Status: Inactive; Active 1985-2006. Born: 1948-12-31. Spaceflights: 4 . Total time in space: 555.77 days. Birth Place: Bryansk.
Detachment: TsPK-9. Departed Date: 2006-04-17.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:VICTOR MIKHAILOVICH AFANASYEV (COLONEL, RUSSIAN AIR FORCE)
TEST COSMONAUT OF THE YU.A. GAGARIN COSMONAUT TRAINING CENTER
PERSONAL: Born December 31, 1948, in Bryansk, Russia. Married to Yelena Ya. Afanasyeva, born 1952. They have two children. His father, Mikhail Z. Afanasyev, is deceased. His mother, Marya S. Afanaasyeva, resides in Merkulyevo, Bryansk region, Russia. Victors recreational interests include football, swimming, and tourism.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Kachynskoye Military Pilot School in 1970 and the Ordzhonikidze Aviation Institute, Moscow, in 1980.
SPECIAL HONORS: Hero of the Soviet Union; Pilot-Cosmonaut of the USSR.
EXPERIENCE: 1970 to 1976 served in the Air Force fighting troops as a pilot, senior pilot and aircraft flight commander. 1976 to 1977 attended the Test Pilot Training Center. 1977 to 1988 served as a test pilot and senior test pilot at the State Research/Test Institute named after Valery Chkalov. Victor Afanasyev has a Class 1 military test pilot certification. He has logged over 2000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.
GCTC EXPERIENCE: 1985 to 1987 Victor Afanasyev was taking basic space training course at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on the part-time training basis. He reported to the GCTC and proceeded to advanced training in 1988. From February 1989 on Afanasyev was training for a space flight aboard the Mir orbital station as the Mir-7 mission backup crew commander.
He has logged 175 flight days during his first space flight (December 2, 1990 to May 26, 1991) as the Mir-8 mission crew commander. The mission program included joint flight with a Japanese and British crewmember. He performed 4 EVAs totaling 20 hours and 55 minutes.
January 8 to July 9, 1994, Afanasyev was participating in a space flight aboard the Soyuz-TM-18 transport vehicle and Mir orbital station as the Mir-15 mission crew commander.
October 1996 to January 1998 Afanasyev was training for the Mir-25 mission as a backup crew commander. The mission was supposed to include NASA-7 and Pegasus (CNES) programs.
From March 1998 he underwent training as the Mir-27 mission primary crew commander. February 20 to August 28, 1999, he was participating in a 189-day space flight aboard the Soyuz-TM transport vehicle and Mir orbital station. He has performed 3 EVAs.
Colonel Afanasyev is a veteran of 3 long-duration missions. He has logged over 545 days in space, and 7 EVAs totaling 38.55 hours. He has a Class 1 cosmonaut certification.
Presently Victor Afanasyev is assigned to the ISS Taxi-1 backup crew.
Afanasyev and Manarov walk to launch vehicle.
Credit: RKK Energia
Akiyama and Afanasyev before flight.
Credit: RKK Energia
Russian test pilot cosmonaut 1985-2006. 555 cumulative days in space. Buran Test Pilot, 1985-1987. Transferred to TsPK, 1987. Call sign: Derbent (Derbent - Russian city) 4 spaceflights, 555.8 days in space. Flew to orbit on Soyuz TM-11 (1990), Soyuz TM-18, Soyuz TM-29, Soyuz TM-33.
The cosmonauts have to be extremely careful in putting Salyut in storage mode. They go through the checklist together with the ground to make sure no errors are made. The Salyut station is much more comfortable than the Soyuz, but the mission has revealed it needs many improvements, including: a unit for ejecting liquids from the station; solar panels, and scientific instruments, that can be automatically pointed at the sun or their target and stabilised; an improved control section; better crew rest provisions. Only with such improvements will it be possible to make flights of two months or longer. And such flights will take ten years to work up to, not by the end of the year, as Mishin claims. Kamanin thinks it will be possible to prolong flights to 40 to 60 days in 1972, but that this will then be a long-standing record. Any longer would be equivalent to running 100 km but then collapsing and dying - the Soviet Union doesn't need those kind of records!
