The recovery of Salyut 7
Ars Technica has an good story on the Soviet mission to rescue Salyut 7, which was left floating dead in space due to a power malfunction with nobody on board. It’s a tale of engineering know-how, luck and hard work, largely based on the high level of experience of Soviet cosmonauts and the mission control staff.
The article also mentions this curious fact:
On February 19, 1986, the core block of Salyut 7’s successor station, Mir, was launched. Although its replacement was in orbit, Salyut 7’s role in the Soviet space station program was not quite finished. The first crew to launch to Mir did something unprecedented. After arriving at Mir and performing initial operations to bring the new station online, they boarded their Soyuz and flew to Salyut 7, the first and, to date, only time in history a station-to-station crew transfer had taken place. They completed the work left behind by the Soyuz T-14 crew, after which they returned to Mir before eventually returning to Earth.
Having more than one space station in orbit is pretty rare, I wonder when or if a transfer like this will ever happen again?