Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir EO-22



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Mir over Pacific
Mir over South Pacific
Credit: NASA
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Mir EO-22
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Crew: Kaleri, Korzun. Mir Expedition EO-22. Valeriy Korzun and Aleksandr Kaleri of the Russian Space Agency (RKA) Claudie Andre-Deshays of the French space agency CNES. This launch was the first of the Soyuz-U booster with a crew aboard following two launch failures of on unmanned flights.

Soyuz docked with Mir's front port at 14:50:21 GMT on August 19; Mir was in a 375 x 390 km x 51.6 deg orbit.

On Feb 7 at 16:28:01 GMT the EO-22 crew and American astronaut Linenger undocked the Soyuz TM-24 ferry from the front docking port, flew it around to the far side of the complex and redocked at the rear Kvant port at 16:51:27 GMT. This cleared the forward port for the arrival of the EO-23 crew, who brought with them German astronaut Reinhold Ewald on Feb 12. Korzun, Kaleri and Ewald undocked from Mir in the Soyuz TM-24 spaceship at 03:24 GMT on March 2 and landed at 06:44 GMT near Arkaylk in Kazakstan.

AKA: Fregat (Frigate ); Soyuz TM-24 (Kaleri, Korzun).
First Launch: 1996.08.17.
Last Launch: 1997.03.02.
Duration: 196.73 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Korzun Korzun, Valeri Grigoryevich (1953-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-22, ISS EO-5. 381 cumulative days in space. Call sign: Fregat (Frigate). More...
  • Kaleri Kaleri, Aleksandr Yuryevich (1956-) Latvian-Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-11, Mir EO-22, Mir EO-28, ISS EO-8, ISS EO-25. 769 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. More...
  • Ewald Ewald, Dr Reinhold (1956-) German engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir 97. More...

See also
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-22 Chronology


1996 August 17 - . 13:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz TM-24 - . Call Sign: Fregat (Frigate ). Crew: Andre-Deshays; Kaleri; Korzun. Backup Crew: Eyharts; Lazutkin; Tsibliyev. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 73. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Andre-Deshays; Kaleri; Korzun; Eyharts; Lazutkin; Tsibliyev. Agency: RAKA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-22; Mir Cassiopee; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 196.73 days. Decay Date: 1997-03-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 24280 . COSPAR: 1996-047A. Apogee: 394 km (244 mi). Perigee: 378 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Mir Expedition EO-22. Valeriy Korzun and Aleksandr Kaleri of the Russian Space Agency (RKA) Claudie Andre-Deshays of the French space agency CNES. This launch was the first of the Soyuz-U booster with a crew aboard following two launch failures of on unmanned flights. Soyuz docked with Mir's front port at 14:50:21 GMT on August 19; Mir was in a 375 x 390 km x 51.6 deg orbit.

    On Feb 7 at 16:28:01 GMT the EO-22 crew and American astronaut Linenger undocked the Soyuz TM-24 ferry from the front docking port, flew it around to the far side of the complex and redocked at the rear Kvant port at 16:51:27 GMT. This cleared the forward port for the arrival of the EO-23 crew, who brought with them German astronaut Reinhold Ewald on Feb 12.


1996 August 18 - .
  • Mir News 323: Soyuz-TM24 successfully launched for flight to Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-22; Mir Cassiopee; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The Soyuz-TM24 has been launched with the carrier Soyuz-U from Baykonur on 17.08.1996 at 13.18.03 UTC. Soyuz-TM24 reached the planned orbit without problems and all systems worked well. Already during the pass in the 2d orbit the ship came in our range (1620-1623 UTC) and radio signals could be monitored. Korzun, commander of this 22 Main Expedition, who makes his first flight, reported that they had moved from the SA (landing-apparatus) into the BO (life compartment) and that they had put off their spacesuits. The crew made preparations for the 1st orbit correction which was planned for 16.57.43 UTC. During the pass in the 3d orb. (1749-1756 UTC) the 2d orbit correction was accomplished: 175021 UTC. Korzun reported the good performance of these operations during this pass. During the 4th orbit (1923-1930 UTC) again a lot of radio traffic. 2 times the TCA's (Time Closest Approach) could be determined monitoring the Doppler shift on 922.755 mc: 3d orb. at 175222 UTC and 4th orb. 192520 UTC. In the morning of 18.08.1996 Flight control confirmed that all crew members were in a good health and mood. Due to the use of the carrier Soyuz-U instead of the more powerful Soyuz-U2 the Russians had to reduce the mass of crew and material. So they refrained from the use of Kurs, the device for automatic approach and docking. This means that Korzun will have to approach and dock in the manual mode. The docking is on schedule for 19.09.1996 at 1449 UTC. During the final phase of the docking operation both objects are within our range. (Mir's orb. 59981, 1437-1443 UTC) and radio traffic about this operation might be possible on the Mir and Soyuz-TM24 frequencies.

    Progress-M32: This freighter separated from Mir on 18.08.1996 at 0934 UTC. The autonomous flight of the Progress-M32 will last until 3.09.1996.

    Soyuz-TM23: Return to earth of relieved crew of ME 21 (Onufriyenko and Usachov) and Claudie Andre-Deshays with the Soyuz-TM23 has been put back until 2.09.1996.

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


1996 August 19 - .
  • Mir News 324: Soyuz-TM24 docked at Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Cassiopee; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21; Mir EO-22. The Soyuz-TM24 docked at Mir on 19.08.1996 at 14.50.21 UTC. Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. This in contradiction to the information about Kurs in MirNEWS.323. This information came from a usually reliable source who possibly misinterpreted a message of a press-agency. Radio traffic during the passes after the successful docking revealed that the new crew and Claudie Andre-Deshays still were in good health and mood after the 2-days flight. A very cheerful Claudie told a countryman at TsUP that she will use the module Priroda as her guest-room. Shannon Lucid is staying in the module Spektr.

    Soyuz-TM23: This ship will return to earth on 2.09.1996 with the relieved crew of ME 21 and Claudie.

    Progress-M32: This freighter is flying in a somewhat higher orbit than Mir. Progress-M32 will redock at Mir on 3.09.1996.

