Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mir



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Mission Control
TsPUK Mission Control Kaliningrad
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Mir
View of Mir in space.
Credit: NASA
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Mir Cutaway
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Control Center
Manned spaceflight control centre at Korolev
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Control Center
Manned spaceflight control centre
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Interior of Soyuz TM
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress capsule
Progress return capsule. Diagram illustrates separation from Progress during deorbit burn and recovery sequence.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Cutaway of Kvant
Cutaway of Kvant illustrating service module that separated after docking with Mir.
Credit: RKK Energia
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Interior of Soyuz TM
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Mir simulator
Mir simulator at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress
View of the original Progress spacecraft, as displayed in Moscow in 1981.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Kvant / SM Jettison
Picture Kvant showing SM jettison 2
Credit: RKK Energia
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Mir against Horizon
The Mir station seen against the horizon during one of the Shuttle-Mir missions.
Credit: NASA
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Panel Soyuz TM
Control panel of the Soyuz T/TM later version of the space station ferry vehicle..
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz-Mir-Kvant
Soyuz-Mir-Kvant-Soyuz Isometric
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress capsule
View of the Progress 'Raduga' mini-capsule used for recovery of materials from the Mir station.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Mir against Space
The Mir station seen against space during one of the Shuttle-Mir missions.
Credit: NASA
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Soyuz T engine
The Soyuz T introduced a new service module with unitary translation/attitude control thrusters as part of a single bipropellant system with the main pump-fed engine.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Kvant / SM Jettison
Picture Kvant showing SM jettison 1
Credit: RKK Energia
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Unknown capsule
unknown capsule at Energia Museum
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress M
Drawing of the advanced version of the Progress resupply spacecraft used with Mir.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress
Drawing of the initial version of the Progress refuelling spacecraft.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress M
Drawing of the advanced version of the Progress resupply spacecraft used with Mir.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz TM
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Progress M cutaway
Cutaway of Progress T resupply craft.
Credit: RKK Energia
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Soyuz T panel
Soyuz T control panel 5
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz T panel
Soyuz T control panel
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz T panel
Soyuz T control panel 1
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz T panel
Soyuz T control panel 2
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz T panel
Soyuz T control panel 4
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz TM
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz TM
Credit: RKK Energia
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Soyuz T panel
Soyuz T control panel 3
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz T
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Soyuz Descent Module
Credit: © Mark Wade
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SPK MMU
SPK Manned Manoeuvring Unit
Credit: Andy Salmon
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Orlan DM Spacesuit
Orlan DM spacesuit used on Mir.
Credit: Andy Salmon
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Kvant 2 Cutaway
Kvant 2 was the second addition to the Mir core module. The module has is divided into three pressurised compartments: instrumentation/cargo, science instruments and an airlock.
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Kristall Cutaway
Kristall is the third addition to the Mir core vehicle. Kristall is divided into an instrument/cargo and instrument/docking compartment.
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Progress Shroud
Early Progress launches used the Soyuz shroud. Although the launch escape tour was retained to maintain the proven aerodynamics, the escape motors and grid stabilizers on the side of the shroud were deleted.
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Kvant Cutaway
The Kvant module was the first addition to the Mir core. The module is divided into a pressurised laboratory compartment and a non-pressurised equipment compartment. The laboratory compartment is further divided into an instrumentation area and a living area, which are separated by an interior partition.
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Mir Complex Cutaway
Cutaway drawing of the Mir space station.
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.

The design of an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station was authorised as part of the third generation of Soviet space systems in a 17 February 1976 decree. At that time it was planned that the two stations (DOS-7 and DOS-8) would be equipped with two docking ports at either end of the station and an additional two ports at the sides of the forward small diameter compartment. By the time of the draft project in August 1978 this had evolved to the final Mir configuration of one aft port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station. Up to that time it was planned that the ports would provide docking positions for 7 tonne modules derived from the Soyuz spacecraft. These would use the Soyuz propulsion module, as in Soyuz and Progress, but would be equipped with long laboratory modules in place of the descent module and orbital module.

Following the decision to cancel Chelomei's manned Almaz military space station programme, a resolution of February 1979 consolidated the programs, with the docking ports to be reinforced to accommodate 20 tonne space station modules based on Chelomei's TKS manned ferry spacecraft. This order was unpopular with NPO Energia engineers, who felt that often-replaced lower-cost 7 tonne modules were a better technical solution. Nevertheless NPO Energia was made responsible for the overall space station, but subcontracted the work to KB Salyut due to the press of in-house work on Energia, Salyut 7, Soyuz-T, and Progress. The subcontractor began work in the summer of 1979, with drawings being released in 1982-1983. New systems incorporated into the station included the Salyut 5B digital flight control computer and gyrodyne flywheels (taken from Almaz), and the new Kurs automatic rendezvous system, Altair satellite communications system, Elektron oxygen generators, and Vozdukh carbon dioxide scrubbers. Mir was part of the Kosmometriy scientific program, with the objective of measuring the precise distance and characteristics of the earth's surface, ocean, and atmosphere, including spectral characterisation.

By early 1984 all work on Mir ground to a halt as all resources were put on getting the Buran space shuttle into flight test. This changed in the spring 1984 when Glushko was called into the office of the Central Committee's Secretary for Space and Defence and ordered to orbit Mir by the 27th Communist Party Congress in the spring of 1986. By the end of 1984 the static and dynamic test models of the station had been completed. The ground test model of the station was delivered in December 1984. The use of this full-fidelity test article, an approach taken on the Almaz program, was new to the civilian DOS project.

A major problem was that the station ended up one tonne heavier than designed due to the final weight of the electrical cabling Even after removing most of the experimental equipment (it would have to be delivered to the station later by ferry craft) it still exceeded the performance of the Proton booster to the planned 65 degree inclination orbit. The decision was finally taken in January 1985 to use the same 51.6 degree orbit as Salyut, although this would reduce photographic coverage of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile problems with development of the new software for the Salyut 5B computer lead to the decision to launch Mir with the old analogue Argon computer from Salyut DOS-17K. The digital computer would have to be installed later in orbit.

By April 1985 it was clear that the planned processing flow could not be followed and still make the spring 1986 launch date. The decision was taken on Cosmonautics Day (April 12) to ship the flight model to Baikonur and conduct the systems testing and integration there. Mir arrived at the launch site on 6 May 1985. 1100 of 2500 cables required rework based on results of testing of the ground test model at Khrunichev. In October 1985 Mir was rolled outside of its clean room to conduct communications tests of the Altair system with the Cosmos 1700 satellite already in orbit.

The first launch attempt on 16 February 1986 at very low temperatures was scrubbed when the spacecraft communications failed. The second attempt on 20 February was successful. The political deadline had been met.

The early launch of Mir left the planners without Soyuz spacecraft or modules to launch to it. The decision was taken to launch Soyuz T-15 on a unique dual station mission. The Soyuz would first dock with Salyut 7, which was dead in space, and completely repair the station. They then would fly in their Soyuz to Mir, and put it into initial operation. This spectacular mission marked a new maturity in the Soviet space program.

Just as Mir assembly began in earnest, the Soviet Union disintegrated. The military Spektr module was cancelled and no funds were available for completion of the Priroda earth resources module. Vice President Al Gore and Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin signed an agreement for a two-phase International Space Station program at the US-Russian summit in Washington in September 1993. Phase One (1994-96) would involve Shuttle missions to Russia's current Mir station. NASA would pay Russia $100 million annually to keep a 'guest astronaut' on the Mir complex. The money also made it possible for Russia to launch the 'Spektr' and 'Priroda' expansion modules to Mir, with some US experiments onboard. The program was later extended by two more flights in 1998 to help pay for Russia's ISS contributions. In the end, NASA paid the Russians $472 million for nine Shuttle dockings.

Following the end of the US flights, Mir barely continued in operation into the next century. When it became impossible to keep it going by selling visits to foreign customers, it was decided to bring it down in the Pacific Ocean using a specially modified Progress tug. By then it had been in orbit for 15 years. It had been continuously added to, survived crashes with errant spacecraft and space debris, and provided astronauts from many nations with experience in extended space flight. Mir at tis demise consisted of 7 modules with 11.5 tonnes of scientific equipment. It cost $220 to $240 million per year to keep in operation.

