Soyuz 3 was the first successful flight of the Soyuz
spacecraft though it did not complete all the mission objectives. Launched October 26, 1968
, it was originally meant to dock with the unmanned Soyuz 2
spacecraft. The callsign for the flight was 'Argon
The sole occupant of Soyuz 3 was Georgi Beregovoi on his first and only spaceflight.
The two spacecraft managed to rendezvous perfectly, coming within 180 metres of each other but then the docking failed because Beregovoi took manual control of the Soyuz spacecraft repeatedly putting the spacecraft in an orientation that nulled the automatic docking system.
Beregovoi used nearly all of his orientation fuel in his first attempt to dock - of 80 kg allocated, only 8 to 10 kg was remaining. He was still not able to dock after two more attempts.
With the fuel spent the spacecraft was forced to reenter with nothing more able to be done. He was recovered October 30, 1968, near Karaganda, now in Kazakhstan.<