Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir NASA-5


Crew: Wolf. Wolf relieved Foale as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Thomas Andrew.

STS-86 Atlantis docked with the SO (Docking Module) on the Mir complex at 19:58 GMT on September 27. As of 20:06 GMT, the Shuttle took attitude control of the entire Mir complex. The NASA crew exchange was completed on September 28, with David Wolf replacing Michael Foale on the Mir crew. On October 1 cosmonaut Titov and astronaut Parazynski conducted a spacewalk from the Shuttle payload bay while Atlantis was docked to Mir. They retrieved four MEEP (Mir Environmental Effects Payload ) exposure packages from Mir's SO module and installed the Spektr solar array cap. The MEEP experiments had been attached to the Docking Module by astronauts Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford during Shuttle mission STS-76 in March 1996. In addition to retrieving the MEEP, Parazynski and Titov were to continue an evaluation of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a small jet-backpack designed for use as a type of life jacket during station assembly.

Atlantis undocked from Mir at 17:28 GMT on October 3 and conducted a flyaround focused on the damaged Spektr Module to determine the location of the puncture in its hull. The Mir crew pumped air into the Spektr Module using a pressure regulator valve, and the Shuttle crew observed evidence that, as expected, the leak seemed to be located at the base of the damaged solar panel. Final separation of Atlantis from Mir took place around 20:28 GMT.

Andy Thomas arrived to replace David Wolf as the resident NASA astronaut when STS-89 Endeavour docked with the SO module on Mir at 20:14 GMT on January 24, 1998. Despite fits problems with his Sokol emergency spacesuit, Andy Thomas replaced David Wolf as a Mir crew member on January 25. Endeavour undocked from Mir on January 29 at 16:57 GMT and made one flyaround of the station before departing and landing at Kennedy Space Center's runway 15 at 22:35 GMT on January 31.

AKA: Atlantis; STS-86 (Wolf).
First Launch: 1997.09.26.
Last Launch: 1998.01.31.
Duration: 127.83 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Chretien Chretien, Jean-Loup Jacques Marie (1938-) French test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EP-1, Mir Aragatz, STS-86. First French astronaut. Trained for missions under both US and Russian programs. More...
  • Titov, Vladimir Titov, Vladimir Georgiyevich (1947-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz T-8, Soyuz T-10-1, Mir EO-3, STS-63, STS-86. Survived first pad abort during a manned launch. 387 cumulative days in space. SU Air Force. Call sign: Okean (Ocean). More...
  • Thomas, Andrew Thomas, Dr Andrew Sydney Withiel (1951-) Australian-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-77, Mir NASA-6, STS-102, STS-114. More...
  • Wetherbee Wetherbee, James Donald 'Wexbee' (1952-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-32, STS-52, STS-63, STS-86, STS-102, STS-113. Flew in space six times. More...
  • Wolf Wolf, Dr David Alexander 'Bluto' (1956-) Jewish-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-58, Mir NASA-5, STS-112, STS-127. More...
  • Foale Foale, Dr Colin Michael 'Mike' (1957-) British-American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-45, STS-56, STS-63, Mir NASA-4, STS-103, ISS EO-8; 373 days in space. Appointed Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Operations in 2004. More...
  • Bloomfield Bloomfield, Michael John 'Bloomer' (1959-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-86, STS-97, STS-110. Grew up in Lake Fenton, Michigan. More...
  • Lawrence Lawrence, Wendy Barrien (1959-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-67, STS-86, STS-91, STS-114. US Navy ocean engineer. More...
  • Parazynski Parazynski, Dr Scott Edward (1961-) American physician mission specialist astronaut, 1992-2009. Flew on STS-66, STS-86, STS-95, STS-100, STS-120. More...

See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-86 Crew: Bloomfield, Chretien, Lawrence, Parazynski, Titov Vladimir, Wetherbee. Flyaround focused on the damaged Spektr Module to determine the location of the puncture in its hull. More...
  • STS-89 Crew: Anderson, Dunbar, Edwards, Reilly, Sharipov, Wilcutt. First Uzbek astronaut. First flight of Block IIA SSME engines. Penultimate Shuttle mission to Mir. More...

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

Mir NASA-5 Chronology


1997 September 26 - . 02:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-86.
  • STS-86 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Wetherbee; Bloomfield; Titov, Vladimir; Parazynski; Chretien; Lawrence; Wolf. Payload: Atlantis F20 / Spacehab-DM. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wetherbee; Bloomfield; Titov, Vladimir; Parazynski; Chretien; Lawrence; Wolf. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-86; Mir NASA-5; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.81 days. Decay Date: 1997-10-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 24964 . COSPAR: 1997-055A. Apogee: 381 km (236 mi). Perigee: 354 km (219 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Atlantis was launched on a mission to the Russian Mir space station. The TI rendevous terminal initiation burn was carried out at 17:32 GMT on September 27, and Atlantis docked with the SO (Docking Module) on the Mir complex at 19:58 GMT. The crew exchange was completed on September 28, with David Wolf replacing Michael Foale on the Mir crew. On October 1 cosmonaut Titov and astronaut Parazynski conducted a spacewalk from the Shuttle payload bay while Atlantis was docked to Mir. They retrieved four MEEP (Mir Environmental Effects Payload ) exposure packages from Mir's SO module and installed the Spektr solar array cap. The MEEP experiments had been attached to the Docking Module by astronauts Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford during Shuttle mission STS-76 in March 1996. In addition to retrieving the MEEP, Parazynski and Titov were to continue an evaluation of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a small jet-backpack designed for use as a type of life jacket during station assembly.

    Atlantis undocked from Mir at 17:28 GMT on October 3 and conducted a flyaround focused on the damaged Spektr Module to determine the location of the puncture in its hull. The Mir crew pumped air into the Spektr Module using a pressure regulator valve, and the Shuttle crew observed evidence that, as expected, the leak seemed to be located at the base of the damaged solar panel. Final separation of Atlantis from Mir took place around 20:28 GMT. After two landing attempts were waved off on October 5 due to heavy cloud cover, the crew fired the engines to deorbit at 20:47 GMT on October 6 and landed at Kennedy Space Center at 21:55.


1997 September 29 - .
  • Mir News 386: Computer failure - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-86; Mir NASA-5; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Compared to computer failures in the past the crew was able to restore the situation very quickly. In the night from 22 to 23.09 the crew successfully rebooted the same computer which they had replaced last week. The computer which failed on 22.09 had been stored for a long period in a cold and wet module.

    The following day the crew restarted a number of gyrodynes. Another failure they had to cope with was a malfunctioning ventilator of the Vozdukh, the CO2 filter. The replacement of this ventilator was easy, but the crew lost much time in finding a spare. The crew changed their sleep schedule to prepare for the arrival of Atlantis and for the period in which Atlantis will be attached to Mir. To be sure that the computer will remain operational the crew used an air duct for cooling. The gyrodynes functioned normally on 24.09 and so did the Vozdukh. During a direct TV-session in the early morning of 25.09 Foale commented images from the interior of the Base Block and explained the problems with the computer. He also showed some video-recordings of his EVA on 6.09.

    Launch of Atlantis for mission STS-86:

    On 26.09 at 0234 UTC Atlantis was launched while Mir flew over Europa and communicated with TsUP. The crew was listening to a direct report of the launch. No reaction could be monitored for Mir disappeared over the horizon.

    Atlantis, communications:

    Exactly 19 minutes after the launch (0253-0300 UTC) Atlantis was in our range and communicated with Houston via a tracking station in Spain. Wetherbee reported a minor failure which he should ignore. So he did with some other minor problems. He assured Houston to keep an eye on those matters.

    Docking Atlantis:

    In the course of 27.09 one of the channels of the computer behaved in a strange way. This lasted only a few milliseconds. A long time before the rendezvous Atlantis and Mir were in range of each other enabling both crews were to communicate via direct VHF-channels. Regretfully this all took place out of our range. At abt. 1900 UTC Atlantis reached a point at 200 Metes below Mir. From there by the use of the R-bar (or radial vector) approach she gently drifted to Mir with only a few little corrections with steering rockets by Wetherbee. After altering his approach due to a minor deviation of the attitude of the Mir-complex he flawlessly docked Atlantis at Mir. The Russians reported this success with the words 'kasaniye and zakhvat' (touch and capture). After a few minutes followed the hard mate and the airtight checks. The equalisation gave some problems: Foale felt pain is his ears and in Spacehab an alarm indicated that the equalisation was proceeding too quickly.

    For me it was a pleasure to hear Titov again from Mir. Almost 9 years ago he left Mir after being in space for 366 days. (He then returned to earth together with Jean Loup Chretien, who had been in Mir for almost a month.)