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


1996 September 2 - .
  • Mir News 325: Soyuz-TM23 returned to earth - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Cassiopee; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21; Mir EO-22. The descent module of the ship Soyuz-TM23 with on board the crew of the 21st ME and the 'spacionaute' Claudie Andre-Deshays landed safely on 2.09.1996 at 07.41.40 UTC in a position 105 KM South West of Akmola in Kazakhstan. The condition of the 3 cosmonauts was excellent and they will fly to Chkalovo (near Starcity, Moscow) today.

    0110 UTC: The hatch behind the departing cosmonauts was closed.

    0417 UTC: Soyuz-TM23 separated from Mir to begin a short autonomous flight.

    The aimed landing position was in a distance of 107 KM from Tselinograd in Kazakhstan with an estimated landing time of 07.41.03 UTC. (So they landed 37 sec. later in another position).

    Progress-M32: This freighter is still flying autonomously. Redocking to the Mir complex is on schedule for 3.09.1996 at abt. 0755 UTC.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK320.


1996 September 2 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-23 - . Return Crew: Andre-Deshays; Onufrienko; Usachyov. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Andre-Deshays; Onufrienko; Usachyov. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-22; Mir Cassiopee; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The spacecraft undocked on September 2 at 04:20 GMT, and made a small seperation burn at 04:24:40 GMT. Deorbit was at 06:47:20 GMT. The three modules separated at 07:14:36 and the parachute deployed at 07:26 GMT. The landing was at 07:41:40 GMT, 100 km SW of Akmola in Kazakstan with Yuri Onufrienko, Yuriy Usachyov and Claudie Andre-Deshays aboard. This concluded the French 'Cassiopee' mission.

1996 September 3 - .
  • Mir News 326: Progress-M32 redocked at the Mir space station. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. Today Progress-M32 concluded her autonomous flight. This flight began on 18.08.1996 , so 1 day before the docking of Soyuz-TM24. Approach and docking took place 1 orbit later than originally planned and was executed in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. The docking at the aft docking port (Kvant, +X-axis) was accomplished on 3.09 at 09.35.21 UTC. For those monitoring operations like this the delay of this operation until orbit 60212 from 0927-0932 UTC was a piece of good luck because of the fact that they could monitor the final phase of the operation. Commander Korzun observed the approach via the displays of the systems LIV and TORU and reported distances, approach speeds and manoeuvres around the X-axis. When both objects disappeared behind the horizon the distance was 95 meters and the appr. speed 0.8 M/sec. During the pass in orb. 60213 from 1102-1108 UTC it was obvious that Progress-M32 was a part of the Mir-complex again. Meanwhile Korzun had corrected the attitude of the complex. He got orders not to carry out the airseal checks and the opening of the hatch today.

    (So in a relative short period the Russians successfully accomplished crucial operations. As far as Russian spaceflight is concerned Aleksandr Lebedj has nothing to worry about!!)

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


1996 September 12 - .
  • Mir News 327: Activities on board Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. The crew has spend a lot of time and efforts to repair an airseal problem in one of the modules. Obviously the problem has been solved, but the cause of that what might have been a leakage seems to be a mystery. Meanwhile the crew started preparations for the meeting with the Atlantis (STS-79) still to be launched on 16.09.1996 at 0854 UTC. Apart from extra physical training Sannon is packing things which she has to transfer to Atlantis for delivery on earth. Assisted by Kaleri, who also gave her instructions, Shannon tried out a spacesuit. She reported (in Russian) to TsUP that the suit was the right size and that she was sure to be able to use it if this might be unlooked-for necessary. TsUP confirmed that this exercise had to be done in case of an eventual return of Shannon with a Soyuz-TM. One of the means to inject oxygen in the atmosphere of the complex is the system Elektron. These systems produce oxygen out of water by an electrolysis process. Nitrogen is needed for the purging of these Elektrons, but also for the pressurising. Nowadays there is not enough nitrogen on board and new supplies, which have to be delivered by Atlantis and Progress-M33 (in October) are badly needed.

    Atlantis (STS-79): If all goes according to plan and Atlantis starts on 16.09.1996 at 0854 UTC radio-amateurs in Western-Europa can try to monitor phone reports from Atlantis at abt. 20 minutes after launch. This might be possible during the first contact of Atlantis via a relay-facility in Spain. During the last flight of Atlantis signals could be monitored on 259.700 mc AM. After an elapsed time of 2days 18hrs 23mins Atlantis must link up with Mir, so if the launch goes as planned and the flight has been proceeding well this will take place on 19.09.1996 at 0017 UTC (for the USA still 18.09). If the same communications are used as during the last Atlantis mission an American TDRS as well as a Russian Altair (1 or 2 or both) will be used during approach and docking. 23 minutes after the 'soft docking' the so called 'hardmate' will take place. After a check period of 2hrs and 25mins the hatches will be opened.

    Radio-amateurism: During the last week a lot of traffic, Packet Radio and Phone could be heard on 145.550mc. Korzun is an enthusiast radio-amateur and he made a lot of QSO-s over Western Europe. His knowledge of the English language and his feeling for radio-amateurism enables him to do this and to enjoy it. Apart from some recorded voice messages on 437.925mc I cannot say much about the use of the Safex-2 facilities in the Priroda module. Here the UHF-frequencies 437.925, 437.950 and 437.975 mc are used for medical purposes (hearth monitoring) by a hospital nearby. Monitoring these frequencies is such a torment that it would endanger the condition of my hearth in such a way that I myself even might need that service by that hospital!

    Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1996 September 16 - . 08:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-79.
  • STS-79 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Blaha; Readdy; Wilcutt; Akers; Apt; Walz. Payload: Atlantis F17 / External Airlock/ODS. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha; Readdy; Wilcutt; Akers; Apt; Walz. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-79; Mir NASA-2; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.14 days. Decay Date: 1996-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24324 . COSPAR: 1996-057A. Apogee: 386 km (239 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. On September 19 Atlantis docked with the Russian Mir space station. Aboard Atlantis in the payload bay were the Orbiter Docking System, the modified Long Tunnel, and the Spacehab Double Module, containing supplies for the Mir. Astronaut John Blaha relieved Shannon Lucid as NASA resident on the complex. Atlantis undocked from the Mir complex on September 23 at 23:33 GMT. Valeriy Korzun, Aleksandr Kaleri and John Blaha remain on Mir. On September 26 Atlantis closed its payload bay doors, and at 11:06 GMT fired its OMS engines for a three minute long deorbit burn. After entry interface at 11:42 GMT the spaceship flew across Canada and the US for a landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15 at 12:13 GMT.