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...
  • Ryumin Ryumin, Valeri Viktorovich (1939-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 25, Salyut 6 EO-3, Salyut 6 EO-4, STS-91. Was married to astronaut Yelena Kondakova. 371 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Korolev OKB More...
  • Savinykh Savinykh, Viktor Petrovich (1940-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-6, Salyut 7 EO-4-1a, Mir EP-2. More...
  • Strekalov Strekalov, Gennadi Mikhailovich (1940-2004) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-5, Soyuz T-8, Soyuz T-10-1, Salyut 7 EP-3, Mir EO-7, Mir EO-18. Survived first manned launch pad abort. Flew in space six times. More...
  • Levchenko Levchenko, Anatoli Semyonovich (1941-1988) Ukrainian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir LII-1. Graduated from Chernigov Higher Air Force School, 1964. Buran test pilot; cosmonaut training December 1978 - July 1980. Later a civil test pilot for the Soviet Air Force Ministry. Died of a brain tumor in Moscow. More...
  • Merbold Merbold, Dr Ulf Dietrich (1941-) German physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-42, Mir Euromir 94. More...
  • Lyakhov Lyakhov, Vladimir Afanasyevich (1941-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-3, Salyut 7 EO-2, Mir EP-3. More...
  • Kizim Kizim, Leonid Denisovich (1941-2010) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-5, Salyut 7 EO-3, Mir EO-1. Member of first crew to fly between two space stations during a single mission. 374 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Berezovoi Berezovoi, Anatoli Nikolayevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-1. More...
  • Polyakov Polyakov, Dr Valeri Vladimirovich (1942-) Russian physician cosmonaut. Flew on Mir LD-2, Mir LD-4. Longest single space flight (437 days). 678 cumulative days in space. Civilian Physician, Institute of Medical Biological Problems. More...
  • Akiyama Akiyama, Tohiro (1942-) Japanese journalist cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Kosmoreporter. First Japanese to fly in space. More...
  • Blaha Blaha, John Elmer (1942-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-29, STS-33, STS-43, STS-58, Mir NASA-2. Flew 361 combat missions in Vietnam. More...
  • Lucid Lucid, Dr Shannon Matilda Wells (1943-) American biochemist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-G, STS-34, STS-43, STS-58, Mir NASA-1. Biochemist, first American woman to make a long-duration space station mission. More...
  • Aleksandrov Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Pavlovich (1943-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-2, Soyuz TM-3. More...
  • Thagard Thagard, Dr Norman Earl 'Norm' (1943-) American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-7, STS-51-B, STS-30, STS-42, Mir EO-18. First American to fly aboard a Russian spacecraft. Grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. More...
  • Serebrov Serebrov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1944-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EP-2, Soyuz T-8, Mir EO-5, Mir EO-14. Ten spacewalks. 372 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. More...
  • Romanenko Romanenko, Yuri Viktorovich (1944-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EO-1, Salyut 6 EP-8, Mir LD-1. Father of cosmonaut Roman Romanenko. 430 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Shchukin Shchukin, Alexandr Vladimirovich (1946-1988) Belarusian test pilot cosmonaut, 1980-1988. More...
  • Arzamazov Arzamazov, Dr Gherman Semyonovich (1946-) Russian physician cosmonaut, 1978-1995. Civilian Physician, Institute of Medical Biological Problems. More...
  • Aubakirov Aubakirov, Toktar Ongarbaevich (1946-) Kazakh pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Austromir. First Kazakh astronaut. More...
  • Gibson Gibson, Robert Lee 'Hoot' (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-61-C, STS-27, STS-47, STS-71. Flew combat missions over Vietnam. Was married to astronaut Rhea Seddon. More...
  • Solovyov, Vladimir Solovyov, Vladimir Alekseyevich (1946-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-3, Mir EO-1. Member of first crew to fly between two space stations during a single mission. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO 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...
  • Viktorenko Viktorenko, Aleksandr Stepanovich (1947-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-1, Mir EO-5, Mir EO-11, Mir EO-17. 489 cumulative days in space. Call sign: Vityaz (Knight). More...
  • Solovyov Solovyov, Anatoliy Yakovlevich (1948-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-2, Mir EO-6, Mir EO-12, Mir EO-19, Mir EO-24. 651 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Ross Ross, Jerry Lynn (1948-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-B, STS-27, STS-37, STS-55, STS-74, STS-88, STS-110. Held world record of seven spaceflights. US record of nine spacewalks. More...
  • Volkov, Aleksandr Volkov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1948-) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-4-2, Mir EO-4, Mir EO-10. Father of cosmonaut Sergei Volkov. 391 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Haignere Haignere, Jean-Pierre (1948-) French test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Altair, Mir EO-27. Was married to astronaut Claudie Andre-Deshays. More...
  • Afanasyev Afanasyev, Viktor Mikhailovich (1948-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-8, Mir EO-15, Mir EO-27, ISS EP-2. 555 cumulative days in space. Buran Test Pilot, 1985-1987. Transferred toTsPK, 1987. Call sign: Derbent (Derbent - Russian city) More...
  • Dunbar Dunbar, Dr Bonnie Jeanne (1949-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A, STS-32, STS-50, STS-71, STS-89. Engineer. Was married to astronaut Ronald Sega. More...
  • Apt Apt, Dr Jerome J III 'Jay' (1949-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-37, STS-47, STS-59, STS-79. More...
  • Baturin Baturin, Yuri Mikhailovich (1949-) Jewish-Russian engineer cosmonaut 1997-2009. Flew on Mir EP-4, ISS EP-1. More...
  • Tognini Tognini, Michel Ange-Charles (1949-) French test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Mir Antares, STS-93. Trained for missions under both US and Russian programs. More...
  • Wilcutt Wilcutt, Terrence Wade 'Terry' (1949-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-68, STS-79, STS-89, STS-106. US Marine Corps More...
  • Cameron Cameron, Kenneth Donald (1949-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-37, STS-56, STS-74. US Marine Corps More...
  • Chang-Diaz Chang-Diaz, Dr Franklin Ramon (1950-) Costa Rican-American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-C, STS-34, STS-46, STS-60, STS-75, STS-91, STS-111. Held record of seven spaceflights. More...
  • Manakov Manakov, Gennadi Mikhailovich (1950-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-7, Mir EO-13. Buran Test Pilot, 1985-1987. Transferred to TsPK cosmonaut detachment 1987. Call sign: Vulkan (Volcano). More...
  • Musabayev Musabayev, Talgat Amangeldyevich (1951-) Kazakh pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-16, Mir EO-25, ISS EP-1. Transferred in 1991 Air Force Special Group. Russian Air Force More...
  • Manarov Manarov, Musa Khiramanovich 'Mussachi' (1951-) Lakets-Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-3, Mir EO-8. 541 cumulative days in space. Graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute with an engineering diploma in 1974 Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. Later a Director of Smolsat. More...
  • Ivins Ivins, Marsha Sue (1951-) Jewish-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-32, STS-46, STS-62, STS-81, STS-98. NASA flight engineer. More...
  • Laveykin Laveykin, Aleksandr Ivanovich (1951-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-2. More...
  • Akers Akers, Thomas Dale 'Tom' (1951-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41, STS-49, STS-61, STS-79. More...
  • Faris Faris, Mohammed Ahmed (1951-) Arab-Syrian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-1. First Syrian to fly in space. Graduated from Military Pilot School, Aleppo, 1973. Colonel and pilot in the Syrian Air Force. Specialist in navigation. Returned to duty after his mission. More...
  • McArthur McArthur, William Surles Jr 'Bill' (1951-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-58, STS-74, STS-92, ISS EO-12. US Army. Grew up in Wakulla, North Carolina. More...
  • Schlegel Schlegel, Hans Wilhelm (1951-) German physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-55, STS-122. More...
  • Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Panayotov 'Sasha' (1951-) Bulgarian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-2. Graduated from Air Force Academy, 1974. Candidate of technical sciences degree, 1983. Lieutenant Colonel, Bulgarian Air Force. 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...
  • Readdy Readdy, William Francis 'Bill' (1952-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-42, STS-51, STS-79. More...
  • Godwin Godwin, Dr Linda Maxine (1952-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-37, STS-59, STS-76, STS-108. Physicist. Was married to astronaut Steven Nagel. More...
  • Flade Flade, Klaus-Dietrich (1952-) German engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir 92. More...
  • Clifford Clifford, Michael Richard Uram 'Rich' (1952-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-53, STS-59, STS-76. US Army 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...
  • Sega Sega, Dr Ronald Michael 'Ron' (1952-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-60, STS-76. Was married to astronaut Bonnie Dunbar. More...
  • Korzun Korzun, Valeri Grigoryevich (1953-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-22, ISS EO-5. 381 cumulative days in space. Call sign: Fregat (Frigate). More...
  • Baker Baker, Ellen Louise Shulman (1953-) Jewish-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-34, STS-50, STS-71. Physician. More...
  • Budarin Budarin, Nikolai Mikhailovich (1953-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-19, Mir EO-25, ISS EO-6. Made nine spacewalks totalling 1.93 days. 444 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO More...
  • Balandin Balandin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich (1953-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. Flew on Mir EO-6. Left cosmonaut corps for medical reasons and returned to NPO Energia until departing in 1994. Then President of Lendint-Association until 2000. More...
  • Vinogradov Vinogradov, Pavel Vladimirovich (1953-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-24, ISS EO-13. 380 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energiya NPO. More...
  • Munir Habib, Munir Habib (1953-) Arab-Syrian pilot cosmonaut, 1985-1987. Graduated from Military Pilot School, Aleppo, 1973 Pilot and Lieutenant Colonel, Syrian Air Force. Resumed military service. More...
  • Baker, Mike Baker, Michael Allen 'Mike' (1953-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-43, STS-52, STS-68, STS-81. More...
  • Polishchuk Polishchuk, Aleksandr Fyodorovich (1953-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-13. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO More...
  • Masum Masum, Mohammad Dauran Ghulam (1954-) Afghani pilot cosmonaut, 1988-1988. More...
  • Tsibliyev Tsibliyev, Vasili Vasilyevich (1954-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-14, Mir EO-23. 381 cumulative days in space. Call sign: Sirius (Sirius). More...
  • Reilly Reilly, Dr James Francis II 'JR' (1954-) American geologist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-89, STS-104, STS-117. More...
  • Chilton Chilton, Kevin Patrick 'Chili' (1954-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-49, STS-59, STS-76. More...
  • Linenger Linenger, Dr Jerry Michael (1955-) American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-64, Mir NASA-3. More...
  • Precourt Precourt, Charles Joseph 'Charlie' (1955-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-55, STS-71, STS-84, STS-91. More...
  • Walz Walz, Carl Erwin (1955-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51, STS-65, STS-79, ISS EO-4. More...
  • Mace Mace, Timothy Kristian Charles (1955-) British engineer cosmonaut, 1989-1998. Was married to the daughter of former Soviet Cosmonaut V Zholobov. More...
