Krikalyov arrived aboard Mir on Soyuz TM-12 as part of the EO-9 crew. However when economic and political priorities resulted in the engineer being bumped from Soyuz TM-13, he stayed aboard for an extended stay as part of the EO-10 crew.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
On May 20, 1991, the EO-8 crew welcomed aboard Mir the EO-9 crew of Anatoli Artsebarski and Sergei Krikalyov (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. The EO-9 crew first needed to move their spacecraft to Mir's aft port to make way for Progress M-8, which could not dock with the rear port because of the damage to the Kurs approach system antenna there. The move was made on May 28, 1991, and required 42 min. The cosmonauts released the small MAK-1 satellite from the Mir base block's experiment airlock on June 17. It was designed to study Earth's ionosphere. However, a probable power failure prevented its antennas from deploying, and the satellite remained inert.
On June 24 the EO-9 crew exited the hatch on Kvant 2 and clambered over Mir's hull to the aft end of Kvant, where they removed the damaged Kurs approach system unit and replaced it. They also assembled a prototype thermomechanical joint to be used in the assembly of space structures. The EVA lasted 4 hr, 53 min.
On June 28 the cosmonauts attached to Mir's hull the TREK instrument, a device for studying cosmic ray superheavy nuclei. The experiment was devised by the University of California and delivered by Progress M-8. The EO-9 crew used the Strela telescoping boom to move about the station. EVA duration was 3 hr, 24 min.
On July 15 the EO-9 crew used the Strela boom to transfer equipment from the Kvant 2 EVA hatch to the work site on Kvant. They attached two ladders to Kvant to give them handholds, then assembled a platform for Sofora on Kvant. Sofora was to be a 14.5-m girder extending from Kvant. The EVA lasted 5 hr, 56 min.
Sofora construction commences. On July 19 Krikalyov and Artsebarski installed an automated assembly unit similar to the one Kizim and Solovyov had experimented with on Salyut 7 in 1986. Sofora was also an experimental construction, but the Soviets had plans to attach an attitude control thruster unit to it if it functioned as expected. The thruster unit would augment Mir's attitude control systems. They assembled 3 of 20 segments planned for Sofora before returning to Mir. The EVA lasted 5 hr, 28 min.
On July 23 the EO-9 crew added 11 segments to the Sofora girder. The EVA lasted 5 hr, 34 min. On July 27 the cosmonauts added the last six segments to the Sofora girder. They also attached a Soviet flag in a metal frame to the top of the girder. This was not planned in advance; the cosmonauts decided independently to attach the flag. Artsebarski's visor fogged up from exertion, but Krikalyov was able to help him back to the Kvant 2 hatch. EVA duration was 6 hr, 49 min.128
The coup against Mikhail Gorbachev had little immediate impact on Mir operations. Progress M-9 was launched as the coup attempt fell apart, on August 21. Boris Belitsky, a Radio Moscow space and science reporter, stated that the TsUP relayed broadcasts of Soviet Central TV (pro-coup) and Russian Radio (anti-coup) to the EO-9 crew. He stated that there were never any plans to abandon the station during the coup, but revealed that such provisions existed in the event of the outbreak of a major war on Earth.
Soyuz TM-13 arrived at Mir on 4 October, 1991. It carried Austrian cosmonaut-researcher Franz Viehboeck and Kazakh cosmonaut-researcher Toktar Aubakirov. The flight was unusual for carrying no flight engineer. Veteran Russian cosmonaut Alexandr Volkov commanded. The Austrians paid $7 million to fly Viehboeck to Mir, and the Kazakh cosmonaut flew partly in an effort to encourage newly-independent Kazakhstan to continue to permit launchings from Baikonur Cosmodrome. The cosmonaut-researchers photographed their respective countries from orbit and conducted the usual range of materials processing and medical experiments. Artsebarski traded places with Volkov and returned to Earth in Soyuz TM-12. Krikalyov remained aboard Mir on his unplanned long-duration mission together with Volkov to make up the EO-10 crew.
By this time, Volkov observed, the Mir base block had suffered orbital debris and meteoroid damage on the flat sealing surface of one of its docking rings and on most of its windows. Progress M-10 broke off its first docking attempt on October 19 at a distance of 150 m. It successfully docked on October 21.