    Relief:

    On the first full day of the Atlantis/Mir link-up Wolf replaced Foale as a member of the Mir crew, when Wolf's seat liner for his seat in the Soyuz-TM26 had been installed in this ' ferry- and rescue vehicle'. Wolf will use the Module-D as his working- and living quarters. He will sleep in the airlock of that module.

    Radio traffic Mir:

    During the Atlantis/Mir link-up Mir will use the communications facilities of the Shuttle as well as the normal Mir frequencies. The Shuttle is also equipped with the 130.165 mc, the so called VHF-1. On board of the Shuttle this channel is AB-2. In the night from 28 to 29.09 Mir communicated with TsUP Moscow on 143.625 mc. During this traffic TsUP reported that the Shuttle was flying in 'free drift'. This took place in the framework of an attitude control experiment. During the next pass for our position at abt. 2200 UTC the Shuttle was in control of the attitude again.

    Spacewalk (EVA):

    This EVA will be made by Parazynski and Titov and is scheduled for 1.10 between 1844-2334 UTC (date and timeline not yet fully confirmed). The astronauts will retrieve a container with the MEEP experiment and 'park' a cap which might be necessary for the repair of Spektr's hull. In fact this will be an American EVA and the astronauts will enter open space through the airlock of the Shuttle. During the windows in which Atlantis/Mir is in range it might be worthwhile to monitor Shuttle's EVA frequency 279.000 mc (mode AM-Wide).

    Installation of the new computer:

    Possibly this computer will be installed during the Atlantis/Mir link-up. A final decision still has to be taken. If so this will be done after the EVA. If circumstances demand this the link-up of Atlantis and Mir can be extended by 24 hours.

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


1997 October 1 - .
1997 October 5 - . 15:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-36 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 237. Mass: 7,195 kg (15,862 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: STS-86; Mir NASA-5; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 74.92 days. Decay Date: 1997-12-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 25002 . COSPAR: 1997-058A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 378 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 8 Oct 1997 17:07:09 GMT. Undocked on 17 Dec 1997 06:01:53 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 19 Dec 1997 13:20:01 GMT. Total free-flight time 5.39 days. Total docked time 69.54 days..
  • X-Mir Inspector - . Payload: Inspector. Nation: Germany. Agency: DASA. Manufacturer: Bremen. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: STS-86; Mir NASA-5; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Inspector. Decay Date: 1998-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 25100 . COSPAR: 1997-058D. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.10 min.

1997 October 6 - .
  • Mir News 387: Communications Mir during mission STS86 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-86; Mir NASA-5; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. The communications to and from the Mir during the link-up period of Atlantis and Mir demonstrated what we can expect when of the International Space station the Russian and American segments will be operational. For matters regarding the whole complex the American side will take care for the communications and traffic between the Russian segment and TsUP-M will only concern Russian matters (experiments, maintenance, advice, etc.) The lion's share of the communications went via Atlantis. During windows in which the Mir was able to communicate via Russian tracking facilities they only handled Russian matters. The communications between Mir and Atlantis took place via an intercom system. Sometimes Atlantis also took care of the Packet Radio traffic for Mir. During the link-up Mir seldom used the Altair-2 facility. Images of the approach of Atlantis and the EVA of Parazynski and Titov made from inside Mir were directly transmitted to earth via Russian tracking stations on UHF frequencies. Sometimes the comments on those images went via the VHF channel. On 28.09 Altair-2 was in use for the relay of video-recordings.

    Progress-M36:

    This freighter blasted off from Baykonur on 5.10.1997 at 15.08.57 UTC. All went well. The Progress-M36 will deliver the normal cargo: water, food, fuel, experiments and a spare computer. Among the repair material is a special glue ('germetik') to be used during the repair of the Spektr. Progress-M36 is expected to dock at Mir's aft docking port (Kvant-1 +X axis) on 7.10 at 1642 UTC.

    Transmissions Progress-M36:

    On 5.10 during the 3d orbit (1944-1946 UTC) Telemetry was heard in the 165 and 166 mc bands. During the 4th orbit (2114-2119 UTC) the signals in the 165 and 166 mc were very strong. The transmitter on 922.755mc was active during that pass. TCA was at 21.15.54 UTC

    Progress-M35:

    This old freighter is no longer needed and will separate from Mir on 6.10 at 1124 UTC for a short autonomous flight and decay in the atmosphere over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand at 1424 UTC.

    Mini-sputnik:

    A small copy of Sputnik-1 will also be delivered by Progress-M36. During the next EVA of Solovyov and Vinogradov on 16.10.1997 this Sputnik will be 'launched' manually. This satellite will send 'bleeps' on a frequency in the 2 Meter amateur band to recall the launch of the first artificial earth satellite on 4.10.1957.

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


1997 October 6 - .
1997 October 7 - .
  • Mir News 388: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. The undocking of this freighter failed on 6.10 at 1124 UTC. Cause was a human error: the crew had forgotten to remove a clamp from the docking mechanism (the Russian word is 'styazhka', a clamp or spanner to tighten the docking). The Russians decided to postpone the undocking until 7.10. On 7.10.1997 at 12.03.47 UTC Progress-M35 separated from Mir and after a short period in which Progress-M35 hovered at a distance of 10 Meters Progress-M35 moved away for a short autonomous flight. The decay in the atmosphere over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand will take place at 1734 UTC.

    Progress-M36:

    The docking of this freighter at Mir has been put back until 8.10.1997 at 1713 UTC.

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


1997 October 9 - .
  • Mir News 389: Progress-M36 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. On 8.10 at 17.07.40 UTC, so 7 minutes earlier than planned, this freighter docked at Mir's aft docking port (+X axis). Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. Solovyov was ready to take over manually with TORU in case of a Kurs failure. During the operation the crew stayed in the Base Block. The opening of the hatches was put back until 9.10 at 0830 UTC.

    Spacewalks (EVA's):

    For a while an external EVA was scheduled for 16.10, but this plan was cancelled. The first EVA (in fact an IVA) will take place inside the module Spektr and will be made on 20.10 at 0900 UTC. Depending on the results of that IVA the Russians will determine date and working method for the following EVA. During that EVA the cosmonauts will 'jettison' the miniature Sputnik, recently delivered by Progress-M36.

    Radio-amateur traffic:

    The Packet radio on 145.985 mc is very active and now and then this transmitter is used for phone. David Wolf, also using the call R0Mir, already has a liking for these activities.

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


1997 October 15 - .
  • Mir News 390: Progress-M36 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. The opening of the hatches took place on 9.10 at abt 0830 UTC. Thus far the crew did not spend much time for the unloading of the ship. Among the normal cargo Progress-M36 delivered the spare SUD (attitude control) computer, the mini-sputnik-1 and the German/Russian satellite Inspector. On 12.10 during a long TV-session via Altair-2 with relatives the crew showed the little Sputnik.

    Mir-routine:

    The crew replaced some accumulators in the Base Block and the Module-D (Kvant-2) and rearranged other batteries to ensure a better charging. Now and then the crew has to collect condensation water. Vinogradov reported that the module Priroda is dry.

    The next spacewalk (EVA, so this time an IVA) will be made inside the module Spektr. This is the 3d one for this Mir-crew (the 3d for Solovyov) the 2d for Vinogradov. The IVA is on schedule for 20.10 from 0855 UTC and will last about 5 hrs 30 mins. The preparations for this IVA began after the arrival of Progress-M36 and intensified from 13.10.97. The crew will have to replace an electronic unit in the Spektr. This unit has to control the servomotors to aim the solar panels. The unit in the Spektr did not survive the vacuum in that module and will be replaced by the same device still installed in the module Kristall. On 13 and 14.10 the cosmonauts worked on the spacesuits (this time again the Orlan-DMA). They connected tanks, devices, a.s.o. and checked the airtightness. On 14.10 the crew continued the preparations for the work to be done. On 15.10 they underwent medical tests.

    The 4th EVA Mir-crew:

    This external spacewalk is tentatively scheduled for 3.11.97. During this EVA they will have to remove the old solar panel on the module E (Kvant-1). The new Russian solar panel which is still stored at the outer surface of the SO (docking compartment) will be installed during an EVA in the future.

    Minor technical problems:

    Now and then minor technical problems emerge: On 10.10 a minor repair of the Elektron and the BKV (a.c.) and in the evening TsUP derives from Telemetry that the pressure in a KOB (heating loop) increased. On 12.10 they had to economise electrical energy and to switch off some systems. On 14.10 a ventilator of the Vozdukh CO-2 scrubber failed and had to be switched off. During the next orbit the Vozdukh worked well.