1996 September 17 - .
  • Mir News 328: Start Atlantis - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-79; Mir NASA-2; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. Within 20 minutes after the launch of Atlantis on mission STS-79 on 16.09.1996 at 08.54.49 UTC commander Readdy could be heard in a contact with Houston via a relay station in Spain. This was on 259.700 mc (AM) between 0913-0919 UTC. For ballistic reasons lift-off took place 46 seconds later than originally planned.

    Rendezvous and docking operations:

    Begin Mir rendezvous operation: 18.09 2134 UTC TI Burn 19.09 0003 Arrival on R-bar (Earth radius vector) 0153 Hovering at 170 feet from Mir 0235 Begin final approach 0310 Atlantis docks with Mir 0317 Hardmate Atlantis/Mir 0337

    For observers in Western-Europe the passes of Mir (and -the then being in a short distance- of Atlantis) begin during Mir's orbit nr. 60468 with a pass between 0307-0315 UTC, maximum elevation 11 degrees. So communications between Mir and Atlantis might be possible on the well known VHF frequencies. Whether there will be TV-images -for instance via CNN- or not is not sure at this point. If the Russians use Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054) over 16 dgs West images seen by Mir of the approaching Atlantis might be possible between 0230-0324 UTC. During the last docking mission of Atlantis (STS-76) those images could be seen via CNN together with images of Mir seen by a camera in Atlantis. It is also possible that the Russians will use Altair-2 (over 96 dgs East) during the window from 0306-0402 UTC.

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


1996 September 19 - .
  • Mir News 329: Atlantis docked at Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-79; Mir NASA-2; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. 'Readdy was ready' and he controlled the free drift with a speed of appr. 2.5 cm/sec of Atlantis to Mir during the final phase of the approach. The result was a perfect soft docking on 19.09.96 at 0313 UTC. The original operation schedule was almost executed on the minute, except for the time of the 'touch', which had been put forward by 4 minutes. For friends in Western Europa who use to monitor radio transmissions during such operations this was a blessing for it meant that the docking could take place within the window for both objects on Mir's orbit nr. 60468, 0307-0315 UTC. So at 031330 UTC they could hear Readdy reporting in Russian: 'KASANIYE' (touch). For this report he used the 130.165 mc FM and immediately after his report commander Korzun in Mir reported on 143.625 mc that he had a positive indication about the docking. Monitoring people always hope that they can pick up that important word 'kasaniye' during dockings of Soyuz- and Progress-ships, but mostly the moment of that touch takes place just a few minutes after LOS of their position, in the past this occurred a few times during Soyuz-TM dockings. Of course it is always possible to log the traffic during such dockings in the final phase of the approach. This time there was not much radio traffic before the 'touch' for Readdy had to do his job with concentration and everybody was watching the operation silently. TV-images transmitted by TV-stations revealed that there were no direct images from camera's on board Mir. So possibly the geostationary Luches: Altair-1 and 2 were not in use. During the first 3 docking missions these images could be seen simultaneously with the images from Atlantis , relayed by TDRS-s. Certainly we will get images made from inside Mir during the docking operation, but these were recorded and transmitted to earth later. During the next pass of the enormous space-complex (in orb. Mir nr. 60469, 0441-0453 UTC) the Mir-crew already had accomplished the air-seal checks and opened 2 hatches of the SO (docking compartment). They also had removed things which had been necessary during the docking and now had to be stowed away. Just before LOS for our position Korzun tried to communicate via 130.165 mc with Atlantis to get information about the proceedings there. Opening of the hatches from Atlantis to Mir took place at 0539 UTC, so not in our VHF-range. Via TV-stations receiving relays via a TDRS we could see nice images of the meeting of both crews and the first gathering on board Mir.

    SAREX STS-79: During this mission there might be radio-amateur activities by the astronauts-radio-amateurs Jay Apt (N5QWL), Carl Walz (KC5TIE) and John Blaha (KC5TZQ). Sarex VHF downlink is 145.840 mc FM with uplink frequencies: 144.450 and 144.470 mc FM. Please do not use 145.840 mc FM for 'uplink' or -during Atlantis passes -local bragging. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1996 September 26 - .
1996 October 7 - .
  • Mir News 330: Progress-M33 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. The launch of this freighter was planned for 15.10.1996. Due to problems with the carrier-rocket the launch has been put back possibly to 2.11.1996.

    Mir-routine: Mir's passes for our position are gradually shifting from the night to the late evening hours. So still not much traffic via VHF. Now and then the Russians use the geostationary Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054) for Mir-communications. On 5.10.1996 the crew spoke with TsUP about a lot of condenstation in a cable compartment. Possibly this problem has been resolved as they did not mention it the next day. During conversations with TsUP on 6.10.1996 the cosmonauts mentioned the dismissal of Gen. Ivanov from his command of the VKS (space forces). They supposed that this also means that Gen. Ivanov also has been relieved of his chairmanship of the State Committee for Spaceflight. This committee always selects which crew will fly and the chairman takes the oath of departing crews. General Ivanov has a long and excellent career in spaceflight and the relinquishment of his command must be a heavy blow for Russian spaceflight. At least this is my opinion, but I am sure that the cosmonauts will share this opinion with me. John Blaha: He is like his predecessor very active and from conversations in Russian as well in English with specialists on earth can be derived that he is very enthusiastic. He still has to accustom himself to the differences between his training in replicas on earth and the practice in space. On earth things in training modules have been put straight in contradiction to the situation on board. Often it takes him a long time and consultations with the earth to find things he needs for his experiments. During passes of the Mir-station during working hours it might be possible that Blaha uses the 130.165 mc while his Russian colleagues use 143.625 mc. The arrangement for the use of 130.165 mc will be made on 143.625 mc. They speak about UKW-dva , they mean 130.165 mc.

