Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir EO-8



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Mir TM-11
Akiyama and Afanasyev before flight.
Credit: RKK Energia
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Mir Strela Boom
Credit: RKK Energia
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Soyuz TM-11
Afanasyev and Manarov walk to launch vehicle.
Credit: RKK Energia
Crew: Afanasyev, Manarov. The Mir Expedition EO-8 crew of V M Afanasyev, M Kh Manarov was transported to the Mir orbital station by Soyuz TM-11, together with T Akiyama (Japan) for the purpose of carrying out joint work with the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov. The launch was funded jointly with the private Japanese company TBS. The Japanese television network ended up paying $ 28 million for the first commercial flight to Mir to put Akiyama, the first journalist in space aboard Soyuz TM-11. Akiyama returned to earth on Soyuz TM-10 with the Mir EO-7 crew after a week in space. Backup crew: Artsebarsky, Krikalyov.

The Mir Expedition EO-8 crew of V M Afanasyev, M Kh Manarov was transported to the Mir orbital station by Soyuz TM-11, together with T Akiyama (Japan) for the purpose of carrying out joint work with the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov. The launch was funded jointly with the private Japanese company TBS. The Japanese television network ended up paying $ 28 million for the first commercial flight to Mir to put Akiyama, the first journalist in space aboard Soyuz TM-11. Akiyama returned to earth on Soyuz TM-10 with the Mir EO-7 crew after a week in space.

Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)

Soyuz TM-11 docked with Mir on 4 December, 1990. The EO-8 crew of Viktor Afanaseyev, Musa Manarov (on his second Mir visit), together with Japanese television journalist Toyohiro Akiyama were welcomed aboard Mir by the EO-7 crew. Akiyama's network, the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), paid for the flight. The Soviets called this their first commercial spaceflight and claimed to have earned $14 million. The journalist was scheduled to make one 10-min TV broadcast and two 20-min radio broadcasts each day. Electrical power and video and TV system incompatibilities forced the Japanese to make extensive use of converters. His equipment, which weighed about 170 kg, was delivered by Progress M-spacecraft and set up in advance by Manakov and Strekalov. On December 5 Akiyama's couch was transferred to Soyuz TM-10. On December 8 Manakov and Strekalov commenced loading Soyuz TM-10's descent module with film and experiment results. TBS broadcast the landing of the EO-7 crew and Akiyama landing live from Kazakhstan.

On January 4, 1991 Afanaseyev and Manarov prepared their spacesuits for an EVA to repair the Kristall EVA hatch hinge damaged by Solovyov and Balandin in July 1990. They suited up and practiced in the Kvant 2 airlock. On January 7 the EO-8 crew opened Kvant 2's EVA hatch and clambered outside. They repaired the damaged hinge, tested their handiwork by closing and sealing the hatch, then reopened the hatch and went about other tasks. These included transfer outside the station of equipment scheduled for installation on later EVAs. They also removed a TV camera from Kvant 2 for repairs inside the station. The EVA lasted 5 hr, 18 min.

On January 23 the EO-8 crew opened the newly-repaired hatch and slowly transferred a carton 6 m long to a worksite on the base block. The container held Strela, a folded boom with a pivot mechanism at its base. They attached Strela to supports which originally held the base block's launch faring. The 45-kg boom was meant to play a key role in the transfer of Kristall's twin 500-kg collapsible solar arrays to the sides of Kvant. Maximum boom length was 14 m; maximum capacity, up to 700 kg. The EVA lasted 5 hr, 33 min.

On January 26 the EO-8 crew spent 6 hr, 20 min installing support structures on Kvant. They were meant to hold the Kristall solar arrays.

February 19 marked the fifth anniversary of Mir's launch. The EO-8 crew spent February working with materials science apparatus in Kristall. They used the Pion unit to study the effects on semiconductor production of changing patterns of microacceleration aboard Mir caused by operation of its equipment. On March 7 the cosmonauts extended a pole bearing a magnetic sensor through a Mir scientific airlock as part of the Diagramma program to characterize the environment outside the station. Observing the Gulf War. Afanaseyev and Manarov could easily see evidence of war as they passed over the Persian Gulf. They sent back TV images of oil spills, smoke pouring from a coastal town, and fires.

