Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir EO-18


http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/shuttle-mir/multimedia/video/v-027.mpg

isoztm21.jpg
Mir EO-18
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Crew: Dezhurov, Strekalov, Thagard. First American to fly aboard a Russian spacecraft. Backup crew: Solovyov, Budarin, Dunbar.

Soyuz TM-21 carried the EO-18 Mir crew and American Norman Thagard. Thagard was the first American to be launched in a Soyuz. Soyuz docked with Mir at 07:45:26 GMT on March 16 . On July 4 Soyuz TM-21 undocked and backed off to a distance of 100 m from Mir. The US space shuttle STS-71 Atlantis, with the EO-18 crew aboard, then undocked and began a flyaround at a distance of 210 m, while the EO-19 crew aboard Soyuz took pictures before redocking with the station. Atlantis then moved away from the statin, landing uneventfully three days later.

Mir Expedition EO-18. Soyuz TM-21 carried the EO-18 Mir crew and American Norman Thagard. Orbit insertion and separation of the 7170 kg spaceship from the Blok-I third stage was at 06:20:23. Soyuz TM-21 entered an 88.61 min, 190 x 220 km x 51.65 deg orbit. Two burns at 09:46 and 10:45 GMT raised the orbit to 89.89 min, 231 x 306 km. A small phasing burn was carried out the following day at 07:09, and then two final rendezvous burns raised the orbit to 92.43 min, 390 x 396 km, matching that of the Mir station. Soyuz docked with Mir at 07:45:26 GMT on Mar 16 and the crew entered Mir at around 09:30. Launch of TM-21 meant that there were 13 people in space at once for the first time ever: Dezhurov, Strekalov, Thagard on Soyuz; Viktorenko, Kondakova and Polyakov on Mir; and Oswald, Gregory, Lawrence, Jernigan, Grunsfeld, Parise, and Durrance on Endeavour.

The Soyuz TM spaceship was made up of three sections: the PAO (priborno-agregatniy otsek / service-equipment module), 3057 kg, which contains the engine and carries the solar panel wings; the SA (spuskaemiy apparat / descent vehicle), 2835 kg, with heat shield, command and control cabin, and the three cosmonaut couches; and the BO (bitovoi otsek / living module) of 1278 kg with the docking unit. Thagard was the first American to be launched in a Soyuz, although the ASTP crew flew in one while their Apollo craft was docked to it in 1975. On July 3 the EO-18 and STS-71 crews returned to Atlantis, and the EO-19 crew (Solovyov and Budarin) closed the Mir hatch at around 20:00 GMT. Early on July 4, the two EO-19 cosmonauts entered the Soyuz TM-21 ferry ship and prepared to undock for an exercise in joint manoeuvring and photography.

Soyuz TM-21 undocked at 10:55 GMT on Jul 4, and backed off to a distance of 100 m. Atlantis then undocked at 11:09:45 GMT and began to back away from the Mir station. As Atlantis began its flyaround at a distance of 210 m, Soyuz redocked with the Kvant module at 11:39 GMT. Redocking was about a minute early. Just prior to the redocking, one of Mir's attitude control computers crashed, putting Mir in free drift, although this was not considered a serious problem. This was Solovyov's seventh docking with Mir over the course of four missions. At 12:35 GMT, Atlantis completed its 360 degree flyaround and ignited its engines for the separation burn, while sending back spectacular TV of the Mir complex.

AKA: Uragan (Hurricane ); Soyuz TM-21.
First Launch: 1995.03.14.
Last Launch: 1995.07.07.
Duration: 115.36 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Strekalov Strekalov, Gennadi Mikhailovich (1940-2004) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-5, Soyuz T-8, Soyuz T-10-1, Salyut 7 EP-3, Mir EO-7, Mir EO-18. Survived first manned launch pad abort. Flew in space six times. More...
  • Thagard Thagard, Dr Norman Earl 'Norm' (1943-) American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-7, STS-51-B, STS-30, STS-42, Mir EO-18. First American to fly aboard a Russian spacecraft. Grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. More...
  • Solovyov Solovyov, Anatoliy Yakovlevich (1948-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-2, Mir EO-6, Mir EO-12, Mir EO-19, Mir EO-24. 651 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Dunbar Dunbar, Dr Bonnie Jeanne (1949-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A, STS-32, STS-50, STS-71, STS-89. Engineer. Was married to astronaut Ronald Sega. More...
  • Budarin Budarin, Nikolai Mikhailovich (1953-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-19, Mir EO-25, ISS EO-6. Made nine spacewalks totalling 1.93 days. 444 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO More...
  • Dezhurov Dezhurov, Vladimir Nikolayevich (1962-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-18, ISS EO-3. Made nine spacewalks, total time 1.58 days. More...

See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-71 Crew: Baker, Dunbar, Gibson, Harbaugh, Precourt. First docking of a US spacecraft with the Mir space station. More...

Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...

Mir EO-18 Chronology


1995 March 14 - . 06:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-21 - . Call Sign: Uragan (Hurricane ). Crew: Dezhurov; Strekalov; Thagard. Backup Crew: Avdeyev; Dunbar; Gidzenko. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 70. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Dezhurov; Strekalov; Thagard; Avdeyev; Dunbar; Gidzenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-18; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 181.03 days. Decay Date: 1995-09-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23519 . COSPAR: 1995-010A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 392 km (243 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Mir Expedition EO-18. Soyuz TM-21 carried the EO-18 Mir crew and American Norman Thagard. Thagard was the first American to be launched in a Soyuz. Soyuz docked with Mir at 07:45:26 GMT on March 16 . On July 4 Soyuz TM-21 undocked and backed off to a distance of 100 m from Mir. The US space shuttle Atlantis, with the EO-18 crew aboard, then undocked and began a flyaround at a distance of 210 m, while the EO-19 crew aboard Soyuz took pictures before redocking with the station. Soyuz TM-21 again undocked with the EO-19 crew on September 11 from the Kvant rear port on Mir and landed at 50 deg 41'N 68 deg 15'E, 108 km northeast of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan, at 06:52:40 GMT .

1995 March 16 - .
  • Mir News 247: Flight of Soyuz-TM21 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Launch from Baykonur on 14.03.1995 at 0611 UTC; docking to the Mir-station on 16.03.1995 at 0745 UTC. The crew consisting of the captain Dezhurov, board-engineer Strekalov and the American Norman Thagard, uses the call Uragany, so resp. Uragan-1, 2 en 3. All went well during the 2-days flight. During the 4th and 5th orbit Soyuz-TM21 had been corrected and the crew reported this on 121.750 mc during passes within our range. Telemetry- and beacon-transmitters could be monitored on the well known frequencies (166.130, 165.873 en 922.755mc.). To communicate with TsUP Soyuz-TM21 had to be within range of the ground stations in Russia and Kazakhstan. Communications via the geostationary satellites Altair and Luch-1 are only possible when an Soyuz-TM21 is within range of the Mir-station. Then Mir can act as a relay station. This can be heard during the pass within our range just before the docking. The signals from the Soyuz-TM can be received simultaneously: directly on 121.750 mc as well as via Altair. The images used by American TV-stations reached them via Mir and Altair. The TV-report from Soyuz-TM21 from CNN ceased when Mir/Soyuz-TM21 left the window for Altair. The crew of the Soyuz-TM21 seemed to have no adaptation problems, Strekalov and Thagard have a lot of experience, but newcomer Dezhurov also performed his tasks well. Mir: The crew has been very busy with preparations for the arrival of the so called 18th Main Expedition to Mir. Life support systems and other vital equipment got special attention. As usual before the oncoming return the crew had to undergo a lot of medical checks (E.C.G.-s etc.). The crew also completed the work with the freighter Progress-M26, due to leave the aft docking port of the complex for that port must be available for the docking of the Soyuz-TM21.

    Progress-M26 separated from Mir on 15.03.1995 and decayed that day in a designated area East of New Zealand at abt. 0600 UTC.

    Return to Earth of the 17th Main Expedition (Viktorenko, Kondakova and Dr. Polyakov) on 22.03.1995 with the Soyuz-TM20.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 March 22 - .
  • Mir News 248: Soyuz-TM20 returned to Earth - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. The Soyuz-TM20 made a safe landing at abt 50 KM from the city Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 22.03.1995 at 0405 UTC. Soyuz-TM20 landed only 10KM from the estimated aiming point. The return operation was executed as planned: On 21.03.1995 at 2135 UTC closing of the hatches, 22.03.1995 at 0040 UTC separation from the Mir- station, 0315 UTC starting engines to reduce speed to start descent and a safe landing at 0405 UTC. In the hour before the landing (between 0306 and 0349 UTC) radio traffic of Soyuz-TM20 with TsUP via Mir and Altair could be monitored. Viktorenko and Kondakova reported the operational data, Kondakova having the lion's share. Emancipation as far as spaceflight is concerned has been successfully concluded! Separation of motor compartment and life compartment at 033955 UTC. Just before re-entry the ANAN-rescue beacon could be heard. From 0340 UTC radio silence caused by the plasma-heath.

    Records:

    Dr. Polyakov fulfilled 438 days in space during 1 flight, so 72 days more than Titov and Manarov (366 days at a stretch). Kondakova was 169 days in space.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 March 22 - .
1995 April 6 - .
  • Mir News 249: Progress-M27 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. On 9.04.1995 at 2133 UTC this freighter will be launched from Baykonur for a flight to the Mir-space station. If all goes according to plan the ship will dock at the for ward (P.Kh.O.) port on 11.04.1995 at abt 2058 UTC. Approach and docking will be in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. The captain of Mir is ready to take over manually by the TORU system in case of problems during the automatic approach.