    Radio-amateur traffic: The 145.550 mc is fully in use for Packet radio and often Korzun can be heard in phone with amateurs on earth. Korzun is a skilled and enthusiastic radio-amateur. It is also worth while to monitor the 437.925 and 437.950 mc for traffic via the Safex installation in the Priroda module. The 437 mc band is primary for ISM-purposes (Industrial, Scientific and Medical). In my neighbourhood this band is fully blocked by a hospital using that band for health monitoring equipment. I would be very pleased to hear experiences in this field from friends in other parts of our globe.

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


1996 October 24 - .
  • Mir News 331: Progress-M33 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. The launch of this freighter is on schedule for the midst of November. The exact date has not yet been set. The delay has been caused by problems in the delivery of the Soyuz-U carrier.

    First EVA:

    If Progress-M33 will be launched as planned and the docking at the Mir station will be successful, the crew of the 22d Main Expedition to Mir will make the first spacewalk (EVA) on 21.11.1996. During this EVA the cosmonauts will have to deploy and connect cables for a new solar panel.

    Radio-amateur traffic: The repeater of the radio amateur installation in the Priroda module is fully operational and traffic can be monitored almost every pass on frequency 437.950 mc (+ and - for Doppler shift). The crew uses 145.550 mc for own phone contacts. The Russians use the call R0Mir; John Blaha uses his official call KC5TZQ. Valeriy Korzun expects to get his own Russian call in the future. 145.550 mc is still in use for packet radio traffic.

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


1996 October 29 - .
  • Mir News 332: Progress-M33 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. The last estimated date for the launch of this freighter is 17.11.1996.

    Radio-amateur traffic:

    As of 1.11.1996 the Mir crew (call sign R0Mir) will use new frequencies for VHF-traffic. Packet radio: 145.800 mc; Voice, downlink: 145.200 mc, uplink 145.800 mc. These frequencies had been recommended by the International Amateur Conference for Region 1.

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


1996 November 13 - .
  • Mir News 333: Progress-M33 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. The delayed launch of this freighter is now on schedule for 19.11.1996 at 2320 UTC (for Moscow then already 20.11.1996). Progress-M33 will bring food, water, fuel, post, spare parts, etc. to the station. The crew is anxiously waiting for containers for the collection of 'human waste' . The available containers are as good as full and the crew has to 'improvise' measures to keep this situation under control. They did not complain about this problem, but have no appreciation for the fact that TV-stations in Russia made it public as this caused anxiety among their relatives. There also has been a publication about the fact that their vacuum cleaner was out of order. Korzun denied this. Jokingly he supposed that someone produced this disinformation to get more money from the taxpayers for spaceflight.

    Communications: Mir is passes take place during the day hours and a lot of radio traffic can be monitored. During the 5th pass within our range Mir is no longer in range of Russian tracking stations. Now and then the tracking station of ESA, Oberpfaffenhofen, relays Mir-TsUP communications during that pass. The packet radio installation is regularly in use for radio-amateur traffic on 145.800 mc. This P/R installation now and then is used for service traffic on 143.625 mc. This is not always successful and then TsUP used the old RTTY installation as an alternative.

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


1996 November 19 - . 23:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-33 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 233. Mass: 7,190 kg (15,850 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 112.17 days. Completed Operations Date: 1997-03-12 03:22:59 . Decay Date: 1997-03-12 03:22:59 . USAF Sat Cat: 24663 . COSPAR: 1996-066A. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 361 km (224 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 22 Nov 1996 01:01:30 GMT. Undocked on 6 Feb 1997 12:13:53 GMT. Thereafter in independent orbital flight in a 377 x 395 km x 51.65 deg orbit. Failed to redock with Mir on 4 Mar 1996. Destroyed in reentry on 12 Mar 1997 03:23:37 GMT. Total free-flight time 35.70 days. Total docked time 76.47 days.

1996 November 20 - .
  • Mir News 334: Successful launch freighter Progress-M33 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. This long-expected freighter blasted off from Baykonur on 19.11.1996 at 23 hrs 20 mins and 35 seconds UTC (for Moscow-time and for MEWT already on 20.11.1996). After some orbits the beacon- and TLM-transmissions could be monitored over here. The cargo of Progress-M33 consisting of post, food, spare-parts, containers for human waste and materials for experiments weighs 1650 KG. In the tank-compartment of Progress-M33 547 KG oxygen, fuel and water has been stored. Fuel for the Mir-complex itself weighs 2462 KG. Also among the 547 KG a new supply of nitrogen for the pressurising and purging of the oxygen-producing Elektron systems. Because of the fact that there will be no further deliveries of supplies before New Year the mail-bag also contains the Christmas- and New Year post for the crew.

    Progress-M32: This old freighter has to free the port at which she is docked now for the arrival of the Progress-M33. This is the aft docking port (Kvant-1, +X-axis). Progress-M32 can abandon the Mir-station for the systems of her successor are working normally. This will take place on 20.11.1996 at 1945 UTC. After a few orbits Progress-M32's engines will be fired for the de-orbit manoeuvre after which Progress-M32 will burn up over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand.

    Expected time of arrival and docking Progress-M33 at Mir:

    This will be on 22.11.1996 at 0100 UTC. Progress-M33 has to approach and dock in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. If this system fails commander Korzun is ready to conduct the freighter manually with the system TORU.

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


1996 November 22 - .
  • Mir News 335: Progress-M33 successfully docked at Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. The Progress-M33 linked up with Mir on 22.11.1996 at 010130 UTC. Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. Until the soft mate Korzun was prepared to take over manually with TORU if necessary. During the first pass of Mir in orbit 61467 from 0050-0056 UTC Korzun reported about the approaching freighter. At 0556 UTC TsUP gave permission for the docking. Already during the pass in orb. 61468 from 0223-0234 UTC the crew reported that they had opened the hatch and that they enjoyed the fresh air which flowed in and the smell of apples.

    Progress-M32: This old freighter separated from Mir on 20.11.1996 at 194414 UTC. The same day at 224218 UTC the de-orbit burn took place and she burnt up over the Pacific East from New Zealand.

