The Soviet, and later Russian, cosmonauts developed an interesting tradition: to watch the film "White Sun of the Desert" on the eve of the start. On the evening before the launch, both crews (main and reserve) and members of the starting team watch this movie.
The cosmonauts began watching a movie about the adventures of the Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov in the fall of 1969. It was in this year that the shooting of the legendary film ended, but it was not accepted by the commission and was not released. Cosmonaut A. A. Leonov, wishing to cheer up the space crew before the launch, agreed that a small audience would be allowed to watch the tape.
The film delighted the audience, and the astronauts began to watch it regularly. Soon, rumors about the unusual tradition of Soviet cosmonauts reached the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev. The head of state decided to watch the "White Sun of the Desert" in person.
Leonid Ilyich liked the picture, and the film was released on the screens of the country.
It is interesting that the astronauts also use the film as a manual for teaching the crew to film filming, as an example of camera work.
The conquerors of space are sure that the "White Sun of the Desert" really brings them good luck. An example is the case when one of the crew members left the hall without watching the film to the end. He explained this by the fact that he had watched this picture many times and knew it by heart. The flight of this crew was terminated ahead of schedule due to the illness of one of the cosmonauts.
After watching the film, the astronauts were given an exam. For example, the following questions were asked: "How many wives did Abdullah have?", Or "What kind of malfunction did Petrukha's rifle have?" They said that one who did not pass the exam into space could not fly: the flight would be unsuccessful.
Over time, the exam lost its meaning, since the astronauts knew literally every phrase of the heroes of this film, and it became more and more difficult to come up with new questions. But the tradition of watching the film "White Sun of the Desert" has survived to this day.
And one more interesting fact: in 1997, on the planet Venus, nine craters were named after the wives of Abdullah: Zarina, Jamil, Guzel, Said, Hafiz, Zukhra, Leila, Zulfiya, Gulchatay. Another crater was named after the wife of Fyodor Sukhov - Katya.