    ALTERATIONS:

    During the Mir's pass over here during orb. 52158, on 5.04.95 TsUP informed the crew about some alterations of the recent planning: 1. Immediately after the arrival of Progress-M27 the cosmonauts will have to work on the gyrodynes. This on request by the Americans. In their opinion the complex needs 12 well functioning gyrodynes. This means that the first EVA planned for 28.04.95 will be put back to the beginning of May, possibly to 1.05.95. 2. The launch of the module Spektr on schedule for 10.05.95 has been put back to 20.05.95. One of the causes of this delay is the installation of equipment on Spektr to make the use of the system TORU by the Mir-crew possible if during the docking operation the automatic system Kurs fails. 3. Though not confirmed thus far the delay of the launch of the Spektr might also put back the launch date of the Atlantis for the docking mission by appr. 10 days.

    GFZ-1: Progress-M27 also has to deliver to the Mir-complex the normal cargo (food, fuel, water, spare parts, experiments, etc.) a small satellite named GFZ-1. GFZ-1 is a spherical satellite with a mass of 20 KG and a diameter of appr. 20 CM. GFZ-1 has been constructed by the German firm Kayser-Threde (Munchen) and will be used by the Geoforschungszentrum Potzdam for geodetic experiments by laser reflectors. GFZ-1 makes it possible to deliver highly accurate measurements of the Earth's gravitation field. Shortly the Mir-crew will launch GFZ-1 for its autonomous flight of appr. 2 years.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 April 9 - . 19:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-27 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 227. Mass: 7,170 kg (15,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 43.33 days. Completed Operations Date: 1995-05-23 03:27:40 . Decay Date: 1995-05-23 03:27:40 . USAF Sat Cat: 23555 . COSPAR: 1995-020A. Apogee: 399 km (247 mi). Perigee: 396 km (246 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir; carried GFZ-1 German sub-satellite to Mir. Docked with Mir on 11 Apr 1995 21:00:44 GMT. Undocked on 22 May 1995 23:42:37 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 May 1995 03:27:52 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.22 days. Total docked time 41.11 days.

1995 April 12 - .
  • Mir News 250: Progress-M27 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. This freighter started from Baykonur on 9.04.95 at 1933 UTC. After a 2-days flight during which no problems emerged Progress-M27 docked to the forward (P.Kh.O. - transition section) of the Mir complex on 11.04.1995 at 2100 UTC (21 hrs 00 mins 42 seconds), so on 12.04.1995 at 0100 Moscow Summer Time. Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. Dezhurov was ready to take over manually by the remote control system TORU, but this was not necessary. Progress-M27 docked during Mir's orbit 52262. During the final approach and docking traffic was relayed by Altair. There were no TV-images. Dezhurov reported details of the approach and the soft docking (kasanye). During the next pass in orb. 52263, at 2227 UTC Strekalov reported that they had opened the hatch to Progress-M27 2 minutes earlier and that everything was in good order. Progress-M27 delivered to the complex the normal cargo (water, food, fuel, post, underwear, scientific material, etc.), repair materials for the systems to maintain a good atmosphere and the water generation and the German micro-satellite GFZ-1.

    GFZ-1: So this little satellite is now on board of the Mir- complex waiting for its 'second' launch. This has to be done by the cosmonauts in the night from 19 to 20.04.1995. This spherical object with a mass of 20 KG and a diameter of 21 CM will separate from Mir with a speed of 1.2 M/sec. During this operation the German tracking station Oberpfaffenhofen will play an important role. (For details about GFZ-1 see Mir-

    NEWS.249)

    During the pass in which Strekalov reported the opening of the hatch, TsUP told him that the first EVA will take place on 11.05.1995. The date for the launch of Spektr (thus far on schedule for 20.05.1995) might be changed. After the launch of the Spektr, so during one of its 7-days autonomous flight, Progress-M27 will be separated from Mir.

    Possible launch date of Atlantis for the flight in which she has to dock to Mir: 22.06.1995. If so the flight of the Disco very might be put forward to 6.06.1995. This all is not sure at this moment.

    C.M. van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 April 19 - . 21:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • GFZ-1 - . Mass: 20 kg (44 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: GFZ. Program: Mir. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Flight: Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: GFZ-1. Decay Date: 1999-06-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 23558 . COSPAR: 1986-017JE. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 380 km (230 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Summary: Geodetic; carried retroreflectors for ground laser ranging; delivered to Mir on Progress M-27 and deployed from Mir 4/19/95 ..