The Cosmos 1897 Altair/SR satellite drifted to 90° E in the geostationary belt by March. By late April the Soviets had manoeuvred it back to 95° E, but by the end of 1991 it had drifted to 77° E and was widely considered inoperative. The other Altair/SR satellite, Cosmos 2054, continued to serve as a communications relay between Russia and Mir. In October the cosmonauts extended a Diagramma boom from Mir's small airlock to test the atmosphere around the station. Mir problems. The cosmonauts ended 1991 by replacing storage batteries and conducting ongoing repairs on the complex. At the end of the year total solar array power production was down to 10 kW. In addition, 4 of 6 gyrodynes on Kvant 2 and 1 of 6 gyrodynes on Kvant (5 of Mir's total of 12) had failed.
Progress M-10 topped off Mir's propellant tanks on January 13. Undocking planned for January 18 was postponed by a problem with the wiring of Mir's gyrodynes, which affected the station's attitude. When it undocked on January 20, it carried a Raduga return capsule, which was safely recovered.
On January 27, 1992 Progress M-11 arrived. The spacecraft carried a repair kit for the station's gyrodynes. During its approach to the station, flight controllers in the TsUP were on strike for higher rates of pay, but they did not interfere with the docking. Progress-M 11 boosted the complex into a 413 km by 380 km orbit before undocking. In January 1991 the fleet of ocean-going tracking ships in place since the early 1960s was phased out of Mir operations to save funds. Some of the ships continued to operate to support unmanned missions, and could step in as a backup when needed to support Mir. By mid-February, Mir was spending up to 9 hrs each day out of touch with the TsUP because of tracking system cutbacks.
On February 20 Volkov and Krikalyov opened the Kvant 2 EVA hatch for what would be Krikalyov's seventh EVA in less than a year. The heat exchanger on Volkov's Orlan-DMA spacesuit failed, forcing a hasty revision of the EVA plans. Volkov remained near the hatch, so could not operate the Strela boom to move Krikalyov to the prime work site on Kvant. Volkov assisted in installation of space exposure experiments near the hatch, then Krikalyov clambered down Kvant 2 and over the hull to Kvant. He disassembled equipment used in building the Sofora girder in July 1991, then cleaned the cameras on Kvant. Finally, he collected samples of solar cells added to the third (top) array on the base block in 1988. The EVA lasted 4 hr, 12 min.
Soyuz-TM 14 arrived on March 19. Aboard was the EO-11 crew, Alexandr Viktorenko and Alexandr Kaleri, and Klaus Dietrich Flade, who became the second German to visit a space station. The first was Sigmund Jaehn of East Germany, who visited Salyut 6 in 1978. During his six days aboard Mir, Flade conducted 14 German experiments as part of Germany's preparation for participation in the Freedom and Columbus space station projects.
Sergei Krikalyov was to have returned to Earth in October 1991, but moves to cut costs had forced modifications to his mission. A Soyuz-TM flight was cancelled, and his replacement, Alexandr Kaleri, was bumped from the Soyuz-TM 13 flight to make way for Toktar Aubakirov on the Soyuz-TM 13 flight. Krikalyov had to remain on board Mir. Western news agencies had reported that Krikalyov was stranded on Mir, though this was of course incorrect. Krikalyov, together with Flade and Volkov, undocked from Mir aboard Soyuz TM-13 on 25 March. They landed uneventfully, although NPO Energia had to pay Kazakh authorities $15,000 in rents for airports and helicopters during the recovery operation.
AKA: Ozon (Ozone ); Soyuz TM-12 (Krikalyov).
First Launch: 1991.05.18.
Last Launch: 1992.03.25.
Duration: 311.83 days.
During the last days Mir almost permanently remained in sunlight and for the orientation of the sensors they used sun-vectors.
DIVERTING CAPABILITIES OF THE Mir-COMPLEX IN CASE OF 'COLLISION DANGER' :
In comparison with the American (and Soviet-) Space Shuttles the Mir-station is a 'lame duck '. Even if Norad (or its Soviet opposite side) would warn Mir and TsuP for an object on collision course a quick diverting manoeuvre cannot be executed (within a few minutes). With the engines of the freighter Progress-M and the ferry Soyuz-TM the altitude of the complex can be altered, but this process lasts too long for comfort. The present crew consist of phlegmatic and crisis proof cosmonauts and they seem not to bother about this all. During radio amateur conversations they state that all is going well.