  • Avdeyev Avdeyev, Sergei Vasilyevich (1956-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-12, Mir EO-20, Mir EO-26/-27. 747 cumulative days in space. Ten spacewalks. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO More...
  • Harbaugh Harbaugh, Gregory Jordan 'Greg' (1956-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-39, STS-54, STS-71, STS-82. More...
  • Kaleri Kaleri, Aleksandr Yuryevich (1956-) Latvian-Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-11, Mir EO-22, Mir EO-28, ISS EO-8, ISS EO-25. 769 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. More...
  • Searfoss Searfoss, Richard Alan 'Rick' (1956-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-58, STS-76, STS-90. More...
  • Harris Harris, Dr Bernard Andrew Jr (1956-) African-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-55, STS-63. First African-American to walk in space. 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...
  • Artsebarsky Artsebarsky, Anatoli Pavlovich (1956-) Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-9. More...
  • Halsell Halsell, James Donald Jr (1956-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-65, STS-74, STS-83, STS-94, STS-101. More...
  • Voss, Janice Voss, Dr Janice Elaine (1956-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-57, STS-63, STS-83, STS-94, STS-99. Engineer. More...
  • Collins, Eileen Collins, Eileen Marie 'Mom' (1956-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-63, STS-84, STS-93, STS-114. US Air Force test pilot, first female shuttle pilot and first female spacecraft commander. More...
  • Ewald Ewald, Dr Reinhold (1956-) German engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir 97. 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...
  • Kondakova Kondakova, Yelena Vladimirovna (1957-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-17, STS-84. Engineer, first Russian woman to fly in space for other than propaganda reasons. Was married to astronaut Valeriy Ryumin. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO More...
  • Eyharts Eyharts, Leopold (1957-) French test pilot cosmonaut, mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Mir Pegase, ISS EO-16-2. More...
  • Gorie Gorie, Dominic Lee Pudwill (1957-) American test pilot astronaut 1995-2010. Flew on STS-91, STS-99, STS-108, STS-123. Flew 38 combat missions over Iraq. More...
  • Andre-Deshays Haignere, Claudie nee Andre-Deshays (1957-) French biologist cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Cassiopee, ISS EP-2. Biologist, first French female astronaut. Was married to astronaut Jean-PIerre Haignere. More...
  • Usachyov Usachyov, Yuri Vladimirovich (1957-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-15, Mir EO-21, STS-101, ISS EO-2. 552 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Lazutkin Lazutkin, Aleksandr Ivanovich (1957-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-23. Civilian Engineer, Energiya NPO. More...
  • Edwards Edwards, Joe Frank Jr (1958-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-89. Grew up in Lineville and Roanoke, Alabama. Flew combat missions over Lebanon in 1983 More...
  • Reiter Reiter, Thomas Arthur (1958-) German test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-20, ISS Astrolab. More...
  • Padalka Padalka, Gennadi Ivanovich (1958-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-26, ISS EO-9, ISS EO-19. 585 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Wisoff Wisoff, Peter Jeffrey Kelsay 'Jeff' (1958-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-57, STS-68, STS-81, STS-92. Was married to astronaut Tammy Jernigan. More...
  • Treshchev Treshchev, Sergey Yevgenyevich (1958-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on ISS EO-5. Civilian Engineer, Energiya NPO More...
  • Krikalyov Krikalyov, Sergei Konstantinovich (1958-) Russian engineer cosmonaut, Energia NPO, 1985-2009. Flew on Mir EO-4, Mir LD-3, STS-60, STS-88, ISS EO-1, ISS EO-11. World record for total duration spent in space (803 days). First Russian to fly aboard an American spacecraft. Flew in space six times. More...
  • Jett Jett, Brent Ward Jr (1958-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-72, STS-81, STS-97, STS-115. More...
  • Grunsfeld Grunsfeld, Dr John Mace (1958-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut 1992-2010. Flew on STS-67, STS-81, STS-103, STS-109, STS-125. More...
  • Clervoy Clervoy, Jean-Francois Andre (1958-) French engineer cosmonaut, mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-66, STS-84, STS-103. More...
  • Mohmand Mohmand, Abdul Ahad 'Abdulah' (1959-) Afghani pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EP-3. First Afghani astronaut. 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...
  • Kavandi Kavandi, Dr Janet Lynn (1959-) American chemist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-91, STS-99, STS-104. Chemist. More...
  • Hadfield Hadfield, Chris Austin (1959-) Canadian test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-74, STS-100. More...
  • Noriega Noriega, Carlos Ismael (1959-) Hispanic-American computer scientist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-84, STS-97. Grew up in Santa Clara, California. More...
  • Anderson Anderson, Michael Phillip (1959-2003) African-American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-89, STS-107. Perished in Columbia shuttle disintegration during re-entry. More...
  • Viehboeck Viehboeck, Franz Artur (1960-) Austrian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Austromir. First Austrian astronaut. More...
  • Stoyanov Stoyanov, Krasimir Mihailov (1961-) Bulgarian pilot cosmonaut, 1987-1988. Graduated from Air Force School Pilot, Bulgarian Air Force. More...
  • Onufrienko Onufrienko, Yuri Ivanovich (1961-) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-21, ISS EO-4. 389 cumulative days in space. After leaving cosmonaut corps in April 2004, assigned as Deputy Chief for the First Administration of RGNII TsPK. Call sign: Skif (Skif - Roman-age tribe). 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...
  • Malenchenko Malenchenko, Yuri Ivanovich (1961-) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-16, STS-106, ISS EO-7, ISS EO-16. Call sign: Agat (Agate). 514 cumulative days in space. More...
  • Gidzenko Gidzenko, Yuri Pavlovich (1962-) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-20, ISS EO-1, ISS EP-3. Call sign: Uran (Uranus). More...
  • Zalyotin Zalyotin, Sergey Viktorovich (1962-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-28, ISS EP-4. More...
  • Dezhurov Dezhurov, Vladimir Nikolayevich (1962-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-18, ISS EO-3. Made nine spacewalks, total time 1.58 days. More...
  • Duque Duque, Pedro Francisco (1963-) Spanish engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-95, ISS Cervantes. First Spanish astronaut. More...
  • Lothaller Lothaller, Clemens (1963-) Austrian engineer cosmonaut, 1989-1991. Doctorate degree from University of Vienna, 1987. One of five Austrian candidates in 1992 ESA selection. Made short list twice, but not selected in 1992 and 1998. Later had his own medical practice. More...
  • Sharman Sharman, Helen Patricia 'Lenochka' (1963-) British engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Juno. Chemist. First British astronaut. First non-American, non-Soviet female astronaut. More...
  • Lu Lu, Dr Edward Tsang (1963-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-84, STS-106, ISS EO-7. More...
  • Bella Bella, Ivan (1964-) Slovak pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Stefanik. First Slovak astronaut. More...
  • Sharipov Sharipov, Saliszan Shakirovich (1964-) Tatar-Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on STS-89, ISS EO-10. First Uzbek astronaut. SU Air Force. More...
  • Kikuchi Kikuchi, Ryoko (1964-) Japanese journalist cosmonaut, 1989-1990. Graduated from the University of Tokyo in Chinese language Journalist, Tokyo Broadcasting Corporation. Reporter for world news with TBS, reporting from Moscow and then again from Tokyo. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Progress Russian logistics spacecraft. 43 launches, 1978.01.20 (Progress 1) to 1990.05.06 (Progress 42). Progress took the basic Soyuz 7K-T manned ferry designed for the Salyut space station and modified it for unmanned space station resupply. More...
  • Soyuz T Russian manned spacecraft. 18 launches, 1978.04.04 (Cosmos 1001) to 1986.03.13 (Soyuz T-15). Soyuz T had a long gestation, beginning as the Soyuz VI military orbital complex Soyuz in 1967. More...
  • Spacelab American manned space station module. 20 launches, 1983.11.28 (Spacelab 1) to 1998.04.17 (Neurolab). More...
  • Discovery American manned spaceplane. 39 launches, 1984.08.30 to 2011.02.24. More...
  • Atlantis American manned spaceplane. 33 launches, 1985.10.03 to 2011.07.08. The space shuttle Atlantis was the fourth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, and the last of the original production run. More...
  • Mir Russian manned space station. One launch, 1986.02.20. Improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station with one aft docking port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station. More...
  • Soyuz TM Russian manned spacecraft. 34 launches, 1986.05.21 (Soyuz TM-1) to 2002.04.25 (Soyuz TM-34). More...
  • Kvant Russian manned space station. One launch, 1987.03.31 (Kvant 1). The Kvant spacecraft represented the first use of a new kind of Soviet space station module, designated 37K. More...
  • Progress M Russian logistics spacecraft. Operational, first launch 1989.08.23 (Progress M-1). Progress M was an upgraded version of the original Progress. New service module and rendezvous and docking systems were adopted from Soyuz T. More...
  • Kvant-2 Russian manned space station. One launch, 1989.11.26, Kvant 2. Kvant-2 was a utility module launched to the Mir station. It provided an airlock, additional electric power, and additional gyrodynes for orienting the station. More...
  • Kristall Russian manned space station. One launch, 1990.05.31. Kristal was a dedicated zero-gravity materials and biological science research module for the Mir space station, launched in January 1990 More...
  • Mak Russian earth atmosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1991.06.17 (Mak 1) and 1992.10.27 (Mak 2). Launched from Mir airlock. Investigation of features at the Earth's atmosphere. More...
  • Endeavour American manned spaceplane. 25 launches, 1992.05.07 to 2011.05.16. Built as a replacement after the loss of the Challenger; named after the first ship commanded by James Cook. More...
  • Znamya Russian . One launch, 1992.10.27. Reflector mirror, deployed from Progress M-15 after separation from Mir space station. More...
  • Spacehab American manned space station module. 14 launches, 1993.06.21 (Spacehab SH-01) to 1999.05.27 (Spacehab-DM). Founded by Bob Citron in 1982, Spacehab Inc. was the only entrepreneurial company to successfully develop a commercial manned spaceflight module. More...
  • GFZ-1 German earth geodetic satellite. 2 launches, 1995.04.19 (GFZ-1) and 1998.07.10 (WESTPAC). GFZ-1 was a geodetic satellite designed to improve the current knowledge of the Earth's gravity field. More...
  • Spektr Russian manned space station. One launch, 1995.05.20. Spektr was a module of the Mir space station. It began life as a dedicated military research unit. More...
  • Mir-Shuttle Docking Module Russian manned space station. One launch, 1995.11.12. A specialized SO docking module was originally designed for docking the Buran space shuttle with the Mir-2 space station. More...
  • Priroda Russian manned space station. One launch, 1996.04.23. Priroda was the last Mir module launched. It was originally an all-Soviet remote sensing module for combined civilian and military surveillance of the earth. More...
  • Inspector German logistics spacecraft. One launch, 1997.10.05, X-Mir Inspector. Robotic spacecraft designed for free flight and camera inspection of the exterior of the Space Shuttle or International Space Station. More...
  • Progress M1 Russian logistics spacecraft. 11 launches, 2000.02.01 (Progress M1-1) to 2004.01.29 (Progress M1-11). Progress M1 was a modified version of the Progress M resupply spacecraft capable of delivering more propellant than the basic model to the ISS or Mir. More...