On March 21, as Progress M-7 approached the station, it broke off its approach 500 m from the aft docking port. On March 23 the craft made a second approach, but 20 m from the rear port a controller in the TsUP detected a "catastrophic error" and broke off the approach. Progress M-7 passed within 5 to 7 m of the station, narrowly avoiding antennas and solar arrays. The cargo ship was left in orbit near the station while the problem was worked on.

To diagnose the Progress M-7 problem, Afanaseyev and Manarov undocked Soyuz TM-11 from the front port on March 26 and transferred it to the aft. During approach to the aft port, they used Kurs, rather than carrying out the transfer under manual control, as was typical. They found that their spacecraft mimicked Progress M-7's behavior, veering away from the docking port. The cosmonauts completed a normal manual docking at the aft port, having determined that the problem was in Mir's aft port Kurs antenna. On March 28, Progress-M 7 docked at Mir's front port. If it had failed to dock, the cosmonauts might have had to draw on a one month reserve of emergency supplies while a standby Progress was readied.

On April 25 Manarov filmed the damaged Kvant Kurs antenna. He reported that one of its dishes was missing. During the EVA the cosmonauts also replaced the camera they had removed from Kvant 2 on their first EVA and repaired inside Mir. The EVA lasted 3 hr, 34 min.

On May 20, the EO-8 crew welcomed aboard Mir the EO-9 crew of Anatoli Artsebarski and Sergei Krikalev (on his second visit to the station), accompanied by British cosmonaut-researcher Helen Sharman. Sharman was aboard as part of Project Juno, a cooperative venture partly sponsored by British private enterprise.

Sharman's experimental program, which was designed by the Soviets, leaned heavily toward life sciences. A bag of 250,000 pansy seeds was placed in the Kvant 2 EVA airlock, a compartment not as protected from cosmic radiation as other Mir compartments. Sharman also contacted nine British schools by radio and conducted high-temperature superconductor experiments with the Elektropograph-7K device. Sharman commented that she had difficulty finding equipment on Mir as there was a great deal more equipment than in the trainer in the cosmonaut city of Zvezdny Gorodok.

Krikalev commented that, while Mir had more modules than it had had the first time he lived on board, it did not seem less crowded, as it contained more equipment. Krikalev also noted that some of the materials making up the station's exterior had faded and lost color, but that this had had no impact on the station's operation.

During a communication session with a British girls' school on May 21, Sharman commented that Mir was experiencing solar array problems because of the station's changing orientation. Late that day the level of background noise on the station suddenly fell from the customary 75 decibels as fans, circulating pumps, and other equipment shut down. The lights began to fade. A computer in the orientation system had failed, preventing the solar arrays from tracking on the Sun, and causing Mir to drain its batteries. Sharman stated that Afanaseyev and Manarov told her such power problems had occurred before. When it reentered sunlight, the station was turned to recharge its batteries.

The EO-8 crew returned uneventfully to earth on May 26 with Sharman.

AKA: Derbent (Derbent - Russian city); Soyuz TM-11 (Afanasyev, Manarov).
First Launch: 1990.12.02.
Last Launch: 1991.05.26.
Duration: 175.08 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Afanasyev Afanasyev, Viktor Mikhailovich (1948-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-8, Mir EO-15, Mir EO-27, ISS EP-2. 555 cumulative days in space. Buran Test Pilot, 1985-1987. Transferred toTsPK, 1987. Call sign: Derbent (Derbent - Russian city) More...
  • Manarov Manarov, Musa Khiramanovich 'Mussachi' (1951-) Lakets-Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-3, Mir EO-8. 541 cumulative days in space. Graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute with an engineering diploma in 1974 Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. Later a Director of Smolsat. More...
  • Artsebarsky Artsebarsky, Anatoli Pavlovich (1956-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-9. More...
  • Krikalyov Krikalyov, Sergei Konstantinovich (1958-) Russian engineer cosmonaut, Energia NPO, 1985-2009. Flew on Mir EO-4, Mir LD-3, STS-60, STS-88, ISS EO-1, ISS EO-11. World record for total duration spent in space (803 days). First Russian to fly aboard an American spacecraft. Flew in space six times. More...
  • Sharman Sharman, Helen Patricia 'Lenochka' (1963-) British engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Juno. Chemist. First British astronaut. First non-American, non-Soviet female astronaut. 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-8 Chronology