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


1996 November 27 - .
  • Mir News 336: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) crew 22d Main Expedition to MI - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. The crew of the 22d M.E. to Mir, Korzun and Kaleri, will do this EVA on 2.12.1996 between 1550 UTC (opening hatch) and 2130 UTC (closure hatch). During this EVA they will have to install extra cables and contacts for a solar panel on the outer surface of the astrophysical module Kvant-1 (Module-E). This solar panel had been installed over there in May 1996 by Onufriyenko and Usachov. This panel had been delivered to Mir by Atlantis on 15.11.1995 during mission STS-74 as cargo on the docking compartment. At the outer surface of that compartment 2 solar batteries had been stowed, 1 Russian and 1 American. In May 1996 the American one had been installed and partly connected. That is why the solar panel could deliver not more than 3 kW. If the work during the 1st EVA will be accomplished successfully the panel can deliver 6 kW electrical power. During the EVA John Blaha will remain inside the complex to assist and take care for the communications.

    Radio communications during this EVA:

    During passes on 143 mc, but somewhat lower than 143.625 mc and possibly via the 2 available geostationary Altair-satellites.

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


1996 December 2 - . 15:54 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-22-1 - . Crew: Korzun; Kaleri. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.25 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korzun; Kaleri. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Began installation of MCSA solar array cables..

1996 December 3 - .
  • Mir News 337: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) crew 22d Main Expedition - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. Korzun and Kaleri did this EVA on 2.12.1996 between 1554 and 2151 UTC (duration 5 hrs. 57 mins). They had to deploy and connect cables to the American solar panel on the outer surface of Kvant-1. They accomplished their task successfully and without problems. The solar panel has been checked and can deliver a current of 80 Amperes. When Mir for the first time came within our range (orbit 61636, 2015-2022 UTC) the cosmonauts were still working near the Sofora girder. Somewhat later they returned to the airlock. During the 2d pass for our position (orb. 61637, 2149-2159 UTC) Korzun reported the closure of the hatch at 2157 UTC. Regularly John Blaha could be heard in contacts with TsUP and the cosmonauts. Inside the Mir- complex he assisted the cosmonauts, checked systems and executed commands given to him by TsUP. While Korzun and Kaleri were still in the airlock to equalise the air pressure Blaha in co-ordination with TsUP loaded control-data in the central computer. On 3.12.1996 at abt. 0108 UTC, everybody, your scribe inclusive, though tired but satisfied, went to sleep. 2d EVA 22d M.E.: This EVA is on schedule for 9.12.1996. During this EVA Korzun and Kaleri will have to accomplish the following tasks: 1st: The mounting of Rapana on the 3d truss construction at the outer surface of the Kvant-1 module: 2d: The installation of a new Kurs-antenna on the transition section (P.Kh.O.). Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

1996 December 9 - . 13:50 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-22-2 - . Crew: Korzun; Kaleri. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korzun; Kaleri. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Completed external cable installation for MCSA solar array. Installed antenna..

1996 December 10 - .
  • Mir News 338: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) 22d Main expedition - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. This EVA took place on 9.12.1996 between 1352 UTC (opening hatch) and 2028 UTC (closing hatch). So a duration of 6 hrs 36 mins. The EVA lasted longer for Korzun wished to accomplish all what had to be done and there also was a problem with something which bungled loose. Before return they restored the connection of the radio-amateur antenna for the 145 mc. Probably this antenna had been disconnected by accident during the 1st EVA. They connected the antenna again and while they were flying over Chile and Brazil they asked John Blaha to listen out on the 145.800 mc to check whether the antenna was working or not. There was no traffic on that frequency in that area and so they had to wait until they came in range of European amateurs. I asked the English radio-amateur Pat Gowen (G3IOR) to give calls on 145.800 mc as soon as Mir would come in range (at abt. 1934 UTC). So he did and these signals could be heard by John Blaha while Mir was flying over France. He reported this to the still being on EVA Korzun and Kaleri and congratulated them with their success. Korzun urged John not to transmit, but to listen only. The cosmonauts fully accomplished their tasks: installing the truss construction Rapana at the truss Ferma-3 and the replacement of the Kurs-antenna on the outer surface of the P.Kh.O. (transition section). John Blaha who stayed inside the complex took care of the communications and executed commands given to him by TsUP. He gave the cosmonauts all possible moral and technical help. The cosmonauts and Blaha did an excellent job during this EVA, they gave an example of fruitful international co-operation and so they all deserve a loud: 'MOLODTSY' (very well done). Of course the cosmonauts were very tired after the EVA and back in the airlock they had to do hard labour to put off their spacesuits. Just before midnight Korzun could be heard in a contact with a Portuguese radio-amateur via the repaired antenna for the 145 mc.

    Thus far there are no more EVA's on schedule for this crew.

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


1997 January 3 - .
  • Mir News 339: Solar-orbit - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. As of 1.01.1997 the Mir-complex will remain in a so called solar-orbit for 1 week. This means that the Mir remains in the sunlight and has no shadow periods. While large areas on the Northern Hemisphere experience very low temperatures these are high on board the space-station. The cosmonauts and the astronaut have to wear airy clothing. Periods like this are very good for the execution of space-walks (EVA-s), but regretfully there are no more EVA-s planned for this expedition.

    Communications: Now and then the (almost) geostationary satellite Cosmos-2054 (Altair-1) is used for the TsUP-Mir communications. This satellite is standing over 16 dgs West. Sometimes the satellite is used for phone only, but more often to exchange TV-transmissions. On 27.12.1996 during orbit 62024 Korzun explained the experiment Volna and the behaviour of liquids in this instrument could be seen. They use the Altair-1 satellite also for interviews, press-conferences and Packet radio for reception and transmission of radiograms. In the near future the DLR-ground facility in Oberpfaffenhofen will use this satellite for direct contacts with European astronauts.

    Radio-amateurism: On 1.01.1997 the crew changed the frequencies for radio-amateur traffic in the 145 Mc band. They now also use duplex (split) for Packet radio traffic. They changed the frequencies as follows: Uplink (transmissions to Mir) for Phone and P/R 145.200 Mc; downlink (from Mir to Earth, for Phone as well as for P/R 145.800 Mc. Changes like this can always be expected: the change which is suitable for 1 region might be unfavourable for other regions. This change is very good for the amateur-satellite band between 145.800-146 Mc as strong ground stations no longer hamper weak Oscar downlink signals around 145.800 Mc.