1995 April 20 - .
  • Mir News 251: GFZ-1 launched by Mir-crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. On 19.04.1995 at 1912 UTC this spherical microsat (21 CM diameter, mass 20 KG) has been pushed into space from an airlock of Mir's base block. GFZ-1 moved off with a speed of 1.2 M/sec. The traffic in which the reports of data and images of the autonomous GFZ-1 could be monitored via Altair. The same operation had taken place some days before: On 17.04.1995 at 08Hrs 19Mins 50Secs the crew launched a container with garbage to be sure that the system would work well. This object is now in space under catalogue number 23557. GFZ-1 has been built by the German firm Kayser-Threde. The co-ordination of the observations of GFZ-1 will be done by the Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam. Abt 25 observatories all over the world will execute measurements by laser reflections. Stations are among others: London, Grasse (France), Potsdam, Easterisland, Graz (Austria) and even one in Kirgizie. The stations can 'catch' GFZ-1 with a beamwidth of 200 Meters. During the first pass London and Graz did not get reflections, but during the 2d pass Graz caught GFZ-1 and was able to pick the first geodetic and ballistic measurements. During the launch the Mir-crew acted independently.

    Planning for the near future:

    Some crucial operations had to be put back by the Russians (launch module Spektr, EVA-s, a.s.o.) and this forced the Americans to put back the launch of the Atlantis to the second half of June. Therefore the flight of Discovery has been put forward and will now begin at abt 8.06.1995.

    Cargo Progress-M27: An antenna for radio-amateur purposes, delivered by Progress-M27, has been damaged due an improper packing. The crew showed this antenna via Altair and discussed this problem with the well known radio-amateur Sergey Samburov.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 May 8 - .
  • Mir News 252: Spacewalks (EVA-s) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The data for the 1st two EVA-s are: 12 and 17.05.1995. After these 2 EVA-s there will be made another 2 of which data and other details still have to be settled. There is a possibility of 2 extra, so called 'contingency' EVA-s. The EVA on 12.05 will begin at 0500 UTC (opening of the hatch), last abt 5 hours and the main task will be the transfer of a solar panel from Kristall to Kvant-1. Possibly the cosmonauts will also retrieve materials which have been exposed to open space. During radio communications in the last week could be heard how the cosmonauts checked systems, spacesuits, communication channels, etc. The last 2 days these checks were focused on the communication channels. The checks were very realistic and gave a good insight in the communications procedures and systems. During EVA-s the 143.625 shifts to 143.617 mc, so lower than the normal Doppler shift and interference by an air traffic channel are standard and during those checks the same happened. Preparations for the 1st EVA will begin in the night from 11 to 12.05.1995, the opening of the hatch, in fact the beginning of the EVA, will be at abt. 0500 UTC. The Russians Dezhurov and Strekalov will do the EVA, Thagard will be on duty in the Mir- complex.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 May 12 - .
  • Mir News 253: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. Today the cosmonauts Dezhurov and Strekalov had their first EVA during this expedition. Strekalov made EVA's in the past; for Dezhurov it was his first. The hatch has been opened at 0420 UTC and closed at 0935 UTC. So the duration of this EVA was 5 hrs 15 mins. The cosmonauts executed 3 tasks: 1. To install cables and contacts on Kvant-1 for the electric power of the solar panel to be installed there during the 2nd EVA. 2. To check whether it is possible to roll up that solar panel which still is installed on Kristall for the transfer to Kvant-1 during the 2d EVA. This was possible. 3. The retrieval of materials which have been exposed to open space for a long time (the American experiment Trek). The 2d EVA will be executed on 17.05.1995. Then the 1st solar panel definitely must be replaced from Kristall to Kvant-1. During the spacewalk Norman Thagard was on duty inside the station to look after the communications and now and then giving commands, for instance the switching off and on of the power of the solar panel during the work on it by the cosmonauts. For communications between TsUP and Mir all available windows for traffic via Altair have been used.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 May 12 - . 04:20 GMT - .
1995 May 16 - .
  • Mir News 254: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The crew of the 18th Main Expedition, Dezhurov and Strekalov, will do their 2d EVA on 17.05.1995. This EVA will begin at 0247 UTC (opening of the hatch) and will end at 0820 UTC (closing the hatch.) The cosmonauts will fold up and transfer one of the solar panels of Kristall (Module-T) to the outer surface of the astrophysical module Kvant-1. They will use the Strela- crane as a lever. The cosmonauts have to make complicated manoeuvres with Strela: they have to reach the Kristall module first and later on swing over to the Kvant-1 with their 'car go'.

    The American astronaut, Norman Thagard, will stay inside the complex and execute commands if necessary. Today he even practised the loading of date in the movements computer of the complex.

    1st EVA (correction and completion):

    At the moment of the closure of the Altair/Mir window on 12.05.95 at 0937 UTC I was sure that the EVA was still going on. However I believed a spokesman who stated that the hatch had been closed at 0935 UTC. In fact the EVA lasted 1 hour longer until 1035 UTC (1335 TsUP Time and not Moscow summertime) so exceeding the planned EVA with 1 hour and the guaranteed security period for the spacesuits with 15 minutes. The cosmonauts were very tired when they came back on board, but satisfied for the EVA was a success.