The bigwigs arrive from Moscow to be in on the landing. But Afanasyev, Keldysh, Mishin, and Karas all remain at the cosmodrome for the investigation into the N1 failure.
Kamanin is furious. Of 25 cosmonauts that have flown, five are buried in the Kremlin Wall, one in Novdevich cemetery, and 19 are still in service. These deaths are due to the incompetent management of Ustinov, Serbin, Smirnov, Mishin, Afanasyev, Bushuyev, and Serbin. Some people are trying to blame Kamanin or the cosmonauts, saying the vent could have been plugged with a finger if the crew was properly trained. Others blame the crew in other ways. But the main problem was already brought up early over and over and over by the VVS and Kutakhov - the crew should never have flown without spacesuits! This has been going on for seven years. Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Ustinov, Smirnov, all wrote of their fear of allowing dangerous spaceflights. But these were the same leaders who supported the categorical rejection of the need for the crew to fly in spacesuits. The need for the suits was rejected first by Korolev, then Mishin. They kept saying that hundreds of manned and unmanned spacecraft had flown without depressurisation ever occurring.
The idea of plugging the vent with a finger is absurd. Had they done so, they would have had only 15 to 17 minutes to work the problem before the onset of G-forces. Imagine the real situation - retrofire was normal - the BO module jettisoned - suddenly the depress light on the caution warning panel is on! Dobrovolsky checks the hatch, but it's not the hatch -- and there are only 25 to 30 seconds until they all become unconscious. Volkov and Patsayev undo their straps and turn on the radio. The whistling of the air can only be heard at the commander's seat - where the vent valve is located. Kamanin discontinues diary entries for two years after this date.
Manned two crew. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-07. Transported to the Mir manned orbital station the crew consisting of the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov for the purpose of carrying out a programme of geophysical and astrophysical research, biological and biotechnological experiments, and work on space-materials science.
Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-08. Transported to the Mir manned orbital station the international crew consisting of the cosmonauts V M Afanasyev, M Kh Manarov, and T Akiyami (Japan) for the purpose of carrying out joint work with the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov. Launched jointly with the private Japanese company TBS. The Japanese television network ended up paying $ 28 million for the first commercial flight to Mir to put Akiyama, the first journalist in space aboard Soyuz TM-11. Akiyama made daily television broadcasts.
Mir Expedition EO-14. Carried Vasili Tsibliyev, Alexander Serebrov, Jean-Pierre Haignere to Mir; returned Serebrov, Tsibliyev to Earth. Progress M-18 undocked from Mir's front port at around 17:25 GMT on July 3, and Soyuz TM-17 docked at the same port only 20 minutes later at 17:45 GMT.
Soyuz TM-27 carried the Mir EO-25 crew and French astronaut Leopold Eyharts. NASA and the Russian Space Agency had hoped Soyuz TM-27 could dock with Mir while Endeavour was still there, resulting in an on-board crew of 13, a record which would have stood for years or decades. But the French vetoed this, saying the commotion and time wasted would ruin Eyharts Pegase experimental programme. Soyuz TM-27 docked at the Kvant module port at 17:54 GMT on January 31, 1998, less than five hours before Endeavour landed in Florida.
Solovyov handed over command of Mir to EO-25 commander Musabayev, and the Mir EO-24 crew and Eyharts undocked from the forward port of Mir at 05:52 GMT on February 19 aboard the Soyuz TM-26 for their return home. On February 20, the EO-25 crew and Andy Thomas of the NASA-7 mission boarded Soyuz TM-27 and undocked from the Kvant port at 08:48 GMT. They redocked with the forward port on Mir at 09:32 GMT. This freed up the Kvant port for a test redocking of the Progress M-37 cargo ship, parked in a following orbit with Mir during the crew transfer.