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


1997 January 12 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-81.
  • STS-81 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Baker, Mike; Jett; Wisoff; Grunsfeld; Ivins; Linenger. Payload: Atlantis F18 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker, Mike; Jett; Wisoff; Grunsfeld; Ivins; Linenger. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22; STS-81; Mir NASA-3. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.20 days. Decay Date: 1997-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 24711 . COSPAR: 1997-001A. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape).

1997 January 14 - .
  • Mir News 340: Atlantis/Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22; STS-81; Mir NASA-3. Atlantis (mission STS-81) has been launched on 12.01.1997 at 09.27.33 UTC for her 5th docking mission. At 0950 UTC Atlantis was within our range and commander Baker could be heard on 259.700 Mc AM/W in a short contact with Houston via Zaragossa in Spain. The rendezvous operations will begin on 14.01.1997 at 2212 UTC. Atlantis arrives near Mir on 15.01 at 0247 UTC and will dock 15.01 at 0353 UTC. Let us hope that the docking will take place a few minutes earlier for the window during the first pass of both enormous objects within our range will close at 0352 UTC. Hard mate will take place on 15.01 at 0427 UTC and the hatches will be opened on 15.01 at 0537 UTC. John Blaha will conclude his experimental activities on board Mir with some experiments related to the docking and immediately thereafter he will be relieved by Jerry Linenger. Blaha will remain in space for a while as payload specialist on board Atlantis and Linenger will continue his flight as 2d Board Engineer/researcher in Mir.

    Radio traffic: If they stick to the same frequencies as in the past we can expect radio traffic on 121.750, 130.165 and 143.625 Mc. Extensive use of the American TDRS-s after the docking van be expected. Possibly the Russians will now and then use their (almost) geostationary satellites Altair-1 and 2. During the 4th docking mission (STS-79 in Sept. 1996, most communications took place via the American TDRS-s.

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


1997 January 15 - .
  • Mir News 341: Atlantis links up with Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22; STS-81; Mir NASA-3. The soft docking took place on 15.01.1997 at 03.54.57 UTC so almost 2 minutes later than planned. Radio communications revealed that Houston preferred to perform the docking when both objects were in daylight. In comparison with the last docking mission (STS-79) there was more radio traffic on the Mir-frequencies. This had been caused by some problems the Shuttle had with communications with Houston. During the first pass of both objects in Mir's orbit nr. 62313 the approach was in its final phase. At 035106 UTC Korzun reported that the 'final approach' was going on, that permission for the docking had been given and that the distance between Mir and Atlantis was abt 6.5 Meters. During the next pass over here in orb. 62314 again a lot of radio traffic conducted by Korzun and Blaha. Blaha told his 'successor' Linenger that Houston had asked to inform Atlantis that they had to connect an antenna for communications with Houston. The Mir crew was in the SO (docking compartment at the Kristall module) and had already opened the hatch from that side. This had taken place at 052918 UTC. The opening of the hatch between Shuttle and Mir was far behind schedule due the above mentioned communication problems. In the SO the Mir-trio was cutting capers and making gestures to urge Baker to open the hatch. The permission to open that hatch should have been given at 054321 UTC. Possibly they wished to blow a lot of fresh air in the fusty Mir-atmosphere before opening. At last the hatch swung open at 055754 UTC and Baker and Korzun met each other and he and the rest of the Shuttle crew invaded Mir. After the welcome ceremony the first activity was the transfer of the seat liner for Linengers place in the Soyuz-TM24. When this work had been accomplished Linenger was a crew member of Mir. Officially this was at 0945 UTC. In orbit 62315 Mir communicated with TsUP Moscow via Altair-1. In the beginning they transmitted recordings of the approaching Atlantis and later on images of both crews in Mir. After the transmission of images they continued this contact with speech. In this period the huge Atlantis/Mir combination could be seen passing almost through the zenith as a very clear star. This was at 070012 UTC.

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


1997 January 20 - .
  • Mir News 342: Atlantis/Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22; STS-81; Mir NASA-3. During the period in which Atlantis and Mir were linked together the American TDRS-facilities were in use for the bulk of radio communications, thus anticipating the communication procedures of the future International Space Station Alpha. The Russians used their facilities only to discuss matters regarding the Mir-complex itself. With a few exceptions the Atlantis also took care for the movements (attitude) control of the huge space combination.

    Atlantis separated from the Mir:

    Atlantis undocked from the Mir on 20.01.1997 at 02.15.44 UTC. At 0357 UTC the engines of the Atlantis gave the separation burn for the ride home. After the undocking Atlantis remained in the free drift until the distance permitted firing of steering rockets. During the 2 flights of Atlantis around the Mir-complex no images have been transmitted from Mir. These had been recorded and transmitted to Earth later that day via Altair-1. Among them good images, for instance Atlantis flying away from under a Mir solar panel and several views of Atlantis moving away with a sight of the Earth in the background.

    Soyuz-TM25: The next important operation will be the launch of Soyuz-TM25 from Baykonur on 10.02.1997 at 1409 UTC. Soyuz-TM25 will bring the 23d Main Expedition (Tsibliyev and Lazutkin) and the German astronaut Ewald to the Mir. (Stand-in crew: Musabayev, Budarin and Schlegel)

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


1997 January 22 - .
1997 January 28 - .
  • Mir News 343: Soyuz-TM25 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-22. This ship with the crew for the 23d Main Expedition (M.E.) to Mir, Tsibliyev and Lazutkin, and German's Mir'97 astronaut Reinhold Ewald is on schedule for launch from Baykonur on 10.02.1997 at 1408 UTC. The call signs of this crew are Sirius-1, 2 and 3. If all goes according to plan Soyuz-TM25 will dock at Mir on 12.02.1997 at abt 1553 UTC. Ewald will stay on board for 18 days and return to Earth with the relieved crew of the 22d M.E., Korzun and Kaleri. During the Mir'97 mission DLR's GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen will be able to communicate directly with Mir via VHF-channels, but possibly also via the quasi-stationary Cosmos-2054 (Altair-1) over 16 degrees W.L. On 4 and 5.12.1996 GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen tested communications via Altair-1 and meanwhile the intention to use this possibility during Mir'97 and future Euromir missions has been officially confirmed.