1ST STAGE ENERGIYA ROCKET BLOWN UP DURING FIRE TEST:
This news comes from a radiologist in Omsk, N. Spinov. S., also a member of the State Committee for Ecology, reported that on 20 November 1991 near the village Krutaya Gorkia (55 KM from the Siberian town Omsk) the 1st stage of the Energiya rocket exploded due to a failure in the cooling system. In a huge orange cloud the heath of the explosion dispersed and S. demands a detailed investigation for during the last years the number op persons suffering of cancer alarmingly increased.
(The 1st stage of the Energiya consists of 4 'strap on' boosters, each of which is a modified version of the 1st stage of the Zenith (SL-16) rocket. Fuel is kerosene, oxidiser LOX).
Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202
ATTITUDE CONTROL FAILURE HAMPER IMPORTANT OPERATIONS.
During the last weeks preparations were going on to make the return capsule ready for a safe return to Earth. This capsule on board freighter Progress-M10 on 18 January 1992 had to separate from the then undocked Progress-MIG for a safe descent. On 16 January 1992 the cosmonauts reported failure of the Attitude Control System. On 17 January 1992 experts on TsUP were still considering what to do, but they already postponed the undocking of the Progress-M10. About the planned launch of Progress-M11 on 21 January 1992 they were not sure. Krikalyav suggested TsUP to carry out both operations and he uttered some alternatives for the attitude control. Until and inclusive 18 January 1992 Progress-M10 has not been used for an orbit correction either.
(PROGRESS-M11: The crew confirmed that Progress-M1l will not be equipped by a return-capsule. So the original plan to use such a capsule with Progress-M11 has been cancelled.
Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202
During the next 3 passes (at 0037. 0213 en 0347 UTC) there was a lot of radio traffic. After his return on board Kkrikalyov was cold for a long time. He also had some skin-irritation of his hands caused by his gloves and moisture. Volkov recommended him to use a green cream. For this crew this has been the last EVA during this expedition.
RELIEF AND STAND-INN CREWS:
On February 19th, together with their German guests, these crews started their final training for the flight with Soyuz-TM14 on 17 March 1992. This final training takes place in Starcity.
Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.
R.K.A. stands for Rossiyskoe Kosmicheskoye Agentsvo, so Russian Space Agency. For a long time the Russian parliament discussed about the need to establish such an organisation. Its tasks and possibilities, but also the relation to parliament and government, are almost equal to that of the American NASA. Projects for space-operations have to be submitted to that R.K.A. The R.K.A. investigates the project and evaluates the need, necessity, costs and eventual contribution from state-funds. Projects aimed to achieve political- or chauvinistic prestige will not have any chance. After analysing a project this will be send to the parliament for consent about eventual funding. The president can put his veto on it. After consent the project will be send back to R.K.A. R.K.A. asks for offers of firms, scientific institutes, enterprises, national as well as international ones, on the basis of free enterprise and free market and selects those who will get the order(-s). After that R.K.A. has to keep control on the execution of the orders. It will take some time before such an organisation is operational and in fact it is already a little bit late.
RIDICULOUS AND EXAGGERATED INFORMATION ABOUT BAD HEALTH AND MOOD OF Mir CREW:
For a long time, more or less caused by 'glasnost' and the bad economic situation in the CIS-states, the (ex-) Soviet press critically and even with denigration reported about their national space exploration. For a few weeks that same press gradually seem to be inclined to change this policy a little bit due to a moderate positive attitude towards 'space' of Yeltsin. A lot of Russian journalists still entertain grievances about the fact, that not a Russian, but a Japanese journalist flew in a Russian space-station. Average reports about space-station Mir are still below zero and a lot these reports find their way to the West. Regretfully the spokesmen and public relations officers of space-organisations in the CIS are still very passive and miss the skill and willingness of their western colleagues to fight for their cause. Negative reports, for instance articles in Komsomolskaye Pravda, Izvestiya and others, are extra exaggerated while proceeding along western press-channels. The cosmonauts hear a lot from western news-agencies and from radio-amateurs around the world and sometimes do not believe their ears. On Febr. 17th Moscow-TV relayed a direct TV-session with Mir and the viewers could see how healthy and active the cosmonauts were. I myself know by day to day observations that the crew has a very good health and a high morale. Of course they meet problems, technical failures, even serious ones, but they always keep good hearth and in co-operation with experts on TsUP they resolve problems by repairing or replacing equipment or systems. Radio-amateurs, who have the possibility to communicate with the crew or to exchange information via Packet Radio, certainly will share my opinion. I will advise you all: take all press-reports about Mir, not with a pinch, but with some pounds of salt.
C.M. van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.