Soyuz TM-29 docked with Mir on February 22 at 05:36 GMT. Since two crew seats had been sold (to Slovakia and France), Afansyev was the only Russian cosmonaut aboard. This meant that Russian engineer Avdeyev already aboard Mir would have to accept a double-length assignment. After the February 27 departure of EO-26 crew commander Padalka and Slovak cosmonaut Bella aboard Soyuz TM-28, the new EO-27 Mir crew consisted of Afanasyev as Commander, Avdeyev as Engineer and French cosmonaut Haignere. Follwoing an extended mission and three space walks, the last operational crew aboard Mir prepared to return. The station was powered down and prepared for free drift mode.
The hatch between Mir and Soyuz was closed at 18:12 GMT on August 27, 1999. Soyuz TM-29 undocked from Mir at 21:17 GMT with Afanasyev, Avdeyev and Haignere aboard. The Mir EO-27 crew landed in Kazakhstan at 00:35 GMT on August 28. Afanasyev had set a new cumulative time in space record, but for the first time since September 1989 there were no humans in space.
The International Space Station's Expedition Three crew - Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin - spent this week outfitting and activating the station's latest addition, a four-ton Russian airlock and docking port named Pirs that arrived at the orbiting complex Sunday. Additional Details: here....
The International Space Station's Expedition Three crew - Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin - is poised for the first of three planned space walks following today's successful jettison of a segment of a new docking port and airlock now attached to the orbiting complex. Additional Details: here....
The International Space Station's Expedition Three crew - Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin - is spending the week preparing for the first of three spacewalks next Monday to outfit the new Pirs Docking Compartment and to attach scientific experiments to the outside of the Zvezda Service Module. Additional Details: here....
After completing one successful spacewalk, the Expedition Three crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is preparing for another, to be conducted on Monday, Oct. 15. Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin will perform this one, like the one conducted last Monday, while Commander Frank Culbertson remains inside to coordinate activities. It will be the 28th spacewalk in support of the assembly of the ISS. Additional Details: here....
Expedition Three crewmembers are preparing to board their Soyuz return vehicle at the International Space Station (ISS) early Friday to move it from the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module for the first-ever linkup to the new Pirs Docking Compartment. The short procedure will begin with undocking of the Soyuz at 5:48 a.m. CDT, and will conclude with the redocking at 6:06 a.m. CDT. Additional Details: here....
Soyuz TM-33, an ISS lifeboat, carried two Russian and one French cosmonaut to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked with the ISS at 10:00 UT on 23 October. This new crew spent eight days on the ISS, and returned on the older Soyuz TM-32 at 03:59 UT on 31 October. The new Soyuz was to remain docked as a lifeboat craft for the long-term ISS crew of three (two Russian and one American) astronauts. On May 5, 2002, after a week aboard the station, the visting Soyuz TM-34 crew moved to the old Soyuz TM-33, docked at the Pirs port. They undocked at 0031:08 UTC on May 5, leaving the EO-4 crew of Onufrienko, Walz and Bursch with the new Soyuz TM-34 as their rescue vehicle. Soyuz TM-33 made its deorbit burn at 0257 UTC and landed successfully at 0352 UTC 25 km SE of Arkalyk.
Two Russian cosmonauts and a French researcher left the International Space Station (ISS) this evening, wrapping up almost eight days of experiments and joint activities with the Station's residents while delivering a fresh Soyuz return vehicle for the orbital outpost. Additional Details: here....
The EP-2 crew - Afanasyev, Kozeyev and Andre-Deshays - undocked Soyuz TM-32 from the Pirs module at 01:38:30 GMT on October 31. The deorbit burn was at 04:04 GMT, with landing 180 km southeast of Dzhezkazgan at 04:59:26 GMT. This left the Expedition-3 crew of Culbertston, Dezhurov and Tyurin with Soyuz TM-33, docked with the Zarya module, as the station lifeboat.