    Launch of Spektr: Still on schedule for 20.05.1995.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 May 17 - .
  • Mir News 255: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The Russian crew members of the 18th Main Exp. to Mir, Duzhurov and Strekalov, did their 2d EVA on 17.05.1995 from 0238 until 0930 UTC. This EVA also lasted longer than planned and again the 'safety guarantee period' has been exceeded. During this EVA the cosmonauts had to fold up the solar panel on Kristall, to disconnect contacts and drivers, install the 'cargo' on the Strela crane en transport this and Strekalov to Kvant-1. Strekalov folded the panel assisted by Thagard who was inside the complex and gave commands to switch off and on servomotors. After every 'movement' caused by these servo's Strekalov could fold the next section. Str worked on the panel, Dezhurov steered the Strela. For the 'fold-up' operation the cosmonauts used more time than was expected. They also spent a lot of time to reach the necessary spots. The cosmonauts could not fully accomplish their task due to the limited endurance of their spacesuits. They left the package behind on the outer surface of Kvant-1 and returned to the airlock. During the beginning of the operation communications were relayed via Altair, later on and within our range the 143.625 mc was active. As always during EVA's interference by cross-modulation from an air traffic control channel. During the first pass after the EVA the cosmonauts could be monitored waiting in the airlock for the equalisation of the air pressure.

    3d EVA: To accomplish their task the cosmonauts will make their 3d EVA on 24.05.1995. Orbit correction: On 15.05.1995 at 0630 UTC Mir's orbit has been corrected. This correction was necessary to make the docking of Atlantis to Mir late June this year possible. Herewith the most recent Keps: Epoch: 135.39591536, decay: 0.00024944, Incl: 51.6461, RA: 321.7764, Ecc.: 0.0005314, Arg. per.: 307.8737, MA: 51.1567, MM: 15.56501886, Rev. nr.: 52784.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 May 17 - . 02:38 GMT - .
1995 May 18 - .
  • Mir News 256: Intercalated Spacewalk (EVA) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. During their 2d EVA on 17.05.1995 the cosmonauts were not able to accomplish their task due to a threatening lack of oxygen. This EVA was the 2d one in a series of 4. There was a possibility to use 2 so called 'contingency-EVA's'. The first of these contingency EVA's will take place on 22.05.1995. The time of the opening of the hatch and the duration are still unknown. This EVA -so now to be counted as the 3d one- will be made to complete the transfer of a solar battery from Kristall to Kvant-1 (37KE). The cosmonauts will have to install, deploy and activate that solar panel. To fill up the gap in the energy supply the solar panels of the freighter Progress-M27 are now also delivering energy to the Mir-complex. Thus far is not known when the EVA on schedule for 24.05.1995 will be made.

    Launch of Spektr:

    The Spektr technological module will be launched by a Proton carrier from Baykonur on 20.05.1995 at 0330 UTC.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 May 20 - . 03:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 378-02.
  • Spektr - . Payload: 77KSO s/n 17301. Mass: 19,640 kg (43,290 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Spektr. Decay Date: 2001-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 23579 . COSPAR: 1995-024A. Apogee: 335 km (208 mi). Perigee: 221 km (137 mi). Inclination: 51.6800 deg. Period: 89.78 min. Summary: MIR experiment module. Docked to Mir Jun 1
    Officially: Docked to Mir Jun 1 .

1995 May 22 - .
  • Mir News 257: 3d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew on 22.05.95 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The EVA lasted from 0010 UTC (opening of the hatch) until 0525 UTC (closing of the hatch). The cosmonauts installed, connected, unfolded and activated the replaced solar panel. A hell of a job aggravated by limited communications with TsUP. The original planning spoke about the use of almost all windows via Altair during the EVA, but this was not possible due to lack of power. After the 2d EVA there had been no traffic via Altair for the same reason. Immediately after the installation of the solar panel on Kvant-1 traffic via Altair could be monitored. After the return of the cosmonauts on board there was a TV-session in which the installed solar panel, the Strela and the Sofora mast with the VDU were shown.

    4th EVA: This very short (40 minutes) EVA will take place on 29.05.1995. During this EVA a docking cone will be moved from the -Y axis port to the -Z axis port. This for the docking of Spektr on 1.06.1995. After some time the Spektr will be moved 90 degrees to one of the X-axis ports to make place for the Kristall to be placed on the -Z axis port to enable the Atlantis to dock in June.

    Progress-M27: This freighter remained 2 days longer at Mir to help reduce the lack of power of the Mir-complex. Possibly Progress-M27 will be undocked on 22.05.95 at 2332 UTC and burn up over the Pacific West of New Zealand on 23.05.95 at about 0328 UTC.