See also
Associated Flights
  • Mir EO-1 Crew: Kizim, Solovyov Vladimir. First spacecraft to fly between two space stations. Epic repair mission. Crew first docked with new Mir station. After six weeks commissioning, flew to dead Salyut 7, returned it to life, recovered experiments.Returned to Mir before returning to earth. Backup crew: Aleksandrov, Viktorenko. More...
  • Mir LD-1 Crew: Romanenko. Record flight duration. Romanenko began his record mission aboard Mir as part of EO-2 crew with Laveykin. Laveykin returned to earth aboard Soyuz TM-3 after concerns developed about his health, leaving Romanenko aboard with EO-3. Backup crew: Titov Vladimir. More...
  • Mir EO-2 Crew: Laveykin. Laveykin returned to earth aboard Soyuz TM-3 after concerns developed about his health. Backup crew: Serebrov. More...
  • Mir EP-1 Crew: Faris, Viktorenko. First Syrian astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Munir, Solovyov. More...
  • Soyuz TM-3 Crew: Aleksandrov. Aleksandrov replaced the ailing EO-2 crew member Laveykin and remained aboard Mir with Romanenko. Backup crew: Savinykh. More...
  • Mir LII-1 Crew: Levchenko. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Levchenko was a prospective Buran pilot sent on the short mission to familiarise himself with spaceflight. Backup crew: Shchukin. More...
  • Mir EO-3 Crew: Manarov, Titov Vladimir. Record flight duration. Revised software installed as a result of the Soyuz TM-5 abort overloaded the TM-6 computer; first landing aborted. Backup software program used and TM-6 landed successfully. Backup crew: Kaleri, Volkov Aleksandr. More...
  • Mir EP-2 Crew: Aleksandrov Aleksandr, Savinykh, Solovyov. First successful space station flight of Bulgarian cosmonaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Lyakhov, Serebrov, Stoyanov. More...
  • Mir EP-3 Crew: Lyakhov, Mohmand. First Afghani astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Berezovoi, Masum. More...
  • Mir LD-2 Crew: Polyakov. Physician; remained aboard Mir to monitor the EO-3 crew to the end of their record year-long mission and the EO-4 crew for the first months of their mission. Backup crew: Arzamazov. More...
  • Mir EO-4 Crew: Krikalyov, Volkov Aleksandr. Mission curtailed when delays in launching the Kvant-2 and Kristall modules to Mir led to the decision to leave the station uninhabited until the add-on modules were ready. Backup crew: Serebrov, Viktorenko. More...
  • Mir Aragatz Crew: Chretien. French mission to Mir; record duration for a non-Soviet aboard one of their space stations; first French spacewalk. TM-6 computer first landing aborted. Backup software program used and TM-6 landed successfully. Backup crew: Tognini. More...
  • Soyuz TM-8A Crew: Afanasyev, Sevastyanov, Stankiavicius. Planned flight to ensure continuous occupation cancelled due to budget cutbacks and delay in launching Kvant 2 and Kristall modules. More...
  • Mir EO-5 Crew: Serebrov, Viktorenko. Attached the new Kvant-2 module to the station; conducted five spacewalks; tested the Soviet UMK manned maneuvering unit. Backup crew: Balandin, Solovyov. More...
  • Mir EO-6 Crew: Balandin, Solovyov. Attached the Kristall module to the station and conducted repairs to their Soyuz TM-9 return spacecraft and Kvant-2 airlock. Backup crew: Manakov, Strekalov. More...
  • Mir EO-7 Crew: Manakov, Strekalov. Carried out a relatively modest programme of geophysical and astrophysical research, biological and biotechnological experiments, and work on space-materials science. Backup crew: Afanasyev, Manarov. More...
  • Mir Kosmoreporter Crew: Akiyama. First Japanese astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Kikuchi. More...
  • Mir EO-8 Crew: Afanasyev, Manarov. The Mir Expedition EO-8 crew of V M Afanasyev, M Kh Manarov was transported to the Mir orbital station by Soyuz TM-11, together with T Akiyama (Japan) for the purpose of carrying out joint work with the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov. The launch was funded jointly with the private Japanese company TBS. The Japanese television network ended up paying $ 28 million for the first commercial flight to Mir to put Akiyama, the first journalist in space aboard Soyuz TM-11. Akiyama returned to earth on Soyuz TM-10 with the Mir EO-7 crew after a week in space. Backup crew: Artsebarsky, Krikalyov. More...
  • Mir Juno Crew: Sharman. First British astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Mace. More...
  • Mir LD-3 Crew: Krikalyov. 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. Backup crew: Kaleri. More...
  • Mir EO-9 Crew: Artsebarsky. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-09. Backup crew: Volkov Aleksandr. More...
  • Soyuz TM-13A Crew: Kaleri, Viehboeck, Volkov Aleksandr. Soyuz TM-13 and TM-14 crews were reshuffled extensively due to commercial considerations and necessity of flying a Kazakh cosmonaut. This was the original crew assignment. Kaleri and Avdeyev were replaced by Kazakh researchers in the final crew. Backup crew: Avdeyev, Lothaller, Viktorenko. More...
  • Mir Austromir Crew: Aubakirov, Viehboeck. First Austrian astronaut. First Kazakh astronaut. Swap of Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Lothaller, Musabayev. More...
  • Mir EO-10 Crew: Volkov Aleksandr. Only Russian EO crewmember left after a paying British passenger was found and political necessity of flying a Kazakh cosmonaut. EO-9 crew Krikalyov stayed aboard as other E-10 crewmember. Backup crew: Viktorenko. More...
  • Soyuz TM-14A Crew: Aubakirov, Avdeyev, Viktorenko. Soyuz TM-13 and TM-14 crews were reshuffled extensively due to commercial seat bookings by Austria and Germany and the necessity of flying a Kazakh-born cosmonaut as part of the Baikonur rental agreement. Backup crew: Musabayev, Polishchuk, Solovyov. More...
  • Soyuz Buran Support Crew: Bachurin, Ivanchenkov. Planned Soyuz flight to Mir. Main purpose was to provide spaceflight experience to Bachurin and Borodai, who had been selected as back-up crew of the first manned Buran flight. Cancelled in cut-backs after fall of the Soviet Union. Backup crew: Borodai, Balandin. More...
  • Soyuz TM-14B Crew: Korzun, Aleksandrov, Aubakirov. Soyuz TM-13 and TM-14 crews were reshuffled extensively due to commercial seat bookings by Austria and Germany and the necessity of flying a Kazakh-born cosmonaut as part of the Baikonur rental agreement. Backup crew: Tsibliyev, Laveykin, Musabayev. More...
  • Mir EO-11 Crew: Kaleri, Viktorenko. Mir Expedition EO-11. Joint flight with Germany. Docked at the Kvant rear port at 12:33 GMT on March 19. The Soyuz TM-14 crew, Aleksandr Viktorenko and Aleksandr Kaleri, returned to Earth together with French astronaut Michel Tognini. The Soyuz TM-14 undocked from Mir at 21:47 GMT on Aug 9, and landed in Kazakhstan at 01:07 GMT on August 10. Backup crew: Avdeyev, Solovyov. More...
  • Mir 92 Crew: Flade. German 'Mir 92' flight to the Russian space station. Swapped Soyuz lifeboats at station. Backup crew: Ewald. More...
  • Mir Antares Crew: Tognini. French astronaut; primary mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats at station. Backup crew: Haignere. More...
  • Mir EO-12 Crew: Avdeyev, Solovyov. Mir Expedition EO-12. Russian astronauts Solovyov and Avdeev and French astronaut Tognini were inserted into an initial 190 x 200 km orbit inclined 51.6 deg. Later on July 27 they maneuvered to a 223 x 343 km orbit, and on July 28 docked with Mir in its 405 x 410 km orbit. Aleksandr Solovyov and Sergey Avdeev undocked from the Mir complex aboard Soyuz TM-15 on February 1 and landed the same day in Kazakhstan after six months in space at 03:58 GMT. Soyuz TM-15's flight was an in-orbit record for a Soyuz spaceship - 188 days 21 h 39 m. Backup crew: Manakov, Polishchuk. More...
  • Mir EO-13 Crew: Manakov, Polishchuk. Soyuz carried the APAS androgynous docking system instead of the usual probe system. Backup crew: Usachyov, Tsibliyev. More...
  • Mir Altair Crew: Haignere. French astronaut; primary mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats at station. Backup crew: Andre-Deshays. More...
  • Mir EO-14 Crew: Serebrov, Tsibliyev. Mir Expedition EO-14. Carried Vasili Tsibliyev, Alexander Serebrov, Jean-Pierre Haignere to Mir; returned Serebrov, Tsibliyev to Earth. Progress M-18 undocked from Mir's front port at around 17:25 GMT on July 3, and Soyuz TM-17 docked at the same port only 20 minutes later at 17:45 GMT. The EO-14 crew landed at 08:18 GMT on Jan 14 in the Soyuz TM-17 spaceship. The EO-14 expedition lasted 196 days 18hr 45 m, the 7th longest spaceflight. Backup crew: Afanasyev, Usachyov. More...
  • Mir LD-4 Crew: Polyakov. Polyakov set a manned spaceflight record by spending over a year aboard Mir, during which he was part of three Mir crews (EO-15, EO-16, and EO-17). Backup crew: Arzamazov. More...
  • Mir EO-15 Crew: Afanasyev, Usachyov. Mir Expedition EO-15. Docked at the Kvant module on January 10 at 11:15 GMT. Transported to the Mir orbital station of a crew comprising the cosmonauts V M Afanasev, Y V Usachev, and V V Polyakov for the fifteenth main expedition. The Soyuz TM-18 descent module landed 110 km north of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at 10:32:35 GMT on July 9. Backup crew: Malenchenko, Musabayev. More...
  • Mir EO-16 Crew: Malenchenko, Musabayev. Mir Expedition EO-16. Soyuz TM-19 docked at the rear port of the Kvant module (vacated by Progress M-23 on July 2) at 13:55:01 GMT on July 3. Soyuz TM-19 undocked from Mir at 07:29 GMT on November 4. The Soyuz instrument module (PAO, priborno-agregatniy otsek) fired its deorbit engine, and was jettisoned together with the orbital module (BO, bitovoy otsek) at 10:51 GMT, with entry interface for the descent module (SA, spuskaemiy apparat) at 10:54. It landed 170 km north-east of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 1994 November 4 at 11:18 GMT. Backup crew: Viktorenko, Kondakova. More...