    Mir-routine: The American astronaut Linenger started with his experimental programs. He is very pleased to be on board Mir and had less problems as his countrymen during previous flights in finding things for his work. Of course he did not found all he needs, but obviously the experience of his predecessors led to improvements in that field. He emphasised

    Hij legt by zijn experimenten erg de nadruk op lichamelijke oefeningen, waarbij hij zich behoorlijk inspant. De samenwerking met zijn Russische collega's is uitstekend. Linenger is ook goed ingewerkt door zijn voorganger Blaha. Voor wat betreft zijn werkplanning en de manier, waarop de resultaten van zijn experimenten de geleerden op aarde moeten bereiken, heeft hij aan de Amerikaanse consultatieve groep op het TsUP by Moskou een aantal voorstellen gedaan.

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


1997 February 10 - .
  • Mir News 344: Launch Soyuz-TM25 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-22. This ship with on board the relief crew for the 23d Main Expedition (M.E.) to Mir and the German astronaut Reinhold Ewald, who will in co-operation with the Russians execute the Mir-97 program, has been launched from Baykonur on 10.02.1997 at 14hrs 09mins 30secs UTC. The call sign of the crew is Sirius (so Sirius-1, 2 and 3). The commander is Tsibliyev, now making his 2d flight in space and the board-engineer is Lazutkin who did not fly thus far.

    Progress-M33: There must always be a free docking port for the new ship. Before the flight of the Soyuz-TM24 the Russians undocked the Progress-M as soon as they were sure that the systems of the new ship were functioning normally, so at abt 1 day after launch. Some orbits after the undocking the freighter entered the earth's atmosphere and burnt up. To begin with the Progress-M32 the Russians changed this routine and the Progress-M32 flew autonomously until 18.08.96, redocked to the complex and left Mir and burnt up in the atmosphere on 20.11.1996. The Progress-M33 separated from Mir's aft (Kvant-1 +X axis) on 6.02.1997 at 12hrs 13mins 56secs and will make an autonomous flight until the beginning of March '97.

    Soyuz-TM24: This ship had been docked at the forward docking port (transition section - P.Kh.O. -X axis). This port has been chosen for the docking of the Soyuz-TM25. In the future the Russians refrain from the use of the approach system Kurs in Soyuz-TM and Progress-M ships. This decision has been taken due to problems about the delivery of that system between RKK Energiya and the factory NPO Kharton in Kharkov, Ukraine. On 7.02.1997 at 16hrs 28mins 01secs the Soyuz-TM24 separated from Mir and manned by Korzun, Kaleri and Linenger made an autonomous flight concluded by the docking of that ship at the aft (Kvant-1 +X axis) docking port that day at 16hrs 51mins 27secs. Undoubtedly this has been quite an experience for Jerry Linenger who came by Atlantis and will return with the shuttle.

    Dockings of Soyuz-TM ships will be executed manually by the commander and those of unmanned Progress-M freighters will be done by the crew on board Mir by the use of the Remote Control system TORU.

    ETA (expected time of arrival) of Soyuz-TM25 at Mir:

    Soyuz-TM25 has to dock to the Mir's forward (P.Kh.O. -X axis) docking port on 12.02.1997 at abt. 1550 UTC. This is 3 minutes after the first pass for both objects over Western Europe. During this pass (1541-1547 UTC) we can expect communications about the approach on 121.750 mc FM-N and the 143.625 mc.

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


1997 February 10 - . 14:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
1997 February 12 - .
  • Mir News 345: Soyuz-TM25 docked at Mir-complex - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir 97; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23; Mir EO-22. Without significant problems Soyuz-TM25 docked at the aft (+X axis) of Mir on 12.02.97 at 15.51.13 UTC. During this operation the Russians still used the system Kurs. The automatic mode worked well from the beginning and only in a distance of 5 M. Tsibliyev had to take over manually due to a slight deviation along the X axis (roll). After some little corrections he accomplished a soft 'kasaniye' (touch). During the first pass of both objects for our position (orb. 62758) 1541-1548 UTC approach traffic could be monitored on 121.750 mc, but the full Altair-1/Mir window (1510-1618 UTC) was in use for this traffic. In fact Soyuz-TM25 used for communications with TsUP 2 relay facilities: Mir and Altair-1. In this traffic Tsibliyev and Lazutkin (Siriusy) as well as Korzon (Fregat) could be heard. The moment of the soft docking could be derived from the word 'congratulations' spoken by one of the cosmonauts. During the next pass (orb. 62759), 1720-1726 UTC, the hatch had already been opened and the pass thereafter (orb. 62760/61) the new crew was inside Mir.

    Communications Soyuz-TM25: 3 hours after launch on 10.2.97 (orb. 2, 1712-1714 UTC) the transmissions of the ship could be monitored on the well known frequencies with Tsibliyev on 121.750 mc with TsUP. During the next pass (1841-1848 UTC) he reported the good results of the 2 orbit corrections. He also mentioned some problems with a TV-installation or a screen. Apart from some interference by the ground services of a near by airport (also using 121.750 mc, but AM-W) the signals came in loud and clear. Also during the second day (11.02.1997) traffic could be heard during all passes for our position.

    Communications Mir: On 8.02.1997 DLR's GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany) and Mir tested the direct link via the quasi-geostationary comsat Altair-1 over 16dgs West. Good images and audio from inside Mir demonstrated that the test was a great success. They also checked the performance of the so called BDD (Betriebstechnik Deutschland Direkt). This is an interface assembly for direct data exchange between specialists on earth and Reinhold Ewald during experiments in the framework of the Mir-97 program. A few days later it was clear that the direct link between GSOC and Mir will be a normal routine until 2.03.1997 (the end of Mir-97).

    PS: A tragic event in my family caused delay in the mailing of this report.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202 E-mail: cmvdberg@worldaccess.nl


1997 February 22 - .
  • Mir News 346: Mir'97 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir 97; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23; Mir EO-22. Dr. Reinhold Ewald amuses himself well on board of the Mir space station. He uses as his private domain the Module Kristall (T). His American colleague Linenger has his private quarter in the Module Spektr (O). He is sleeping there , has room for personal belongings and he found a free surface on the wall to fasten some photographs. Thus far I do not know the temporary private quarters of Tsibliyev and Lazutkin. Korzun will remain in command of the complex until his departure on 2.03.1997. Ewald discusses the experiments which he has to execute during this mission with Sigmund Jähn (at TsUP) or with Hans Schlegel (in GSOC). From the radio traffic could be derived that Ewald is successfully executing the program although now and then something goes wrong. This was the case with an experiment planned for 19.02.1997: In the framework of a medical experiment he had to drink 200 ml tomato-juice with salt, but bad quality of the juice made this impossible. The experiments with the Titus-oven, the French Alice-2 installation (studies of the characteristics of liquids) and MEDEX (medical experiments) have been successfully executed thus far.

