of prolonged spaceflight. The cosmonauts spent time in two-way TV links with their families, watched the World Cup football game, played chess with ground control, and voted in a soviet election. The mission set a new space endurance record and marked a shift in emphasis away from spacefarers merely being able to exist in space for the duration of a long mission (such as the Apollo flights to the moon) and being able to actually live in space.
On their return to Earth, the crew was found to have weakened considerably, and it took some ten days for them to regain their strength. In orbit, they had sacrificed some of their exercise time for the sake of carrying out their scientific work, and their bodies' reactions to the prolonged weightlessness emphasised the importance of maintaining regular exercise.