    David Wolf:

    David is very busy with his experiments. He even sometimes had no time for lunch. Like his predecessor Foale he also handles the Packet Radio traffic on the service channel. In a conversation with relatives (possibly his parents and grandmother) he said that all was well, but that he was yearning for a pizza and a beer. Now and then David can be heard during radio-amateur traffic on 145.985 mc.

    Mini-sputnik-1:

    This little satellite (3 KG) will be jettisoned during the first EVA, so possibly on 3.11.97. The transmissions can be heard on 145.800 mc. The output will be 0.2 Watt. The antenna polarisation is circular, but as there is no attitude control the received signal may have clockwise or counter clockwise polarisation. The modulation will be FM and the audio tone about. 1.3 kc varying with the temperature. The endurance of the power supply batteries will be about 30 days.

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


1997 October 20 - . 09:40 GMT - .
1997 October 22 - .
  • Mir News 391: Rehearsal Internal spacewalk (IVA) on 17.10.1997 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. This rehearsal lasted some hours. David Wolf stayed in the descent module of the Soyuz-TM26 ship from where he now and then communicated with TsUP or his working crew mates. Solovyov and Vinogradov tried to train for the IVA as realistically as possible. The original plan to replace the steering interface for the solar panels from the Kristall to the Spektr module had been abandoned: installing this device with clumsy spacesuit gloves is a 'mission impossible'. So the only way to insert the Kristall interface in the circuitry for the servomotors of the solar panels on Spektr was to deploy cables from the connection for these motors to the interface in Kristall. During the IVA Vinogradov has to connect 3 cables between the servomotors and the inside of the vacuum plate.

    Progress-M36:

    During the IVA the docking device of this freighter had to be depressurised. On Saturday, 18.10 the crew could not open a valve for this depress. Solovyov compared this with an equal experience he had during his short stay in Mir in June 1988, when Vladimir Titov was the commander. Probably the failure was caused by a failing switch. The crew resolved the problem on 19.10.

    IVA on 20.10:

    Opening of the hatch 45 minutes later than planned at 0940 UTC. The delay was caused by the fact that it lasted longer to put on the Orlan-DMA spacesuits and a valve to one of the modules which failed to close. When the hatch was opened Mir was still out of range of the Altair-2 Comm. Sat . Vinogradov was the first to enter the Spektr module, followed by Solovyov who supported him and gave him instructions about his movements and what he had to do. The cosmonauts were surprised by the chaos they found inside Spektr. A lot of goods was floating around: 7 bags with experiments and personal belongings of Foale, a home trainer (bicycle), some covers or lids, one of them belonging to the refrigerator, loose panels, the docking device of the Spektr and a lot of dangling cables. Vinogradov had to be very careful not to get entangled in cables or structures.

    Solovyov told Vinogradov what he saw and instructed him how to restore order and where to stow away and fasten the goods. During the IVA David Wolf stayed in one of the seats of the Descent Module of Soyuz-TM26. He made images of the earth, for instance Africa, and checked the life systems of 'his ship': temperature, pressure and quality of the atmosphere over there, whether it was necessary or not to add oxygen, a.s.o. He mostly communicated with TsUP. Sometimes the cosmonauts spoke with him, saying 'Hello First Mate' (shturman).

    At last the cosmonauts began to execute their main task: connecting 3 cables between the servo motors of the solar panels with contacts on the vacuum plate between Spektr and the P.Kh.O. (transition section). It was very difficult but after consuming a lot of time Vinogradov managed to connect all three of them.

    Enormous difficulties they met during the last stage of the work: connecting the 3 cables with the contacts of the vacuum plate. The stiff, unwilling cables had to be attached firmly to those contacts. To make this possible Vinogradov used a spanner, manufactured for this operation and recently delivered to the station. The cables regularly popped out. Finally Vinogradov attached and fastened 2 of the 3 cables, but the 3d one was so recalcitrant that after struggling with it for almost 90 minutes Vinogradov did not succeed. He tried to this with the spanner and even took a long screwdriver to try to reach the bolt and fasten this. The length of the spanner was too short to use while holding it with a spacesuit glove. Later on Solovyov reported a second imperfection of this spanner: the coating at the inside of the head was too smooth to get a firm grip on the bolt.

    At 1524 UTC TsUP told Solovyov that in 15 minutes the limit of 6 hours (the guaranteed endurance of the spacesuits) would be reached. If the cosmonauts preferred to continue the 'struggle' they could do this using the 'emergency oxygen supply'. Their eagerness to accomplish the full task was so strong that they decided to go on. After 38 minutes they returned to the transition section and closed the hatch, leaving the 3d cable dangling (and possibly laughing) behind.

    During those 38 minutes there was no communication between Mir and TsUP and for a long time TsUP did not know what had happened and the time of the closure of the hatch. They reported that this took place at 618 UTC. Great relief when during the pass in orbit 66661 (1642 UTC) the cosmonauts could be heard again. They almost could not speak and breathed heavily. They were very disappointed about that 3d cable. Nevertheless TsUP heartily congratulated them with the partial success. These congratulations more or less gilded the pill.

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


1997 October 31 - .
  • Mir News 392: Results 3d spacewalk (IVA) 24d Main Expedition Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. On 24.10.97 the cables from the vacuum plate to the solar panel interface in the Kristall module had been deployed and after some tests 2 of the 3 still living panels on the Spektr could be turned to the most effective angle towards the sun. Already on 25.10 Solovyov got the first series of instructions for the next 2 spacewalks, EVA's this time, on 3 and 6.11.97. From this day on practically all activities were related to those operations.

    On 26.10 Solovyov reported enormous forest fires in the area of Barnaul (Siberia). The crew had discovered the fire already the day before, but now these fires had considerably increased. Along a front of 100 KM the fire moved to the North-West. Solovyov wondered why the media did not give any information about these fires. As of Monday, 27.10, the preparations for the 1st EVA on 3.11.97 began. The crew got comprehensive instructions, i.e. a video-simulation of the operation and a huge amount of documentation.

    During the following days they collected and took stock off the equipment needed for the spacewalk and they replaced goods from the airlock and the scientific- and instrument compartment of the Kvant-2 module to other locations in the complex. The crew checked the 2 Orlan M suits and the communication systems during the EVA. On Friday, 31.10, these preparations were concluded during a long communications session via Altair-2 in which TsUP transmitted video images of the areas in which the cosmonauts have to work during the EVA. These areas cannot be fully seen via the portholes of the complex.

    During this video session the cosmonauts asked a lot of questions and got additional instructions. The crew also downlinked images of one of the solar panels which did not regularly turn. It sometimes stopped and went on stuttering (Thus far I do not know which panel.)

    During radio traffic in orb. 66833 (0918-0926 UTC) the crew spoke with Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, grandson of the famous rocket pioneer Tsiolkovskiy, about the minisputnik PS-2 (also named Sputnik 40 and RS-17), which will be launched by Vinogradov during the EVA on 3.11. The cosmonauts had already checked the transmitters and heard the Blieb Blieb signals. Samburov, the radio-amateur mentor of all cosmonauts, urged them not to forget to switch on the transmitters before deploying the satellite. They have to do that after donning of the spacesuits.

    The EVA's:

    On 3.11.97, from 0130 UTC (opening hatch) until appr. 0700 UTC. On 6.11.97, from 0030 UTC until appr. 0600 UTC. Don't forget to monitor 145.820 and 145.840 mc for the Sputnik ' Bliebs' during Mir's passes in the morning of 3.11.97.

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


1997 November 3 - .
  • Mir News 393: 4th Spacewalk (EVA) crew 24th Main Expedition - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. The EVA lasted from 03.32.30 UTC (opening hatch) until 0937 UTC (closing hatch) , so duration 6 hrs 4 mins. The EVA began later due to a failure in a telemetry unit of Solovyov's spacesuit. After the opening of the hatch Vinogradov launched the minisputnik PS-2 (or: Sputnik 40 or RS-17). Then the crew dismantled the MSB-4, the old solar panel on Kvant-1 (module-E), which originally was installed on Kristall. They parked the solar panel at the outside of the Base Block. The clamps between the segments of the solar panel had to be opened electrically from a keyboard inside Mir . Wolf who got instructions from Solovyov took care of this task. He also made video- and photo-images of his colleagues. Further they installed a cap at the outside of the Base Block to close an outlet for a new Vozdukh CO2 scrubber.