1990 December 2 - . 08:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-11 - . Call Sign: Derbent (Derbent - Russian city). Crew: Afanasyev; Akiyama; Manarov. Backup Crew: Artsebarsky; Kikuchi; Krikalyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 61. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev; Akiyama; Manarov; Artsebarsky; Kikuchi; Krikalyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-8; Mir Kosmoreporter; Mir EO-7. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 175.08 days. Decay Date: 1991-05-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 20981 . COSPAR: 1990-107A. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi). Perigee: 367 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-08. Transported to the Mir manned orbital station the international crew consisting of the cosmonauts V M Afanasyev, M Kh Manarov, and T Akiyami (Japan) for the purpose of carrying out joint work with the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov. Launched jointly with the private Japanese company TBS. The Japanese television network ended up paying $ 28 million for the first commercial flight to Mir to put Akiyama, the first journalist in space aboard Soyuz TM-11. Akiyama made daily television broadcasts.

1990 December 10 - .
1991 January 7 - . 17:03 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-8-1 - . Crew: Afanasyev; Manarov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.22 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev; Manarov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Completed repair of Kvant 2 hatch..

1991 January 14 - . 14:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-045.
  • Progress M-6 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 205. Mass: 7,125 kg (15,707 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 60.14 days. Completed Operations Date: 1991-03-15 18:06:59 . Decay Date: 1991-03-15 18:06:59 . USAF Sat Cat: 21053 . COSPAR: 1991-002A. Apogee: 205 km (127 mi). Perigee: 188 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Delivered new life support equipment to replace life-expired equipment aboard. Docked with Mir on 16 Jan 1991 16:35:25 GMT. Undocked on 15 Mar 1991 12:46:41 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 15 Mar 1991 18:07:26 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 57.84 days.

1991 January 23 - . 10:59 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-8-2 - . Crew: Afanasyev; Manarov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.23 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev; Manarov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Installed Strela boom on Mir..

1991 January 26 - . 09:00 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-8-3 - . Crew: Afanasyev; Manarov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.26 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev; Manarov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Installed solar array supports..

1991 March 19 - . 13:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 R15000-049.
  • Progress M-7 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 208. Mass: 7,307 kg (16,109 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 49.18 days. Completed Operations Date: 1991-05-07 17:21:50 . Decay Date: 1991-05-07 17:21:50 . USAF Sat Cat: 21188 . COSPAR: 1991-020A. Apogee: 213 km (132 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Attempted to dock with Mir on 21 March 1998 14:28 GMT, but missed the station by 500 m. Docking attempted again on 23 March but at 50 meters the docking was aborted; the Progress missed hitting the station by five meters. Thereafter it was placed in a station-keeping co-orbit with Mir while the problem was diagnosed. Finally docked with Mir on 28 Mar 1991 12:02:28 GMT. On 12 and 14 Apr 1998 two burns of the engine of Progress M-7 raised the station's orbit from a 360 x 377 km orbit to a 370 x 382 km orbit. Undocked on 6 May 1991 22:59:36 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 7 May 1991 17:20:05 GMT. Total free-flight time 9.72 days. Total docked time 39.46 days.

1991 April 26 - . 20:29 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-8-4 - . Crew: Afanasyev; Manarov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.15 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev; Manarov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Inspected Kurs docking system antenna..

1991 May 18 - . 12:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-12 - . Call Sign: Ozon (Ozone ). Crew: Artsebarsky; Krikalyov; Sharman. Backup Crew: Kaleri; Mace; Volkov, Aleksandr. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 62. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Artsebarsky; Krikalyov; Sharman; Kaleri; Mace; Volkov, Aleksandr. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3; Mir Juno; Mir EO-8. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 144.64 days. Decay Date: 1991-10-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 21311 . COSPAR: 1991-034A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 389 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-09. Carried Anatoli Artsebarski, Sergei Krikalev, Helen Sharman to Mir; returned Artsebarski, crew of Soyuz TM 8 to Earth. Second commercial flight with paying British passenger. Sponsoring British consortium was not quite able to come up with money, however. Flight continued at Soviet expense with very limited UK experiments.

1991 May 26 - .
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