  • Mir EO-17 Crew: Kondakova, Viktorenko. Mir Expedition EO-17. Docked at the Mir forward port at 00:28 on 1994 October 6. The Mir crew of Viktorenko, Kondakova and Polyakov boarded Soyuz TM-20 on January 11, and undocked from Mir's front port at 09:00 GMT. The spacecraft withdrew to about two hundred metres from Mir and then redocked in a test of the automatic Kurs system, which had failed in Progress M-24's attempted docking. Redocking came at 09:25 GMT. Soyuz TM-20 landed 22 km northeast of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at 04:04 GMT on March 22, 1995. Backup crew: Gidzenko, Avdeyev. More...
  • Mir Euromir 94 Crew: Merbold. German astronaut. Primary mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Duque. More...
  • Buran 5 Crew: Volk, Tolboyev. Cancelled Buran Flight 5 (3K1) would have been the first flight of the third orbiter. It would be the first manned Buran flight; the third orbiter was the first outfitted with life support systems and ejection seats. Backup crew: Zabolotski, Sultanov. More...
  • STS-63 Crew: Collins Eileen, Foale, Harris, Titov Vladimir, Voss Janice, Wetherbee. First African-American to walk in space. First female shuttle pilot. First rendezvous of a shuttle with the Mir space station. Deployed ODERACS 2A-2E; deployed and retrieved Spartan 204. Backup crew: Krikalyov. More...
  • Mir EO-18 Crew: Dezhurov, Strekalov, Thagard. First American to fly aboard a Russian spacecraft. Backup crew: Solovyov, Budarin, Dunbar. More...
  • STS-71 Crew: Baker, Dunbar, Gibson, Harbaugh, Precourt. First docking of a US spacecraft with the Mir space station. More...
  • Mir EO-19 Crew: Budarin, Solovyov. First Russian crew delivered to Mir space station aboard the space shuttle. Backup crew: Onufrienko, Usachyov. More...
  • Mir EO-20 Crew: Avdeyev, Gidzenko, Reiter. First ESA astronaut on long-duration Mir crew. Backup crew: Manakov, Vinogradov, Fuglesang. More...
  • STS-74 Crew: Cameron, Hadfield, Halsell, McArthur, Ross. Docked with Mir space station. Delivered the Russian-built 316GK Shuttle-Mir docking module to Mir. More...
  • Mir EO-21 Crew: Onufrienko, Usachyov. Mir Expedition EO-21. Soyuz TM-23 docked with Mir at 14:20:35 on February 23. The spacecraft undocked on September 2 at 04:20 GMT, and made a small seperation burn at 04:24:40 GMT. Deorbit was at 06:47:20 GMT . The three modules separated at 07:14:36 and the parachute deployed at 07:26 GMT. The landing was at 07:41:40 GMT, 100 km SW of Akmola in Kazakstan with Yuri Onufrienko, Yuriy Usachyov and Claudie Andre-Deshays. This concluded the French 'Cassiopee' mission. Backup crew: Lazutkin, Tsibliyev. More...
  • STS-76 Crew: Chilton, Clifford, Godwin, Searfoss, Sega. Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. First American EVA on Mir space station. More...
  • Mir NASA-1 Crew: Lucid. First American aboard Mir for extended stay. Backup crew: Blaha. More...
  • Mir EO-22 Crew: Kaleri, Korzun. Mir Expedition EO-22. Valeriy Korzun and Aleksandr Kaleri of the Russian Space Agency (RKA) Claudie Andre-Deshays of the French space agency CNES. This launch was the first of the Soyuz-U booster with a crew aboard following two launch failures of on unmanned flights. More...
  • Mir Cassiopee Crew: Andre-Deshays. French astronaut. Primary mission swap of Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Eyharts. More...
  • STS-79 Crew: Akers, Apt, Readdy, Walz, Wilcutt. Carried Spacehab Double Module, containing supplies for the Mir. More...
  • Mir NASA-2 Crew: Blaha. Blaha relieved Lucid as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Linenger. More...
  • STS-81 Crew: Baker Mike, Grunsfeld, Ivins, Jett, Wisoff. Transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from Mir. More...
  • Mir NASA-3 Crew: Linenger. Linenger relieved Blaha as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Foale. More...
  • Mir EO-23 Crew: Lazutkin, Tsibliyev. Mission was an endless series of collisions, breakdowns, fires, and other emergencies. Backup crew: Musabayev, Budarin. More...
  • Mir 97 Crew: Ewald. ESA German astronaut. Primary mission swap of Soyuz lifeboats. Backup crew: Schlegel. More...
  • Mir NASA-4 Crew: Foale. Foale relieved Linenger as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Voss. More...
  • STS-84 Crew: Clervoy, Collins Eileen, Kondakova, Lu, Noriega, Precourt. Delivered to Mir and returned to earth 2500 kg of payload. More...
  • Mir EO-24 Crew: Solovyov, Vinogradov. Soyuz docked manually. Over the next six months the crew undertook seven internal and external spacewalks to repair the crippled space station. Backup crew: Padalka, Avdeyev. More...
  • Mir NASA-5 Crew: Wolf. Wolf relieved Foale as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Thomas Andrew. More...
  • 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...
  • Mir NASA-6 Crew: Thomas Andrew. Thomas relieved Wolf as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Voss. More...
  • Mir Pegase Crew: Eyharts. French astronaut; primary mission swap of Soyuz lifeboats. Record 13 persons in space at same time. Backup crew: Haignere. More...
  • Mir EO-25 Crew: Budarin, Musabayev. 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. Backup crew: Afanasyev, Treshchev. More...
  • STS-91 Crew: Chang-Diaz, Gorie, Kavandi, Lawrence, Precourt, Ryumin. First shuttle flight with super light-weight external tank. Final shuttle-Mir mission. Recovered NASA astronaut Andy Thomas from Mir and took Russian space chief Valeri Ryumin to Mir for an inspection tour. More...
  • Mir EP-4 Crew: Baturin. Member of Russian President's office. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Kotov. More...
  • Mir EO-26/-27 Crew: Avdeyev. As only one final Soyuz mission to Mir was planned, with two of the seats on that Soyuz pre-sold to Slovak and French experimenters, Avdeyev had to stay aboard for two extended crew missions. Backup crew: Kaleri. More...
  • Mir EO-26 Crew: Padalka. As only one final Soyuz mission to Mir was planned, with two of the seats on that Soyuz pre-sold to Slovak and French experimenters, Padalka returned to earth without Avdeyev, who had to stay aboard for two extended crew missions. Backup crew: Zalyotin. More...
  • Mir EO-27 Crew: Afanasyev, Haignere. Afansyev was the only Russian cosmonaut aboard, since two crew seats had been sold to Slovakia and France. Avdeyev, already aboard Mir, would stay as Afanasyev's crewmate. Backup crew: Sharipov, Andre-Deshays. More...
  • Mir Stefanik Crew: Bella. First Slovak astronaut. Mission to swap Soyuz lifeboats docked to station. Backup crew: Fuller. More...
  • Mir EO-28 Crew: Kaleri, Zalyotin. The crew reactivated Mir and, using Progress M1-1 and M1-2, resupplied the station and raised the orbit to 360 x 378 km. Backup crew: Sharipov, Vinogradov. More...
  • ISS EO-1 Crew: Gidzenko, Krikalyov, Shepherd. First ISS resident crew. Backup crew: Bowersox, Dezhurov, Tyurin. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton-K Russian orbital launch vehicle. Development of a three-stage version of the UR-500 was authorised in the decree of 3 August 1964. Decrees of 12 October and 11 November 1964 authorised development of the Almaz manned military space station and the manned circumlunar spacecraft LK-1 as payloads for the UR-500K. Remarkably, due to continuing failures, the 8K82K did not satisfactorily complete its state trials until its 61st launch (Salyut 6 / serial number 29501 / 29 September 1977). Thereafter it reached a level of launch reliability comparable to that of other world launch vehicles. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511U Russian standardised man-rated orbital launch vehicle derived from the original R-7 ICBM of 1957. It has been launched in greater numbers than any orbital launch vehicle in history. Not coincidentally, it has been the most reliable as well. After over 40 years service in Russia, ESA built a new launch pad at Kourou which will keep it in service from three launch sites in three countries well into the mid-21st Century. More...
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511U2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Soyuz 11A511U2 used synthetic kerosene ('Sintin') in first stage for launch of premium reconnaisance satellite and manned payloads requiring just a bit more payload than the standard 11A511 could offer. Further use of the 11A511U2 abandoned in 1996 due to Sintin production stoppage. Later Soyuz spacecraft launched on standard Soyuz, with reduced payload and rendezvous with Mir in lower orbit accepted. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...
  • DASA German agency. Deutsche Aerospace AG, Bremen, Germany. More...
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...
  • UNKS Russian agency. Directorate of the Commander of Space Assets, Russia. More...
  • VKS Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Military Space Force, Russia. More...
  • RAKA Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos), Moscow, Russia. More...
  • Bremen German manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. OHB System GmbH, Germany. More...
  • GFZ German manufacturer of spacecraft. Geoforschungszentrum, Potsdam, Germany. More...
  • Douglas American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Mir Chronology