    Now this outlet has been sealed off the crew can install a valve on the inside of the Base Block where a new Vozdukh will be installed. Through that valve the Vozdukh can blow CO2 and water vapour into open space. This valve will be installed on 4.11.1997. If the crew succeed they can remove the cap from the outer surface during the next EVA on 6.11.1997. The Altair-2 satellite was scarcely used possibly due to the fact that the area in which the cosmonauts had to work was very close to the ONA, the Antenna for the Antares transmitter. Altair-2 was in use before and during the return of the cosmonauts in the airlock of Module-D. Simultaneously they communicated via the VHF channel on 143.618mc.

    PS-2 (Sputnik 40 or RS-17):

    During the VHF windows of Mir the transmitters of this minisputnik could be monitored on 145.820 mc. The signals are not very strong. The use of the reception mode USB helps a lot.

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


1997 November 3 - . 03:32 GMT - .
1997 November 6 - .
  • Mir News 394: 5th Spacewalk (EVA) crew 24th Main Expedition Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. After the return in the Sh.S.O. (airlock Module-D) during the 4th EVA it lasted a very long time before the cosmonauts could put off their spacesuits. A failure made it impossible to pressurise the airlock. The cosmonauts opened the hatch again to see whether something was wrong with the gasket of the outer ring of the hatch. This did not help and they decided to use the nearest compartment (the P.N.O., instrument- and scientific compartment) as airlock. Solovyov did this before: in 1990 due to a damage of the hatch.

    The Russians decided not to put back the 5th EVA, but to use the P.N.O. as airlock. The crew had to work hard during the days between the EVA's: they had to study and train for the new scenario, to repair the telemetry unit of Solovyov's spacesuit , to install a valve inside the Base Block for the installation of a second Vozdukh CO2 scrubber and to prepare themselves for the EVA.

    During the depress of the P.N.O. and the Sh.S.O. the crew tried to discover the cause of the pressure failure. The EVA-hatch swung open on 6.11.97 at 00.12.39 UTC and closed behind the cosmonauts at 06.24.46 UTC. These moments could be monitored due to the extensive use of the geostationary Altair-2 during this EVA.

    Wolf stayed inside and he took care for the camera work and the communications. He gave the commands to establish a video-link via Altair-2 and he pushed the buttons of the electric remote control during the deployment of the new installed solar panel.

    The first activity of Solovyov and Vingradov was to transfer the new solar panel from the SO (docking compartment Kristall) to the Kvant-1. They installed the solar panel over there and connected the cables. They tried to unfold the panel, but part of the clamps between the sectors of it did not react on the commands given by Wolf. So Solovyov and Vinogradov had to do some push and pull work and this helped. So the new solar battery can be inserted into the structure of the S.E.P. -the Power Supply System- of the station. After removing the cap from the outlet for the Vozdukh valve, which they had installed during the 4th EVA, they returned to the airlock.

    Back in the airlock Vinogradov inspected the rubber gasket on the outer ring of the hatch and he discovered some minor iniquities. While closing the hatch he stated that the mechanism did not react smoothly. The indicator 'hatch closed' was positive. The crew closed the hatch between the Sh.S.O. and the P.N.O. and used the last compartment as airlock. The pressure in the Sh.S.O. was 209 mm mercury. In 2 days the crew will check whether this pressure decreased or not. After the EVA the pressure in the rest of the complex was 637 mm mercury.

    Communications:

    Altair-2 was in use during all windows. During direct VHF passes the frequency 143.618 mc was used simultaneously with strong interference by cross-modulation by an air traffic control station.

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


1997 November 6 - . 00:12 GMT - .
1997 November 17 - .
  • Mir News 395: Mir routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. Last week the cosmonauts repaired heating- and cooling loops, the S.R.V.-U, (system for regeneration of water -for technical purposes- from urine) and they deployed and connected cables for the new installed solar panel. Solovyov regularly reported that the solar panel which could not be aimed to the sun automatically reacted well on manual commands and every time achieved a good angle towards the sun.

    David Wolf: Due to the problems with the airlock (S.Sh.O.) of Module-D David cannot sleep in module-D's P.N.O. (Instrument- and science compartment). He moved to the Kristall module. His new 'room' is also in use for the stowage of food boxes, bags and other cargo. He has not enough time to do all his experiments and often his working day ends just before he goes to bed. He told his American friends in TsUP that there is a great difference between the time needed for work and experiments in space and the time for the same activities on earth. Interruptions during his work, for instance lunches, physical exercises, comm. sessions, replacing and moving things, sometimes triple the scheduled time for that work. His friend on earth promised to do something to enlighten his workload and to extend his possibilities to do physical exercises. These exercises are badly needed to build up the condition of David who will participate in an EVA in early December.

    Leakage hatch airlock Module-D (Sh.S.O):

    After pressurising the airlock 20 mm mercury was lost in 3 days. After an EVA in 1990 (made by Solovyov and Balandin) a support of this hatch was bent and later on repaired, but the hatch had always to be secured by extra clamps. (After his EVA on 6.09.1997 Foale had to close that hatch and to install these clamps or latches. Russian word: fiksatory.)

    During daylight in the U.S.A. on 13.11.1997 David used the Altair-2 facilities to tell his compatriots about his life on board Mir. While one of his crew mates accompanied him with a video camera David went to his laboratory and gave an explanation about the instruments and experiments over there. He showed a monitor with laser images of the surfaces of crystals which had been cultivated in space. He told that the data of the experiments are transmitted to experts on earth, who draw conclusions and give additional instructions for this work. He showed instruments which are connected to sensors at the outer surface of the station for the measurement of all kinds of radiation from space. David emphasised that the station, just like the shuttles, is very clean.

    After his demonstration he addressed himself to a meeting of a Jewish federation in Indianapolis. He told that they flew over Israel an hour or so ago and contradictory to most other countries the borders of Israel are clearly visible from space. He wished the people over there a successful meeting, he regretted the fact that he was not able to participate and stressed that he very much appreciated what the federation was doing for mankind.

    On 13 as well as on 14.11.1997 the day began with a rotation of the complex for an optimal sun angle of the solar panels. On 14.11. the crew tested the new installed solar panel on Kvant-1 (Module-E). During this test the power supply in the Base Block failed. So did the S.U.D. (movements control system) in the B.B. and the gyrodynes spun down.

    Consequently other systems had to be switched off: for instance the Elektron (oxygen generator) and the Vozdukh (CO2 filter). The oxygen level in Mir gave no concern and so the burning of lithium perchloride cartridges was not needed. To reduce the CO2 level purification cartridges were used.

    Experiments:

    David had to interrupt his experimental work temporarily. The first measure to restore power supply in the Base Block was to replace the exhausted accumulator batteries by fully loaded ones from the Kristall module. Solovyov and Vinogradov kept watch in the nights from 14 to 15 and 15 to 16.11. In the early morning hours of 15.11 the crew (or some of them) were in the Soyuz-TM26 and used the transceiver of that ship on 121.750 mc. Gradually the station soaked up enough energy and most of the systems could be reactivated in the course of 16.11.1997. The SUD was working again and all gyrodynes were spinning.

    Main task in week from 17.11.97:

    The installation of the new Vozdukh (CO2 scrubber) in the Base Block.

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


1997 November 23 - .
  • Mir News 396: Computer failure - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. On 21.11.97 at 2132 UTC Mir was hit by the umptieth computer failure. This happened to be the computer which had been delivered by Shuttle Atlantis and installed during the combined flight of Atlantis and Mir in September 1997. In the night from 21 to 22.11 Solovyov and Vinogradov were on duty and during every possible pass they discussed the problems with TsUP. On 22 and 23.11 a number of systems remained off to reduce power consumption. Again radio traffic during some passes in the night from 22 to 23.11. For the repair the crew used the 2d new computer which had been brought to Mir by the freighter Progress-M36. On 24.11 the computer and other systems worked flawlessly which enabled the crew to work on the sub-satellite Inspektor, still on board Progress-M36. Inspektor will be launched from the departing Progress-M36 on 17.12.97.

    Solidarnostj:

    (Due to a failure of my own computer - solidarity of my PC with the colleague on board Mir? - I could not distribute a Mir-report about the failure of the Ts.V.M. on board Mir, so I passed this news on to friends in UK and the USA. They could not obtain additional information and for an official confirmation we had to wait until Monday 24.11.)

    Altair-2:

    This satellite is operational again after a period of maintenance of the ground facilities for this geostationary satellite. On 21.11 there were good TV and phone communications during orbit 67167. From traffic during this session could be derived that the EVA's which had been scheduled for the beginning of December 1997 possibly would be put back until January 1998. (Meanwhile this has been confirmed: the EVA's take place on 5 and 9.01.1998) This means that the repair of the antenna for the 145.985 mc will be postponed also.