    SPEKTR: This huge module (20 tons) has been launched from Baykonur on 20.05.1995 at 03.33.22 UTC and will dock to Mir on 1.06.1995. This to enable the Mir-crew to make their 4th EVA. On 21.05.1995 Spektr came in a higher orbit by 2 motor burns: 1st: 0211 UTC (6.4 M/sec.) 2d : 0419 UTC (15.0 M/sec) The following motor burns have been scheduled for 24.05.1995: 1st: 003625 UTC (15M/sec). 2d : 023510 UTC ( 3M/sec).

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 May 22 - . 00:10 GMT - .
1995 May 23 - .
  • Mir News 258: Progress-M27 separated from Mir and decayed - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The freighter Progress-M27 undocked from Mir on 22.05.1995 at 23.29.30 UTC and decayed over the Pacific East of New Zealand on 23.05.1995 at 03.27.12 UTC.

    Spektr: The forward axial docking port of the P.Kh.O. (transition section) is now free for the reception of Spektr on 1.06.1995.

    4th Spacewalk (EVA): Still on schedule for 29.05.1995. (Transfer inside P.Kh.O. of docking device from -Y to -Z. (Duration abt. 40 minutes).

    5th EVA: On 2.06.1995 the 5th EVA will be made. Purpose: adjustments inside P.Kh.O. in relation to oncoming redockings of Spektr and Kristall. (Duration: short)

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 May 26 - .
  • Mir News 259: Schedule for operations in period from 26.05 until 3.06.1995. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. Redocking of Kristall module from -Y axis to -X axis:

    In the night from 26 to 27.05.95. Period: from 26.5 2309 UTC to 27.05.95 at 0040 UTC. (-X axis is forward port transition section, P.Kh.O.)

    4th Spacewalk (EVA):

    This EVA will take place on 28.05.95 from 2240-2310 UTC (in Moscow time already 29.05.1995). The cosmonauts will remain inside the vacuumed P.Kh.O. (transition section) for the replacement of the docking cone from the -X axis to the -Z axis. This for the temporary 'parking' of the Kristall.

    Redocking of Kristall from the -X axis to the -Z axis on 29.05.1995 from 2200-2330 UTC (in Moscow time already 30.5). The forward docking port (-X axis) is then free for the reception of Spektr.

    Docking of Spektr is planned for 1.06.1995 at abt 0038 UTC. Koppeling van de Spektr aan het Mir-station:

    The 5th EVA will take place on 2.06.1995, again fully within the P.Kh.O. with a duration of abt. 40 mins. Beginning time thus far unknown. During this EVA the cosmonauts will replace the docking cone from the -Z axes to the -Y axes. This to make redocking from Spektr to that port possible.

    Redocking of Spektr from the -X axes to the -Y axis will take place on 3.06.1995 (times thus far unknown).

    When the Kristall will be redocked from the -Z axes to the -X axes is unknown thus far, but Kristall has to be positioned to that port for the docking of the Atlantis.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 May 28 - . 22:22 GMT - .
1995 June 1 - .
  • Mir News 260: SPEKTR linked up with the Mir-complex - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The 20-tons technological module Spektr docked automatically and without any problems at the forward docking port (-X axis) of the transition section (P.Kh.O.) of Mir on 1.06.1995 at 00.56.16 UTC. During the pass within our range in orb. 53043 from 0046-0052 UTC the transmissions of both object could be monitored. At 0048 UTC Strekalov reported the distance to Spektr: 15 meters. He also stated that the final approach was about to begin. TsUP ordered the crew to do camerawork and so it might be possible that we somewhere can see some images (media and editors permitting). During the pass in orb. 53044 from 0223-0229 UTC the crew got orders to observe an operation with a solar panel: this had to be folded or retracted to become a little bit shorter. There were no remarks about the opening of the hatches to Spektr. During the following passes the crew slept. This successful docking means that the major obstacle on the way to the docking of Atlantis in the 3d decade of June has been taken. The arrival of Spektr is very important for further Mir operations and the co-operation with the Americans not only for the module itself but also for the indispensable cargo to be delivered by Spektr.

    Results of the operations as of 27.05.1995:

    All operations have been carried out successfully in accordance with the schedule published in MirNEWS.259. So the Kristall module has been redocked twice (from the -Y to the -X axis and from there to the -Z axis). The Russians are satisfied about the good functioning of the manipulator arm (the so called 'lyappa'), which has not been tried out in the 5 years after the redocking of Kristall from -X to -Y in June 1990.

    Plans for the next 7 days:

    During the night from 1 to 2.06.1995 a short spacewalk (EVA) inside the vacuumized transition section (P.Kh.O.) to replace the docking- (reception-) cone from the -Z to the -Y axis.

    In the night from 2 to 3.06.1995 the redocking of Spektr with its 'lyappa' from the -X axis to the -Y axis.

    On 7.06.1995 Kristall will be redocked to the -X axis to be ready for the reception of Atlantis in the 3rd decade of June.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK-3202.