1978 August - .
  • Mir draft project completed - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Spacecraft: Mir. By this time Mir had evolved to the final configuration of one aft port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station. It was planned that the ports would provide docking positions for 7 tonne modules derived from the Soyuz spacecraft. These would use the Soyuz propulsion module, as in Soyuz and Progress, but would be equipped with long laboratory modules in place of the descent module and orbital module.

1982 - During the year - .
  • Mir drawing release - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Drawings for the Mir space station are released during the course of 1982 and 1983 and construction of the spacecraft and its systems are begun..

1984 Spring - .
  • Glushko ordered to launch Mir by March 1986 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko. Program: Mir. Spacecraft: Mir. By early 1984 work on Mir ground to a halt as all resources were put on getting the Buran space shuttle into flight test. This changed in the spring 1984 when Glushko was called into the office of the Central Committee's Secretary for Space and Defence and ordered to orbit Mir by the 27th Communist Party Congress in the spring of 1986.

1985 May 6 - .
  • Mir space station delivered to Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: 1100 of 2500 cables required rework based on results of testing of the ground test model at Khrunichev..

1985 October - .
  • Mir free-air communications tests. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Mir was rolled outside of its clean room to conduct communications tests of the Altair system with the Cosmos 1700 satellite already in orbit..

1986 February 16 - .
  • First attempt to launch Mir. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: The first launch attempt at very low temperatures was scrubbed when the spacecraft communications failed..

1986 February 19 - . 21:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 337-01.
  • Mir - . Payload: Mir s/n 127-01. Mass: 20,100 kg (44,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Mir . Decay Date: 2001-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 16609 . COSPAR: 1986-017A. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 387 km (240 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. The core module of Russia's new space station was placed in an initial orbit of 172 x 301 km. It was established in its operational orbit on 6 March. It passed just 10 km from Salyut 7 on 8 March. First use of the geosynchronous Luch relay sattelite for communications with the station was on 29 March. Equipment launched with the core module included:

    • Splav-2 crystal growth facility
    • Zona zone melt facility
    • Kashtan electrophoresis unit
    • Bulgarian Rozhen photometer
    • Spektr-256 and MKS-M spectrometers
    • Pion-M multipurpose physics unit (41 kg)
    • Biryuza semiconductor materials unit
    • -Ruchei electrophoresis installation
    • Yantar metal coating equipment
    • Mariye magnetic spectrometer
    • Korund furnace (136 kg)

    Total costs of Mir from February 1986 through return of Soyuz TM-9 in April 1989 were given as 1.471 billion rubles. This sum ncluded Mir, Kvant, all Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, and 2 new modules. As of April 1989 50% of the scientific equipment was inoperable and the interior was cramped due to lack of extension modules. Electric power supply problems were first reported in April 1989 (batteries would not hold charge from panels). Mass 27,300 kg as of January 1990. Complex mass with Kvant-2 65,790 kg; with Kristall, Soyuz TM, and Progress M, 89,990 kg. Additional Details: here....


1986 March 13 - . 12:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 012.
  • Soyuz T-15 - . Call Sign: Mayak (Beacon ). Crew: Kizim; Solovyov, Vladimir. Backup Crew: Aleksandrov; Viktorenko. Payload: Soyuz T 11F732 s/n 21L. Mass: 7,020 kg (15,470 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kizim; Solovyov, Vladimir; Aleksandrov; Viktorenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-1. Spacecraft: Soyuz T. Duration: 125.00 days. Decay Date: 1986-07-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 16643 . COSPAR: 1986-022A. Apogee: 366 km (227 mi). Perigee: 331 km (205 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.50 min. Mir Main Expedition EO-01. Epic repair mission. The crew, consisting of ship's commander L D Kizim and flight engineer V A Solovyov first docked with the Mir orbital station to conduct scientific and technical studies and experiments. Mir then maneuvered 17 April to match Salyut 7's orbit at 4000 km separation, then again on 4 May to catch up. After six weeks aboard Mir, Soyuz T-15 undocked on 5 May, then rendezvoused and manually docked with the inoperative Salyut 7 station. This was the only flight in history by a single spacecraft between two space stations. The Salyut-7 station was found to be ice bound and without electrical power. The crew repaired the station, regaining power, heat, and environmental control. The also removed experimental results left behind by last crew. Soyuz T-15 undocked Salyut 7 on 25 June, and redocked with Mir on 26 June, delivering 400 kg of scientific material from Salyut 7, including a multichannel spectrometer. Following further work aboard Mir, the crew landed on July 16, 1986 at 12:34 GMT. No crew ever revisited Salyut 7; it made an uncontrolled reentry over Argentina.