    Inspektor:

    This week the crew will prepare the sub-satellite Inspektor for an inspection flight on 17.12.97. During the departure of Progress-M36 the freighter will jettison the Inspektor. The Inspektor has to fly around the Progress-M36 for video images of that ship and after that the satellite will inspect the outer surface of the Mir-complex.

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


1997 December 5 - .
  • Mir News 397: Spacewalks (EVA's) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. On 3.12 RKK Energiya published changes of the EVA plan for December 1997. This publication suggested that EVA's had been planned for 6, 12 and 30.12.97. In the sequence of these EVA's the most difficult one was scheduled for 6.12.97, i.e. the installation of rails and anchors at the outer surface of the module Spektr. However radio traffic during the last days did not give any indication of preparations or exercises for the first EVA: on the contrary the Russians used all the available time for so called prescribed activities: maintenance, repairs (for instance of a cooling circuit) and monitoring the air pressure regulation. David Wolf indefatigably continued his experiments. Meanwhile the 'disinformation' of RKK Energiya has been silently erased.

    Future plans:

    The departure of Progress-M36 will take place on 17.12.97. After undocking Progress-M36 will release the mini-satellite Inspektor for a test in the framework of a Russian/German project. Inspektor will make video- and photo's of Progress-M36 as well as of the Mir-space station.

    The next EVA's are still scheduled for 5 and 9.01.1998.

    Radio-amateurism:

    Vinogradov prepared the radio-amateur system in the module Priroda for the test which had been proposed by the Amsat organisation. The purpose of this test was to see whether it would be possible to use a split band configuration (uplink 437.850 mc, downlink 145.800 mc) of the PMS station on 145.985 mc. During many conversations via the geostationary Altair-2 Vinogradov co-ordinated his activities with the Mir radio-amateur manager, Sergey Samburov (RV3DR).

    It was clear that not all went as had been planned. Vinogradov also had problems with cable connections and he had to look for adapters to connect different cables. He told that he also tried to use 145.800 and 145.550 mc, but this was not a success due to dense traffic on these frequencies. (Unclear whether he used these frequencies split -with 437.850 m down- or simplex on 2 m. only). Stations on earth received him loud and clear but his reception was very poor.

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


1997 December 16 - .
  • Mir News 398: Progress-M36 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. This freighter will undock from Mir on 17.12.1997 at 0602 UTC. After the undocking the Russian-German experiment with the observation satellite Inspektor will take place.

    Inspektor:

    On 17.12.97 the Inspektor will be launched from Progress-M36 for a number of inspection flights. The separation from Progress-M36 : 0735 UTC. Immediately after the undocking the Inspektor will make a flight around Progress-M36 and transmit images from the freighter to a computer on board Mir. Solovyov will steer the Progress-M36 and the Inspektor with the system TORU. On 18.12.1997 Inspektor will fly around the Mir to make images of the outside of the complex. Plans with the Progress-M36: This freighter will not return to Mir for a redocking but decay in the atmosphere soon after the deployment of Inspektor.

    Progress-M37:

    The launch of this new freighter from Baykonur is on schedule for 20.12.1997. Rendezvous and docking with the Mir will take place on 22.12.1997.

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


1997 December 17 - .
  • Mir News 399: Progress-M36 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. According to plan this freighter undocked from Mir on 17.12.97 at 0602 UTC. As soon as Progress-M36 was at a safe distance from Mir the German-Russian observation satellite Inspektor was jettisoned from Progress-M36 (0735 UTC). The crew of the Mir observed both autonomously flying objects on monitors of the TORU system and via portholes.

    Inspektor:

    Immediately after the launch of the Inspektor it was clear that it would be impossible to steer the satellite by the remote control system due to a failure of the star sensor of Inspektor. The flight around the Progress-M36 was impossible and after a few hours of observing and analysing all further operations with Inspektor were cancelled.

    During Mir's orbit 67565 between 1307 and 1354 UTC during a communication session via Altair-2 the cosmonauts and TsUP thoroughly discussed the problems. Mir also transmitted images to earth with that what could be seen on monitors and via the big porthole of the Priroda module. Inspektor was flying not far from Progress-M36. Inspektor has to be given up and will decay and burn up in the earth atmosphere in the near future due to the natural drag. Next week experts of DLR will try to pick up Inspektor's telemetry to find out what went wrong.

    Mir:

    As of the beginning of his autonomous flight Inspektor was an unguided missile and a collision with the Mir-complex was possible. So the Russians decided to bring Mir in a somewhat higher orbit. This orbit correction took place on 17.12 at 1511 UTC.

    Progress-M36:

    The transmissions of this freighter could be monitored during all possible passes on 17.12.1997. When Progress-M36 will be put on a destruction course was not yet decided when this report went to the press. (The use of Progress-M36 for some additional tests of the TORU system might be a possibility.)

    Progress-M37:

    Life goes on and so the launch of the next freighter is still on schedule. This launch has been put forward and will take place from Baykonur on 20.12.97 at 0845 UTC. If all goes as fervidly wished Progress-M37 will dock at Mir on 22.12.97 at 1045 UTC.

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


1997 December 20 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-37 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 236. Mass: 7,040 kg (15,520 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 61.69 days. Decay Date: 1998-03-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 25102 . COSPAR: 1997-081A. Apogee: 403 km (250 mi). Perigee: 363 km (225 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir at the rear Kvant port on 22 Dec 1997 10:22:20 GMT. Undocked on 30 Jan 1998 12:00:00 GMT. Redocked with Mir on 23 Feb 1998 09:42:28 GMT. Final undocking 15 Mar 1998 19:16:01 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 15 Mar 1998 23:04:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 59.47 days.

1997 December 22 - .
  • Mir News 400: Inspektor - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. On 17.12.97 the planned orbit correction of the Mir did not take place due to a problem with a format mistake in the received computer data. A very little correction was executed the next day. On this day, 18.12, the cosmonauts tried as much as possible to observe Inspektor visually and by distance measuring equipment. Regularly they reported their findings to TsUP. During the pass in orbit 67581 (1550-1600 UTC) they saw how Inspektor flew lower with the earth in the background. At 151052 UTC the distance between Mir and Inspektor was 760 Meters and at 151403 UTC 885 Meters. After this observation Inspektor 'walked' out of the sight of the porthole.

    Freon leak:

    Already on 18.12 the attention for Inspektor was distracted by a technical problem. Out of the BKV-3 (air conditioner) leaked Freon away. On 19 as well as on 20.12 Solovyov and Vinogradov worked hard on this problem. The work also involved the functioning of other life supporting systems and they also spoke about the 'separation of cooling- and/or heating loops'. Sometimes it was extremely difficult to reach areas in which they had to work. For a long time I did not understand what the real problem was for they did not use the word 'freon' in their conversations. On 20.12 an American consultant at TsUP told David Wolf that there was a freon leak. Wolf knew about it, but he did not know where the freon came from. His countryman at TsUP told him that the leak was in the BKV-3. He also stated that there was no danger to the health of the crew, but he asked David to take an air sample in the area of the BKV-3.

    Progress-M36:

    On 19.12.97 this freighter decayed in the atmosphere over the Pacific. The de-orbit burn was given at 132001 UTC and Progress-M37 'ceased its existence' at 135901 UTC.

    Progress-M37:

    One of the greatest achievements in Russian spaceflight is the fact that launches almost always take place exactly at the announced time. This launch was scheduled for 20.12.97 at 0845 UTC. The Russians again gave an example of their mastership in this field: the launch from Baykonur took place at 08.45.01 UTC! During the 4th and 5th orbit the telemetry and beacon transmitters could be monitored in Western Europe. During the pass in the 5th orbit between 1451 and 1457 UTC the signals were very strong on all frequencies. For my position I had a TCA (Time Closest Approach) at 145240 UTC. At that moment the received frequency was exactly 922.755 mc. On 21.12 the Progress-M37 was still as fit as a fiddle which could be derived from the strong signals during the pass in the 20th orbit with a TCA at 132432 UTC.

    Approach and docking Progress-M37:

    The estimated docking time (1045 UTC) given in MirNEWS.399 was incorrect. This time had to be appr. 20 minutes earlier. I could not give an E-mail with the correction due to a malfunctioning E-mail server of my Internet provider. (A children's complaint after the fusion of 2 Dutch Internet providers.) For a long time the approach could be derived from traffic via Altair-2. This traffic started at 0948 UTC and continued until 2 minutes before the actual docking. Both cosmonauts were active during this by TORU guided operation. Vinogradov played an important role during this remote control and before the final phase of the approach started he thoroughly tested the TORU system.