1995 June 1 - . 22:05 GMT - .
1995 June 5 - .
  • Mir News 261: 5th Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. On 1.06.1995 (for Moscow time already 2.06.1995) from 2204- 2229 UTC the Mir-crew made a short EVA inside the vacuumized transition section (P.Kh.O.). During this EVA they replaced the docking cone from the -Z to the -Y axis.

    Redocking Spektr (Module-O):

    This operation was executed quickly and successfully (so also the 'Lyappa' of Spektr is reliable) on 2.06.95 from 1952- 2150 UTC (so the closing of the hatch already on 3.06.95 Moscow time). The Spektr has been moved from the -X axis (axial forward port of Mir) to the -Y axis. So the forward port is now available to receive the Kristall (Module-T). Redocking of Kristall put back:

    This operation was on schedule for the night from 6 to 7.06.1995 but has been postponed to the period from 15.06 - 18.06.1995. The Russians said that this was necessary due to activities with a higher priority. It might be possible that this has something to do with the airseal problems arose after the redocking of Kristall in the night from 29 to 30.05.1995. That night during the pass in orbit 53012 Dezhurov reported a dropping pressure in Kristall or the transition section (P.Kh.O.). This might be caused by a minor leakage in the joint between Kristall and the P.Kh.O. After 1 hr and 8 minutes the pressure dropped from abt 700 mm to 469 mm. Whether this problem has caused the postponement of the redocking of Kristall has not been confirmed thus far. That there is a problem with the air pressure has been confirmed officially. Spokesmen also stated that extra oxygen en nitrogen has to be delivered to the complex to replenish the loss of air during the recent EVA-s.

    Thagard injured his eye: Not all what is written in my logbook reaches my reports. Already on 19.05.1995 Thagard reported that he injured his right eye during an 'experiment with an expander'. During the days there after Thagard regularly complained about his eye and TsUP advised him which medicines he had to swallow. Meanwhile the eye seems to be recovered for when there is question about this problem Thagard and his colleagues say that all is normal. I did refrain from publishing about this medical 'secret' due to an official request. Recently this ban has been lifted by the Head of the Russian Space Agency, Koptev, who told Itar-Tass that Thagard had been struck at his head above his right eye by a spring which got loose from an expander during physical training.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 June 10 - .
  • Spektr module docks with Mir - . Nation: Russia. Flight: Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Kristall. After that it was moved several times by the small manipulator arm on Mir to accommodate the addition of the Spektr module to the station and to allow rendezvous with the US Shuttle at Kristall's main docking port. The module was transferred to its final location at the Mir transfer compartment's starboard radial port on July 17, 1995.

1995 June 13 - .
  • Mir News 262: Redocking Kristall-module - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. The air seal problems with the joint between Kristall and the transition section (P.Kh.O.) have been resolved earlier than had been expected and so Kristall could be redocked from the -Z to the -X axis (forward axial port) on 10.06.1995 at 1730 UTC. The operation was accomplished at 1800 UTC. So Kristall is now ready for the reception of the shuttle Atlantis.

    SPEKTR: One of the 4 solar panels not fully deployed.

    One of the solar panels of Spektr did not unfold fully. This malfunction caused power problems and a very scarce use of the communications via Altair. To repair the solar panel the cosmonauts will have to make an extra spacewalk (EVA).

    6th EVA:

    To make the deployment of the solar panel of the Spektr possible the cosmonauts will have to do an EVA on 15.06.1995 between 1400 and appr. 1900 UTC.

    Launch Atlantis:

    The Americans are doing all what is possible to execute the launch of Atlantis on 22.06.1995. The Russians as well as the Americans are sure that the solar panel of Spektr will be repaired in time.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1995 June 15 - .
  • Mir News 263: 6th Spacewalk (EVA) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. During a meeting at Noordwijk Space Expo Kondakova told me that the EVA planned for 15.06 has been put back to 16.06.95. During radio traffic via Altair on 15.06 during orb. 53268, 0835-0925 UTC the cosmonauts asked for a duration of the EVA of 5.30 instead of 5 hrs. During that EVA they will have to deploy an unwilling solar array on Spektr and to inspect this to be sure that it will give no problems during the docking of Atlantis. They also will have to repair an unreliable drive of a solar array on Kvant-2 (Module-D) and check the docking port of the -Z axis due to the recent air leakage.

    Start Atlantis: When Atlantis will be launched is not yet sure for 100%, but if the EVA will be successful and no other problems emerge NASA intends to execute the launch on 23.06.95 at 2308 UTC (launch window 7 mins). I hope to be on the spot during the launch and landing, which has been planned for 4.07 at 1637 UTC. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 June 17 - .
  • Mir News 264: Planned spacewalk (EVA) cancelled - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-18. This EVA already had been put back once from 15 to 16.06.1995, but has now been cancelled. The cosmonauts did not have the right tools for their tasks and doing the job with the tools now at their disposal would be too risky. The Russians and NASA are sure that the present situation (power problems and the not fully deployed solar array on Spektr) is safe enough for the intended docking operation of Atlantis. The EVA will be made by the crew of the next mission (19th Main expedition), Solovyov and Budarin, who will deliver the right tools to Mir and already trained in Houston for that EVA.