1986 March 19 - . 10:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 25 - . Payload: Progress s/n 134. Mass: 7,270 kg (16,020 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 32.61 days. Completed Operations Date: 1986-04-21 00:48:05 . Decay Date: 1986-04-21 00:48:05 . USAF Sat Cat: 16645 . COSPAR: 1986-023A. Apogee: 251 km (155 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned supply vessel transporting sundry cargoes to the Mir orbital station. Docked with Mir on 21 Mar 1986 11:16:02 GMT. Undocked on 20 Apr 1986 19:24:08 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 21 Apr 1986 00:48:30 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.27 days. Total docked time 30.34 days.

1986 April 23 - . 19:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 26 - . Payload: Progress s/n 136. Mass: 7,250 kg (15,980 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 60.83 days. Completed Operations Date: 1986-06-23 15:40:56 . Decay Date: 1986-06-23 15:40:56 . USAF Sat Cat: 16687 . COSPAR: 1986-032A. Apogee: 257 km (159 mi). Perigee: 184 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Unmanned supply vessel to Mir. Rendezvoused with Mir on 25 April, but problem with Mir's radio communication system delays docking until the next day. Docked with Mir on 26 Apr 1986 21:26:06 GMT. Undocked on 22 Jun 1986 18:25:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 Jun 1986 15:41:01 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.96 days. Total docked time 56.87 days.

1986 May 21 - . 08:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-1 - . Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 51. Mass: 7,070 kg (15,580 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-1. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 8.93 days. Decay Date: 1986-05-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 16722 . COSPAR: 1986-035A. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi). Perigee: 192 km (119 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Test of new Soyuz vehicle. Recovered May 30, 1986 6:49 GMT. Unmanned test of Soyuz TM. Docked with Mir May 23 1987. Undocked 29 May.
    Officially: Comprehensive experimental testing of spacecraft in independent flight and jointly with the Mir orbital station.

1986 May 28 - . 05:43 GMT - .
1986 May 31 - . 04:57 GMT - .
1986 July 16 - .
1987 January 16 - . 06:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 27 - . Payload: Progress s/n 135. Mass: 7,230 kg (15,930 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 40.42 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-02-26 07:04:37 . Decay Date: 1987-02-26 07:04:37 . USAF Sat Cat: 17299 . COSPAR: 1987-005A. Apogee: 263 km (163 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Unmanned supply vessel to Mir; raised Mir's orbit. Transported sundry cargoes to the Mir orbital station. Docked with Salyut 7 on 18 Jan 1987 07:26:50 GMT. Undocked on 23 Feb 1987 11:29:01 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 25 Feb 1987 16:05:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.25 days. Total docked time 36.17 days.

1987 February 5 - . 21:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-2 - . Call Sign: Taimyr (Taimyr - Russian peninsula). Crew: Laveykin; Romanenko. Backup Crew: Serebrov; Titov, Vladimir. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 52. Mass: 7,100 kg (15,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Laveykin; Romanenko; Serebrov; Titov, Vladimir. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 174.14 days. Decay Date: 1987-07-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 17482 . COSPAR: 1987-013A. Apogee: 365 km (226 mi). Perigee: 341 km (211 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.60 min. Summary: Mir Expedition EO-02. Docked with Mir 7 February 1987. Carried Yuri Romanenko, Aleksander Laveykin to Mir; returned Laveykin, crew of Soyuz TM-3 to Earth..

1987 March 3 - . 11:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 28 - . Payload: Progress s/n 137. Mass: 7,246 kg (15,974 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 24.69 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-03-28 03:48:55 . Decay Date: 1987-03-28 03:48:55 . USAF Sat Cat: 17564 . COSPAR: 1987-023A. Apogee: 254 km (157 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Unmanned supply vessel to Mir. Orbit of station at time of rendezvous was 344 X 369 km, 51. 62 deg. Docked with Mir on 5 Mar 1987 12:42:36 GMT. Undocked on 26 Mar 1987 05:06:48 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 28 Mar 1987 03:49:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.01 days. Total docked time 20.68 days.

1987 March 31 - . 00:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 336-02.
  • Kvant 1 - . Payload: 37KE s/n 010 / 77KE s/n 16601. Mass: 20,000 kg (44,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Kvant. Duration: 2,586.99 days. Decay Date: 2001-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 17845 . COSPAR: 1987-030A. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 385 km (239 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. MIR module; high energy observatory. Docked with Mir. Rendezvous with Mir 5 April; soft dock 9 April; EVA on 11 April to remove fabric strip from docking apparatus and hard dock; jettisoned service module on 12 April at 22:18

    Maneuver Summary:
    168 km X 278 km orbit to 172 km X 300 km orbit. Delta V: 7 m/s
    169 km X 296 km orbit to 172 km X 314 km orbit. Delta V: 5 m/s
    170 km X 313 km orbit to 297 km X 345 km orbit. Delta V: 46 m/s
    298 km X 344 km orbit to 345 km X 364 km orbit. Delta V: 18 m/s
    Service Module only, after undocking with Mir:
    345 km X 364 km orbit to 341 km X 363 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
    340 km X 361 km orbit to 383 km X 406 km orbit. Delta V: 24 m/s
    Total Delta V: 101 m/s
    Officially: Extra-atmospheric astronomic research and resolution of a number of problems with scientific and economic applications.
  • FSB - . Payload: FSB No. 16601. Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Kvant. Decay Date: 1988-08-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 17851 . COSPAR: 1987-030C. Apogee: 404 km (251 mi). Perigee: 380 km (230 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min.

1987 April 11 - . 19:41 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-2-1 - . Crew: Romanenko; Laveykin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.15 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Romanenko; Laveykin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Removed bag from docking unit that interfered with Kvant docking..

1987 April 21 - . 15:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 29 - . Payload: Progress s/n 127. Mass: 7,100 kg (15,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 19.72 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-05-11 08:27:43 . Decay Date: 1987-05-11 08:27:43 . USAF Sat Cat: 17878 . COSPAR: 1987-034A. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned supply vessel to Mir. Deorbited May 11, 1987. Docked with Mir at 343 X 363 1705 23 April at rear port of Kvant. Undocked May 11 03:10. Deorbited28 May 02:59 .
    Officially: Transporting sundry cargoes to the Mir orbital station. Docked with Salyut 7 on 23 Apr 1987 17:04:51 GMT. Undocked on 11 May 1987 03:10:01 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 11 May 1987 08:28:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 17.42 days.

1987 May 19 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 30 - . Payload: Progress s/n 128. Mass: 7,249 kg (15,981 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 61.07 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-07-19 05:41:50 . Decay Date: 1987-07-19 05:41:50 . USAF Sat Cat: 17999 . COSPAR: 1987-044A. Apogee: 365 km (226 mi). Perigee: 341 km (211 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.60 min. Unmanned supply vessel to Mir. Rendezvoused with Mir/Kvant in its orbit of 343 X 366 km, 51. 6 deg. Docked with the station on 21 May 1987 05:50:38 GMT. Undocked on 19 Jul 1987 00:19:51 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 19 Jul 1987 05:42:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 58.77 days.

1987 June 12 - . 16:55 GMT - .
1987 June 16 - . 15:30 GMT - .
1987 July 22 - . 01:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-3 - . Call Sign: Vityaz (Knight ). Crew: Aleksandrov; Faris; Viktorenko. Backup Crew: Munir; Savinykh; Solovyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 53. Mass: 7,100 kg (15,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Aleksandrov; Faris; Viktorenko; Munir; Savinykh; Solovyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz TM-3; Mir EP-1; Mir EO-2; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 160.30 days. Decay Date: 1987-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 18222 . COSPAR: 1987-063A. Apogee: 353 km (219 mi). Perigee: 297 km (184 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Manned three crew. Transported to the Mir orbital space station a Soviet-Syrian crew comprising cosmonauts A S Viktorenko, A P Aleksandrov and M A Faris to conduct joint research and experiments with cosmonauts Y Romanenko and A Laveykin. Maneuvered from initial 231 X 217 km orbit to Mir's 311 X 359 km orbit. Docked with rear Mir port at 3:30 GMT 24 July. Undocked with rear port 30 July and docked to forward port.