    During the operation Solovyov reported distances and approach speeds. 2 minutes before the 'touch' they switched over to a television transmission, but there were no images. Possibly the images of the approach had been given via the TORU transmitters. Progress-M37 docked at the aft (Kvant-1 +X-axis) of the complex at 10.22.14 UTC. Progress-M37 delivered the normal supplies, presents and post for the crew and a rubber gasket-ring for the repair of the hatch of the Module-D airlock. The crew had opened the hatches to Progress-M37 earlier than planned. Already during the pass in the next orbit the hatches were open.

    Climate on board: Still far from comfortable. Also due to the problems with BKV-3 (freon leak) and less than 100% performance of the cooling and heating systems the differences in temperature and humidity between the modules of the complex are great. It is too hot in the Base Block and the Kvant-1 and in other compartments its is too cold with a lot of condensation.

    After the docking of Progress-M37 the crew got orders to deploy an air hose from the Central Post in the Base Block to the BO (life compartment of the ship Soyuz-TM26). In the evening of 22.12 the head of flight control in Moscow, Vladimir Alekseyevich Solovyov, spoke with the commander of Mir, Anatoliy Yakovlev Solovyov about 'considerations' resulting in 'proposals' about the plans for the near future.

    Instead of 3 spacewalks (EVA's) V.A. spoke about 2 EVA's, just like had been planned in the beginning: on 5 and 12.01.1998. More time might be needed to be sure of a better preparation for the EVA on 5.1.98, during which the EVA hatch of Module-D has to be repaired. The successful repair of that hatch is a condition for the eventual American-Russian EVA on 12.01.1998. So the EVA for 30.12.1997 will be cancelled. A.Ya. Solovyov agrees, but in his opinion things like this can be better analysed on earth than in space.

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


1998 January 2 - .
  • Mir News 401: MIR-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. In the period after the last MirNEWS the situation on board Mir was far from easy. After the freon leak the A.C. (BKV-3) remained switched off and the dehumidification of Mir's atmosphere was not sufficient. To gather at least 2.5 litres of the normal 4 litres of condensation the condensation regenerator in the Life Compartment of Soyuz-TM26 was activated.

    In cold areas of the complex there is an enormous condensation. This condensation is almost reaching dangerous levels. To obtain sufficient water from condensation the Life Compartment of Soyuz-TM26 had to be cooled down. In this period the Elektrons did not work due to repair work and so Lithium Perchlorate cartridges had to be burnt for oxygen production. The cosmonauts accomplished the repair of the Vozdukh (CO2 scrubber) in the Base Block and as of 2.1.98 this system works and helps a little bit to remove water-vapour to open space.

    There is also a lot of condensation in the cold Progress-M37 and the crew deployed an air-hose to blow cool air from there into the Base Block. In the period between 27 and 30.12.97 Mir remained continuously in full sunlight and the temperatures in the Base Block reached values above 30 dgs C. The cosmonauts did not complain about these inconvenience and David Wolf even stated that he likes high temperatures which give him more energy.

    Failing Main Computer and Movements control system:

    In the night from 1 to 2.01.1998 the SUD (movements control) gave an alarm and the Ts.V.M.-1 switched itself off. The cause was still unclear at deadline of this report. TsUP even thought that a virus played a part in that. After a virus scan TsUP said there had not been a virus. The cosmonauts recently had checked the Ts.V.M.-1 with an anti-virus program of Nov. 97 and they did not find anything. During passes in the morning of 2.1.98 TsUP asked the cosmonauts to suspend all activities and wait for further instructions. TsUP tried to use Telemetry for analysis, but they only got incomprehensible data. The solar batteries do not get the full sunshine and the cosmonauts had to switch the lights out and use electric torches. For today the repair work on the Elektrons has been cancelled.

    Spacewalks (EVA-s):

    The first EVA (Solovyov and Vinogradov) is scheduled for 8.01.98 from 2320 UTC (opening hatch between Scientific and instrument compartment and Airlock of Module-D). This EVA will last appr. 5 hrs 30 mins. If Solovyov and Vinogradov during that EVA accomplished the repair of the hatch of the air-lock the second EVA (Solovyov and Wolf) might take place on 14.01.98 from 2040 UTC (opening hatch of air-lock of module-D.) Duration appr. 2 hrs.

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


1998 January 9 - .
  • Mir News 402: 6th Spacewalk (EVA) crew 24th Main Expedition Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. This EVA started on 8.01.98 at 2308 UTC and ended on 9.01.98 at 0214 UTC. The times were those of the opening and closure of the outer hatch of the airlock of Module-D (Sh.S.O.). The Russians confirmed the duration: 3 hrs 6 mins.(Changes in this duration might be possible for the cosmonauts had in fact to use 2 airlocks i.e. the PNO - Instrument and scientific compartment- and the Sh.S.O.) At the outset it was clear that the plan of work had been changed.

    Radio traffic during the last days revealed that it was difficult for Solovyov and Vinogradov to mend the outer hatch of the Sh.S.O. not knowing what exactly was wrong. They now had orders not to try to repair the hatch, but only to inspect and film the exit port and the hatch. They used the PNO to don and check their spacesuits and as an airlock. Very soon they also opened the hatch between the PNO and the Sh.S.O. It lasted a long time before the Sh.S.O. was depressurised and the outer hatch could be opened.

    Almost immediately Vinogradov discovered what the problem had been: one of the many locks of the hatch door was in a bad shape and , as the Russians use to say : 'vinovat', so guilty! The reparation of this lock can be accomplished without the need for an extra EVA. He also said that only 5 of 10 locks had been used. So probably the hatch has enough reserve locks to secure a safe air-seal.

    Inspection of the packing of the exit port did not reveal anomalies. After this inspection the cosmonauts used one of the Strela cranes to go to the outer surface of the SO (docking compartment at Module-T) from where they dismantled the American optical monitoring experiment OPM for retrieval. They also checked the connections of some antenna's before returning to the airlock.

    David Wolf remained inside the complex and assisted his colleagues, made photo- and video-images and now and then communicated with them or TsUP. Apart from one all Altair-2 windows have been used for phone-communications. Altair-2 was only in use when Mir was not in direct range of Russian tracking stations.

    After the EVA during a session via Altair-2 the crew transmitted video images made by David and the cosmonauts. After the EVA the crew as well as experts on earth were very satisfied about the good results of this operation. The pressure in the meanwhile repressurised and sealed Sh.S.O remained stable at 640 mm mercury until deadline of this report.

    The 7th EVA of Mir's Main Expedition nr. 24:

    The positive results of the 6th EVA mean green light for the EVA by Solovyov and David Wolf in the night from 14 to 15.01.98. Opening hatch: 14.01.98 at 2040 UTC.

    Computer repair:

    The computer failure reported in MirNEWS.401 could be repaired very quickly. The crew used a spare Ts.M.O. (Central Exchange Module) and after installing and testing of this interface in the night from 2 to 3.01.1998 the SUD (movements control system) was restored. The effect of the last computer failure has been less dramatic than usually during recent failures due to a better power supply situation.

    STS-89 (Endeavour):

    On 7.01.1998 NASA confirmed that the launch will take place on 22.01 at 0248 UTC with a docking at Mir on 24.01 at 2012 UTC. Endeavour will separate from Mir on 29.01.98 at 1652 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM27:

    This transport ship with the relief crew (Musabayev and Budarin) and the French (CNES) astronaut Leopold Eyharts start from Baykonur on 29.01.98 at 1633 UTC. Estimated time docking at Mir: 31.01 at 1833 UTC. So for 2 days 3 manned objects will be autonomously orbiting earth with in same inclination: 51.6 dgs: Endeavour, Mir and Soyuz-TM27.

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


1998 January 9 - . 23:08 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-24-6 - . Crew: Solovyov; Vinogradov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.13 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Vinogradov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Recovered equipment; began repairs on leaky Kvant-2 airlock. Examination of airlock indicated cause was loose belt, resulting in 10 mm gap..

1998 January 14 - . 21:12 GMT - .
1998 January 16 - .
  • Mir News 403: 7th Spacewalk (EVA) 24th Main Expedition Mir. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. The EVA took place between 14.01.1998 2112 UTC and 15.01.1998 0104 UTC. (Duration 3 hrs 52 mins.). These times were those of the opening and the closure of the outer hatch (airlock Module-D Sh.S.O. to open space). Solovyov and Wolf had to put on their spacesuits in the P.N.O. (Instrument- and scientific compartment) and to use this compartment for vacuuming. After the previous EVA-s the outer hatch of the airlock Sh.S.O. was still leaking and so S. and W. had to begin the operation in the P.N.O. Two and a half hours before the planned beginning of the EVA they already were in that compartment. When he was in the Sh.S.O. and ready to open the outer hatch Solovyov met problems: unbolting the defective lock of that hatch lasted a longer than expected and at 2112 UTC, so 32 minutes behind schedule, he could open the hatch.