    ATLANTIS READY TO GO!!

    After a long period of uncertainties, of hope and despair, the date for the launch of Atlantis on her docking mission has been set: 23.06.1995 at 2108 UTC. Docking on 25.06.1995 at abt 1430 UTC. The launch window is only 7 minutes long and if the launch not takes place in first 2 minutes the flight before docking had to last 3 instead of 2 days. NASA however sticks to the docking on 25.06.1995 and will manoeuvre Atlantis in such a way that this is possible.

    HOWEVER.......:

    The fact that the date for Atlantis's launch has been set means that I will fly to the States to be there during the major events and so I will close my station for a while to continue my work on the spot. I will produce reports of all what will happen for some media in the Netherlands and report my findings after my return in a MirNEWS-summary and in the next issue of the Amasat UK journal Oscar News.

    Goodbye everybody!!

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1995 June 27 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-71.
  • STS-71 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Baker; Budarin; Dunbar; Gibson; Harbaugh; Precourt; Solovyov. Backup Crew: Onufrienko; Usachyov. Payload: Atlantis F14 / Spacelab-Mir LM. Mass: 12,191 kg (26,876 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker; Budarin; Dunbar; Gibson; Harbaugh; Precourt; Solovyov; Onufrienko; Usachyov. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-71; Mir EO-19; Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.81 days. Decay Date: 1995-07-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 23600 . COSPAR: 1995-030A. Apogee: 342 km (212 mi). Perigee: 342 km (212 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Mir Expedition EO-19. Transferred Budarin, Solovyov to Mir, returned Soyuz TM-21 crew to Earth. After undocking from Mir on July 4, Atlantis spent several days on orbit, carrying out medical research work with the Spacelab-Mir module in the cargo bay. Payloads: Shuttle/Mir Mission 1, Spacelab-Mir, IMAX camera, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-71; Mir EO-19; Mir EO-18. Decay Date: 1995-07-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 23600 . COSPAR: 1995-030xx. Apogee: 396 km (246 mi). Perigee: 48 km (29 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min.
  • Spacelab-Mir LM - . Payload: Spacelab Long Module. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Flight: STS-71; Mir EO-19; Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Spacelab. Decay Date: 1995-07-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 23600 . COSPAR: 1995-030xx. Apogee: 396 km (246 mi). Perigee: 48 km (29 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min.

1995 July 7 - .
1995 July 11 - .
  • Mir News 265: Resumed - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-71; Mir EO-19; Mir EO-18. Just returned from the United States, where I was during the launch, docking, separation and landing of the STS-71, Atlantis. Still suffering from 'jetlag' and not back in my normal work-rhythm. But nevertheless here some facts about Mir/Atlantis and the plans for Mir this month.

    Atlantis blasted off from KSC on 27.06.1995 at 1932 UTC. Docking at the Kristall-module on 29.06.1995 at 1300 UTC. 4.07.1995 at 1055 UTC Soyuz-TM21 with Solovyov and Budarin separated from Mir's Kvant-1 module for a photo mission of the undocking of Atlantis. 4.07.1995 at 1110 UTC successful undocking of Atlantis from Mir. 4.07.1995 at 1138 UTC Soyuz-TM21 redocked to Kvant-1. This took place 5 minutes earlier than was planned due to a malfunction of the Ts.V.M.-1 (main computer on board Mir). Solovyov per formed the docking manually while the deviation of Mir was already 10 degrees. 7.07.1995 at 1455 UTC soft landing of Atlantis on the S.L.F. (Shuttle Landing Facility) of Kennedy Space Centre.

    Plans Mir-operations this month: 14.07.1995: 1st spacewalk (EVA): Checking airseal of docking port in -Z before the redocking of Kristall and an attempt to deploy the naughty solar array of Spektr. Beginning of EVA at 0340 UTC, duration somewhat more than 5 hrs. 17.07.1995: Possibly, depending on the results of the 1st EVA, the redocking of Kristall from the -X axis (forward port) to the radial port -Z axis. If so this operation will begin at abt 0200 UTC. There was a 2d EVA on schedule for 18.07 (later put back to 19.07), but possibly this EVA will be cancelled. Depending on the results of the 1st EVA. Progress-M28: If all goes well during the operations mentioned above this freighter will be launched from Baykonur on 20.07. Docking has to take place on 22.07 at the forward (-X) docking port of the complex. More news about the near future: There is an EVA planned on 18.08.1995 to install on the outer surface of Mir experiments among which the Belgian MirAS. This experiment has been brought to Mir by the Spektr module. Euromir'95: The launch of this mission with Soyuz-TM22 has been put back to 1.09.1995. (Gidzenko, Avdeyev and Reiter).

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


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