    Anniversaries: On 20.02.1997 Tsibliyev celebrated his 43d birthday. Exactly 11 years ago the Base block of Mir was launched. . Problems with a gyrodyne: On the eve of these anniversaries the crew had to solve a difficult problem. On 19.02.1997 during the pass in orbit 62876 (1521-1527 UTC) TsUP gave Korzun data, which had to be loaded in the system Svet for the movements control of the complex. Korzun asked what the reason was. TsUP informed him that Telemetry showed the malfunction of a gyrodyne in Kvant-2 (Module-D). In the evening and night the crews solved the problem.

    Communications: Contrary to the expectations the German GSOC Oberpfaffenhofen seldom uses the possibility for direct links with Mir via the (almost) geostationary Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054). Apart from the 143.625 mc, Ewald regularly uses the so called UKW-2 (VHF-2) on 130.165 mc for communications with his consultants (Sigmund Jähn) at TsUP and (Hans Schlegel) in GSOC. Now and then Linenger can be heard on that frequency with the American consultative group at TsUP . The 145.800 mc is the downlink frequency for Packet radio or phone. Mostly Korzun can be heard here. A few times Ewald uses this facility for contacts with German radio-amateurs. He uses the call sign DL2Mir. In the simplex mode he sometimes can be heard on 145.925 mc.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202 E-m: cmvdberg@worldaccess.nl


1997 February 24 - .
  • Mir News 347: FIRE ON BOARD OF THE Mir-SPACE STATION - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir 97; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23; Mir EO-22. Radio traffic during VHF windows for our position in the morning of 24.02.1997 revealed that something serious had happened on board Mir. Somewhat earlier there was already an indication: a direct TV-link from Mir with Oberpfaffenhofen via Altair-1 for this morning did not take place. During the 3d pass for our position (orb. 62943, 1341-1348 UTC) the cloven hoof came out: in a conversation with his consultants on earth Ewald reported about a fire on board. This fire broke out last night. An oxygen cartridge caught fire and a grey smoke spread out in all parts of the complex. Korzun and Kaleri fought against the fire with extinguishers and the others tried to push back the smoke. All crew members had to wear gas-masks. This lasted two and a half hours the maximum endurance of those masks. The extinction water caused a high humidity and the temperature of the atmosphere was higher than normal. Ewald did not get smoke or just a little bit in his longs and to remain on the safe side he swallowed coal- and vitamin tablets and milk products. He was very tired but he did not think that this had been caused by something like pollution, but by the lack of sleep. He went asleep at 6 o'clock in the morning and woke up 4 hours later. Jerry Linenger was very busy collecting air samples for pollution tests. He also tried to determine the amount of formaldehyde. The crew of six was in the Base Block when the fire began in an adjacent room. Russian toxicologists are analysing telemetric data about Mir's on board atmosphere. The crew already collected urine- and saliva samples and later on they got instructions to collect blood samples and to do additional medical tests. In the course of the day a TV press conference was on schedule and a lot of journalist were waiting in Oberpfaffenhofen. Ewald told that the events had caused such a mess in the station that it was not convenient to have that TV session today. As a palliative Ewald answered some questions about the nightly occurrences and his statements almost fully confirmed the information gathered by me for this report.

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


1997 March 2 - .
  • Mir News 348: Soyuz-TM24 made happy landing - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir 97; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23; Mir EO-22. On 2.03.1997 at 0644 UTC the return capsule of the Soyuz-TM24 made a safe landing in Kazakhstan not far from Arkalyk (47degr49min North; 69degr24min East). At abt 4 mins later the first helicopter of the search- and rescue team reached that position. The return operation and landing took place without problems. During the return operation Soyuz-TM24 communicated via the Eastern tracking stations in Russia and probably Altair-2 over 96 dgs East. Obviously Altair-1 was (or: is?) not operational.

    Last week of Mir'97 and Main Expedition Mir 22:

    The fire in the night from 22 to 23.02 put its stamp on this last week due to the pollution of the Mir's atmosphere during the first days and the extra attention the crew had to give to the damaged oxygen-generator and cables. For a long time there was the smell caused by the fire. One of the cosmonauts spoke about the smell of 'roasted turkey'. Some crew members suffered from some irritation of the bronchia, a dry throat and sleeping problems. Nobody was hurt with the exception of Korzun who had a very small burn on his hand. Ewald had already executed the majority of the Mir'97 experiments and the events did not significantly influence that program. German project managers were satisfied about the successful results and conclusion of the mission. During this week there has been a lot of radio traffic on 2 frequencies simultaneously: the Russians used 143.625 mc and Ewald and Linenger 130.165 mc. For some planned TV sessions, i.e. for the RTL children's programme Captain Bluebear and about a contest for drawings by children with the wife of the German President Herzog they did not use the geostationary satellites but direct TV transceivers on lower frequencies. For phone during these sessions Ewald used the UKW-2 130.165 mc.

    Siriusses: The new crew, Tsibliyev and Lazutkin, the 23d M.E. to Mir, and Jerry Linenger will have to do a lot of work in the near future. In fact there are still a lot of experiments in the framework of Mir'97 to be done: this had been planned and this work got the designation Mir'97E, the letter 'E' standing for 'Extension'.

    Progress-M33: This old freighter is still flying autonomously until her 2d docking at Mir. That will take place on 4.03.97. Tsibliyev got orders to control the approach and docking manually with the remote-control system TORU. There has also been an instruction to leave Progress-M33's hatch closed after docking. Kaleri asked TsUP to consider the possibility to open the hatch and to use the still available room in the spherical part of Progress-M33 to stow stuff no longer needed: especially the considerable amount of human waste. During the long period with a crew of 6 the quantity of this increased enormously.

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


1997 March 2 - .
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