    The problems with the hatch made Flight Control decide to change the working schedule for the operation. The inspection with the American photo-reflectometer was restricted to the outer surface of Module-D (Kvant-2) and that of the Base Block was cancelled. In that way Solovyov got extra time to work on the defective bolting of the outer hatch. Outside they installed a camera for the observation of their activities. The images were transmitted to Vinogradov who was inside the complex to assist and observe his comrades. Vinogradov could see the images on a screen and now and then he downlinked these images via Altair-2. The performance of that camera did not fully come up to the expectations due to some 'communication' problems. Not all went as wished with the spectrometer. The spectrometer had to be installed temporarily at different locations and sometimes it was difficult to do this due to a lack of space between handrails and the surface. Handling the instrument and the reading of data were also very difficult.

    To be honest:

    the main purposes of this EVA were not the experiments with the spectrometer and the camera. The most important was that Wolf made this EVA. The Americans have a great interest that their astronauts gather EVA-routine in space station circumstances. Such routine is valuable during the construction of the International Space Station. Besides: the Russians as well as the Americans indulged Wolf in his desire to make an EVA for he, like his predecessors, was yearning for this adventure.

    All possible windows for communications via the geostationary Altair-2 were utilised and my log of this traffic got the size of a little book. The traffic revealed that Solovyov's task of guide and coach of Wolf was far from easy. Wolf had not much practice in this field and relatively modest training. Solovyov had to keep a sharp watch on Wolf to protect him from mistakes and irresponsible activities. He told Wolf to maintain his concentration: Look out, Do not damage that sensor, Keep your movements under control, If you want to say something - keep it short, and even: 'Dave, keep quiet!' He also got orders not to speak English. Solovyov also urged him only to touch things or to take action when instructed to do so.

    But there was also joy: Vinogradov suggested Wolf to enjoy the sight of the Earth. Wolf told that he saw cities like Cairo, Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean and other beaches, the emirates and Vinogradov told him that they would have a good sight of Baykonur.

    A short time before 0100 UTC on 15.01.98 Wolf and Solovyov had entered the air lock and S. closed the hatch behind him at 0104 UTC. Before doing so S. had thoroughly inspected the hatch and port. He found no anomalies. The rubber packing ring was still in a good shape.

    After closing the hatch S. continued to work on the locks of the hatch. This was a time-consuming activity. When S. had done all what he could they used the P.N.O. for repressurising and taking off the space suits. At 0233 UTC S. closed the hatch between the S.Sh.O. and the P.N.O. For a long time the pressure in the Sh.S.O remained stable. (627 mm).

    In a number of conversations Wolf expressed his satisfaction about the EVA. He stated that 'the person with the least routine' enormously enjoyed the EVA. It surprised him that he felt himself like a fish in the water: he had no orientation problems, all the time he knew where he was and what he was doing. His predecessors sometimes had the impression that they were falling into open space, but David did not have that experience. During these and other conversations Solovyov and Vinogradov also were very positive about this EVA. For Solovyov it was his 16th EVA (and possibly his last one). It will last a long time before somebody else can beat this record.

    Correction on MirNEWS.402:

    The Endeavour (STS-89) will be launched on 23.01 at 0248 UTC (so not on 22.01.98).

    Progress-M37:

    Before the arrival of the Soyuz-TM27 on 31.01.1998 the freighter Progress-M37 will have to free the aft docking port (Kvant-1, +X axis). There are no plans to use Progress-M37 for stunts. A few hours after the separation from Mir Progress-M37 will burn up in the atmosphere.

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


1998 January 23 - . 02:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-89.
  • STS-89 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Wilcutt; Edwards; Reilly; Anderson; Thomas, Andrew; Dunbar; Sharipov. Payload: Endeavour F12 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wilcutt; Edwards; Reilly; Anderson; Thomas, Andrew; Dunbar; Sharipov. Agency: NASA Houston. Manufacturer: Douglas. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24; STS-89; Mir NASA-6. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 8.82 days. Decay Date: 1998-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 25143 . COSPAR: 1998-003A. Apogee: 382 km (237 mi). Perigee: 359 km (223 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Penultimate Shuttle mission to Mir. Andy Thomas replaced David Wolf as the resident NASA astronaut. Endeavour docked with the SO module on Mir at 20:14 GMT on January 24, 1998.

    Payloads included:

    • Orbiter middeck: CEBAS (German/US biological module with fish and snails); dinosaur skull (part of a museum educational program)
    • Bay 1: Tunnel Adapter
    • Bay 3: Orbiter Docking System/External Airlock
    • Bay 4-7: Transfer Tunnel
    • Bay 8-12: Spacehab Double Module (payloads included supplies for Mir, X-ray crystallography detector planned for the International Space Station)
    • Bay 13P: Getaway Special GABA carrier with G-141, G-145 (German materials processing experiments)
    • Bay 13S: Getaway Special GABA carrier with G-093 (University of Michigan fluid dynamics experiment), G-432 (Chinese materials processing experiment)

    Despite fits problems with his Sokol emergency spacesuit, Andy Thomas replaced David Wolf as a Mir crew member on January 25. Endeavour undocked from Mir on January 29 at 16:57 GMT and made one flyaround of the station before departing and landing at Kennedy Space Center's runway 15 at 22:35 GMT on January 31.


1998 January 26 - .
  • Mir News 404: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24; STS-89; Mir NASA-6. During the weekend of 17.01.98 Solovyov and Vinogradov entered the airlock (Sh.S.O.) of the Module-D (Kvant-2) and showed images of the outer hatch and its malfunctioning locks. One of those locks was seriously damaged. The repair of this hatch will be done by the next crew for a special spanner is needed which has to be made on earth and delivered to Mir by that crew. The Russians can work inside the Sh.S.O. not wearing a space suit for the air in the Sh.S.O. is leaking away very slowly. Endeavour (STS-89): During the launch of Endeavour on 23.01 at 0248 UTC the Mir was over Western Europe.

    As the crew was not able to see the launch they slept. Appr. 19 minutes later Endeavour came in range of Western Europa and via the 259.700 mc (AM-W) Terrence Wilcutt could be heard reporting some facts to Houston via a tracking station in Spain. During the periods in which Endeavour and Mir could communicate directly on VHF both objects were out of our range. A short time before the docking images from Mir with the approaching Shuttle could be seen via Altair-2. This was not very much: 2 huge projectors and a few obstacles. In a very short transmission CNN transmitted the same images. (Not much attention by CNN for the Clinton sensation had a higher priority)

    Communications Mir after the docking:

    Via VHF channels a lot of interesting traffic. The docking took place on 24.01.98 at 20.14.15 UTC. Just before the docking there was a short pass for Western Europe (Mir's orbit 68163, 2008-2010 UTC) with an elevation of 1 degree. No traffic on 143.625 or 130.165 mc could be monitored then. During the pass in orbit 68164, 2140-2149 UTC, Solovyov could be heard on those 2 frequencies. He reported that at his side all was ready to open the hatches after airseal checks, equalisation of the pressures with the 'vestibule' of the docking compartment (SO) and the installation of protection caps.

    At the side of the Shuttle these procedures lasted longer and we had to wait until appr. 2225 UTC before we could see how both commanders met each other. During the pass in orbit 68165, 2314-2324 UTC, Solovyov reported that the hatches were open and that the joint crew had been instructed how to escape in case of emergency.

    Working days during the combined flight: Both crews will stick to the Houston working day.

    On 25.01.1998 during Mir's orbit 68179 (2007-2050 UTC) Altair-2 was in use for Mir-TsUP-M traffic. Meanwhile Andy Thomas had relieved David Wolf as a Mir-crew member. Andy belonged to the Mir crew after the installation of his 'seat-liner' in the Soyuz-TM26. That ship serves as a lifeboat in case of emergency and the seat-liner (the Russians speak about 'lozhement') must guarantee a safe landing for him. After a conversation about this seat-liner Mir transmitted video-images. The first images showed a totally disoriented salamander, followed by those of the approaching Endeavour, again the poor salamander and at last the opening of the hatch and capers of a happy David Wolf.

    But.... there was a problem: the spacesuit especially made for Thomas did not fit. He could not get in it and so he tried the suit of David Wolf. Again a problem: the fingers of his gloves were too long, the Americans said 15 centimetre, but in Solovyov's opinion this was not more than 7 centimetres. Solovyov convinced TsUP-M that this was not a problem for it was possible to correct the size of the gloves by the use of special tape (or: ribbons). Nevertheless for some time the Americans considered the possibility to take Andy back to earth this week. After 2 long communication sessions and a visit to Soyuz-TM26 of Terry Wilcutt they gave Andy permission to fulfil his mission on board Mir.

    Soyuz-TM27:

    On 29.01.98, so the day on which Endeavour will undock from Mir, the Soyuz-TM27 will be launched from Baykonur at 1633 UTC. The docking at Mir's aft (Kvant-1 +X ) docking port is planned for 31.01.98 at 1813 UTC. The main crew of Soyuz-TM27 (and the crew for the 25th Main Expedition to Mir) will consist of Talgat Musabayev (commander) and Nikolay Budarin (flight engineer). They will bring CNES guest astronaut Leopold Eyharts to Mir. Eyharts will remain 3 weeks on the Mir and after his stay return to earth together with Solovyov and Vinogradov in the Soyuz-TM26. The relief crew has the call sign: Kristall.

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


1998 January 29 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz TM-27 - . Call Sign: Kristall. Crew: Musabayev; Budarin; Eyharts. Backup Crew: Afanasyev; Treshchev; Haignere. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 76. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin; Eyharts; Afanasyev; Treshchev; Haignere. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-25; Mir Pegase; Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24; STS-89; Mir NASA-6. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 207.53 days. Decay Date: 1998-08-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 25146 . COSPAR: 1998-004A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 363 km (225 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Soyuz TM-27 carried the Mir EO-25 crew and French astronaut Leopold Eyharts. NASA and the Russian Space Agency had hoped Soyuz TM-27 could dock with Mir while Endeavour was still there, resulting in an on-board crew of 13, a record which would have stood for years or decades. But the French vetoed this, saying the commotion and time wasted would ruin Eyharts Pegase experimental programme. Soyuz TM-27 docked at the Kvant module port at 17:54 GMT on January 31, 1998, less than five hours before Endeavour landed in Florida.

    Solovyov handed over command of Mir to EO-25 commander Musabayev, and the Mir EO-24 crew and Eyharts undocked from the forward port of Mir at 05:52 GMT on February 19 aboard the Soyuz TM-26 for their return home. On February 20, the EO-25 crew and Andy Thomas of the NASA-7 mission boarded Soyuz TM-27 and undocked from the Kvant port at 08:48 GMT. They redocked with the forward port on Mir at 09:32 GMT. This freed up the Kvant port for a test redocking of the Progress M-37 cargo ship, parked in a following orbit with Mir during the crew transfer.


1998 January 31 - .
1998 February 1 - .
  • Mir News 405: Mir-ENDEAVOUR - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-25; Mir Pegase; Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24; STS-89; Mir NASA-6. During the combined flight the 'Russian segment' continued to maintain direct communications with TsUP Moscow. During previous flights the Mir-crew regularly used the American communication facilities. Now they used their geostationary sat. Altair-2 more often. In the early beginning of the combined flight there were technical problems on board of Endeavour and for a short period the Mir-complex controlled the attitude of the huge combination. Due to the high fuel consumption the attitude control was given back to the Endeavour. Now and then the Russians discussed the recent problems with the space suit of Andy Thomas. In their opinion a bad co-ordination between American and Russian experts in this field caused a lot of unnecessary fuss.

    Departure Endeavour from Mir:

    After a few days toiling to and fro with supplies and equipment Endeavour separated from Mir on 29.01.1998 at 1656 UTC. Before the separation Altair-2 transmitted images from Mir. These were old video recordings of the Endeavour during the approach on 24.01.1998. A few seconds before the undocking Altair-2 was switched off. Altair-2 transmitted the images of the departure and the fly around of the Shuttle between 1747 and 1827 UTC. A part of these images had been made through a porthole of the Priroda module. During this transmission Solovyov reported a malfunction of a ventilator of the CO2 scrubber Vozdukh.

    Launch Soyuz-TM27:

    At 16.33.52 UTC, so 23 minutes before the undocking of Endeavour Soyuz-TM27 started from Baykonur with on board the crew for the 25th Main Expedition to Mir and the French guest astronaut Leopold Eyharts. Commander is Talgat Musabayev, who is making his 2d spaceflight. Now as a commander, during his first flight he was on board engineer. This time engineer is Nikolay Budarin, who also makes his 2d flight. He started for the first time in a Soyuz-TM-ship as during his first flight he was delivered to Mir by the Shuttle Atlantis (June 1995). The call sign of the new crew is Kristall.

    Progress-M37:

    This freighter had to free the aft docking port (Kvant-1 +X axis) for the Soyuz-TM27 and when it was clear that all went well with that transport ship Progress-M37 separated from Mir on 30.01.1998 at 12.50.30 UTC. Initially there were no plans for a redocking, but as long as the Russians do not make a final decision Progress-M37 will fly autonomously. The advantage of the occupation of the aft docking port by a ship is a better thermo-protection of the docking mechanism of that port and the additional possibility for the crew to get rid off stuff which is no longer needed.

    Flight of the Soyuz-TM27:

    After the launch, which took place 12 seconds behind schedule, all went well. During the pass in the 3d orbit strong transmissions on all frequencies could be monitored over here. Musabayev, Kristall-1, reported that they meanwhile had entered the BO (life compartment). The pressure was 706 mm. (As always there was a lot of interference from the ground services of a nearby airport using the same frequency 121.750 mc in AM-Wide)

    During the next pass Musabayev reported the good performance of the 2nd orbit correction impulse. During the 3rd pass over here he reported that they had resolved a problem with the percentage of CO2 in the air and the so called 'ugli posadki' the angles of re-entry in the atmosphere and the related times if they in case of emergency would be forced to return to earth. Meanwhile Eyharts slept in his sleeping bag in the BO and the Russians continued to work in the SA (landing apparatus). During 30.01.98 the flight went on without problems. An employee of the ground services Rotterdam Airport recognises the language during a Soyuz-TM27 transmission and reacts with a 'dosvidaniya'. This was the first time during all those years in which this phenomenon regularly took place.

    Approach and docking Soyuz-TM27 on 31.01.98:

    This operation was an excellent performance. All went well from the very beginning until contact. Enjoying the benefit of optimum monitoring possibilities I could make this statement. Communications via Altair-2 started at 1724 UTC during Mir's orbit 68271. The approach was going on far ahead of schedule. At 1725 the distance was 7060M, the approach speed 10.5 M/sec. and the deviations around the 3 axes were minimal. At 1732, distance 4300M with appr. speed 10.2 M/sec.

    The operation was executed in the automatic regime with the system Kurs. Musabayev continuously reported details of the operation. He also regularly stated: No emergency instruction. So Kurs worked well and there was no need to take over manually. On 1735 Altair-2 switched over to TV-transmissions and the Mir complex could be seen via a camera in the Soyuz-TM27. At 1750 they again went over to phone with the clear and calm voice of Musabayev. At 17.54.29 UTC the smooth docking took place and immediately both crews reacted with great enthusiasm. Almost always dockings take place a few minutes after disappearance of both objects behind my eastern horizon, so just after the first pass and VHF window for my position.

    This time this VHF window showed up after the docking. After abt. 6 minutes after the docking CNN came with a 'live event' of the docking, so in fact not 'live', but somewhat later. This was also the case with the TV-images of the opening of the hatches and the meeting of the 2 crews. I monitored the voices of the enthusiastic crews while the TV-transmissions on a UHF channel went via a tracking station in Russia, so not via Altair-2. I could monitor a lot of joy. After the mutual greetings and congratulations the deputy head of RKA (the Russian NASA), Ostroumov, addressed himself to the crews with a statement of his chief, Koptev. (Congratulations and appreciation for the successful docking operation) Ostroumov also congratulated Musabayev with the birthday of his daughter.

    Pegasus:

    The mission of Leopold Eyharts is Pegase (Pegasus). This mission ends with the departure on 19.02.1998 of Leopold together with Solovyov and Vinogradov in the Soyuz-TM26. (I sincerely hope that the Soyuz-TM26 will perform during the return operations for during her stay within the Mir-complex the systems of Soyuz-TM26 regularly had to support the Mir-complex.

    Soyuz-TM27:

    After the departure of Soyuz-TM26 the crew of the 25th Main Expedition and Andy Thomas will make an autonomous flight to redock the Soyuz-TM27 to the forward (Transition section, -X axis) docking port, enabling Progress-M37 to redock there.

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


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