1987 July 30 - .
1987 August 3 - . 20:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 31 - . Payload: Progress s/n 138. Mass: 7,212 kg (15,899 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz TM-3; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 50.18 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-09-24 01:01:49 . Decay Date: 1987-09-24 01:01:49 . USAF Sat Cat: 18283 . COSPAR: 1987-066A. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Rendezvous transfer orbits 187 X 250 km, 51. 64 deg; 266 X 314 km; 309 X 360 km. Docked with Mir on 5 Aug 1987 22:27:35 GMT. Refueled Mir propellants tanks on 15/16 Sept. Undocked on 21 Sep 1987 23:57:41 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 Sep 1987 01:02:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.12 days. Total docked time 47.06 days.

1987 September 23 - . 23:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 32 - . Payload: Progress s/n 139. Mass: 7,035 kg (15,509 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz TM-3; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 55.98 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-11-19 23:19:51 . Decay Date: 1987-11-19 23:19:51 . USAF Sat Cat: 18376 . COSPAR: 1987-082A. Apogee: 355 km (220 mi). Perigee: 295 km (183 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Delivered 850 kg propellants, 315 kg food, 2,000 kg total. Docked with Mir on 26 Sep 1987 01:08:15 GMT. Undocked on 10 Nov 1987 04:09:10 GMT. Redocked from 2,500 m on 10 Nov 1987 05:47 GMT. Undocked again 17 Nov 1998 19:25 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 19 Nov 1987 00:58:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.17 days. Total docked time 52.82 days.

1987 November 20 - . 23:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 33 - . Payload: Progress s/n 140. Mass: 6,895 kg (15,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz TM-3; Mir LD-1. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 28.58 days. Completed Operations Date: 1987-12-20 13:36:48 . Decay Date: 1987-12-20 13:36:48 . USAF Sat Cat: 18568 . COSPAR: 1987-094A. Apogee: 343 km (213 mi). Perigee: 326 km (202 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Space station orbit at rendezvous was 326 km x 343 km. Docked on 23 Nov 1987 01:39:13 GMT. Undocked on 19 Dec 1987 08:15:46 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 19 Dec 1987 13:37:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 26.28 days.

1987 December 21 - . 11:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
1987 December 29 - .
1988 January 20 - . 22:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 34 - . Payload: Progress s/n 142. Mass: 7,078 kg (15,604 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 43.36 days. Completed Operations Date: 1988-03-05 07:29:36 . Decay Date: 1988-03-05 07:29:36 . USAF Sat Cat: 18795 . COSPAR: 1988-003A. Apogee: 347 km (215 mi). Perigee: 329 km (204 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.30 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked on 23 Jan 1988 00:09:09 GMT. Undocked on 4 Mar 1988 03:40:09 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 4 Mar 1988 07:29:30 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.21 days. Total docked time 41.15 days..

1988 February 26 - . 09:00 GMT - .
1988 March 23 - . 21:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 35 - . Payload: Progress s/n 143. Mass: 7,037 kg (15,513 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 42.41 days. Completed Operations Date: 1988-05-06 06:56:07 . Decay Date: 1988-05-06 06:56:07 . USAF Sat Cat: 18992 . COSPAR: 1988-024A. Apogee: 262 km (162 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked on 25 Mar 1988 22:21:35 GMT. Undocked on 5 May 1988 01:36:03 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 5 May 1988 06:56:19 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.28 days. Total docked time 40.14 days..

1988 May 10 - .
  • Mir News 032: Oncoming operations - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-3. During the last weeks of April 1988 it was obvious that there had been some changes in the time schedule for the important operations planned for the end of May and during the month June. On 22 April using the engines of the Progress-35 (then still attached to the Kvant module) the whole complex shifted to a little bit higher orbit. Thus they changed the schedule for meetings (rendezvous ) in the near future, i.e. the Progress-35 and the Soyuz-TM5.

    Previously the meeting with Progress-36 had been planned for approx. 23 May and the arrival of the Soviet-Bulgarian mission by Soyuz-TM5 would originally occur towards the end of June. The preparations for the undocking and destruction of Progress-35 took place according to the original plans. During the last days of April the transfer of the last fuel from that s/c to the base block and the stowing away in Progress-35 of all which they wished to throw away or had to get rid of badly.

    The report of the conclusion of those activities came from Manarov on May 4th during orbit 12693 from 1015-26 UTC. He reported the closing of the hatches and the unlocking of the safety locks against spontaneous undocking. So from this moment on ground control was free to undock the s/c and to put it on the destruction trajectory into the atmosphere. This had been done on May 5th and the Progress-36 burnt away over a silent part of one of the Oceans far outside our window.

    Meanwhile other sources revealed that Progress-36 was on Baykonur ready for launch within a few days. As always the normal question: When? The launch-window for a successful flight to Mir is a small one. I did not need to try to find the answer with difficult calculations as the answer came from Manarov himself. In a conversation with TsUP on 8 May, during orbit 12757 from 1152-1202 UTC, the exact date was of the planned docking of Progress-36 with Mir was mentioned.

    Manarov got orders for certain activities on 14 May and he made objections as this would be "docking day" and after the docking they possibly will be sleeping. Using the updated program for Mir predictions I found that the pass in which the docking operation will be in its final stage will be one with for us a negative elevation: orb. 12848, 0137-0141 UTC with highest elevation -1 degree. I suppose the docking will take place appr. 0149 UTC.

    So the only possibility to be sure about the conclusion of the docking operation will be monitoring the next pass, during orbit 12846, from 0308-18 UTC, which I certainly will do. After the docking of Progress-36 to the docking port of Kvant they will have to do something to get that port free for the arrival of Soyuz-TM5 on June the 9th. They can try to finish operations (unloading, loading and destruction) with Progress-36 as soon as possible or put it to one of the side ports in the transition section, as the axial port of this section is still occupied by Soyuz-TM4. We will wait and hear!

    So June the 7th the launch of the Soyuz-TM5 with captain Anatoliy Solovyov, the mechanic Viktor Savinykh and their Bulgarian guest Aleksandr Aleksandrov. The stand-in crew consists of: captain Vladimir Lyakhov, mechanic Andrey Zaytsev, and the Bulgarian Krasimir Stoyanov. They just started their final training in Baykonur.

    There is more news: a lot of interesting events recently: problems with stinking water on board Mir and extra observations of the sand drifts from the Sahara to the north. They also spoke about the damage to the glass of portholes caused by micro meteorites for instance appr. 1 May 1988. These minuscule damages are being registered by a device with the abbreviation T.I.G.R. This makes it possible to send TV-images , photo's and halograms to the experts on Earth.

    (The abbreviation stands for Television- Interference- Halographic-Registrator ) During a long conversation with -possibly- a scientific journalist in TsUP he gave a lecture about that device during the pass in orbit 12709 on May the 5th.

    Greetings, and for radio amateurs, 73-s, Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1988 May 13 - .
  • Mir News 033: Progress-36 launched to Mir. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-3. Based on a report by TsUP to Manarov I expected the launch of Progress-36 in the early morning hours of 12 May ( UTC). This launch did not take place, as there happened to be a postponement of 24 hrs. Why they had to postpone the launch is not known yet and whether it has something to do with the problems with Kosmos-1900, I do not know either. But for sure: Progress-36 is on its way as from 13 May approx. 0030 UTC). Tomorrow, 14 May the cosmonauts have a day off and the planned docking will take place on 15 May 1988.I expect that the docking operation will be in its final phase during the window in orbit 12861 0158-0206UT, azimuth from 178 through 144 to 85 degrees, with max. elevation at 0202 UTC. Possibly the docking itself will take place outside our window at approx. 0214 UTC. During the next orbit 12863 from 0331-0341 UTC the final result of the operation can be checked.

    The plans for the launch of Soyuz-TM5 with 2 Russians and 1 Bulgarian are still unchanged: June the 7th 1988.

    Greetings, and radio amateurs: 73-s,

    Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/ A-UK:3202.


1988 May 13 - . 00:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 36 - . Payload: Progress s/n 144. Mass: 7,077 kg (15,602 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 23.87 days. Completed Operations Date: 1988-06-05 21:18:15 . Decay Date: 1988-06-05 21:18:15 . USAF Sat Cat: 19117 . COSPAR: 1988-038A. Apogee: 246 km (152 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Rendezvous transfer orbits 185x246 km, 51. 66 deg; 223x334 km; 331x357 km. Docked with Mir on 15 May 1988 02:13:26 GMT. Undocked on 5 Jun 1988 11:11:55 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 5 Jun 1988 21:18:40 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.49 days. Total docked time 21.37 days.

1988 May 15 - .
  • Mir News 034: Progress-36 docked to Mir at 1213 UTC - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-3. The execution of the docking operation 1 day later was very favourably for our geographical position as the "approach pass" now fully fell within our "radio window". If this operation had been performed yesterday monitoring of that essential pass would have been impossible! Now I again enjoyed the well known schedule, so the first pass of the 24 hrs sequence and after Loss of signal 7 or 8 minutes before docking. So now it was worthwhile to sacrifice a few hours sleep.

    During the pass in orbit 12861 the transmitter worked (from 0154-0206 UTC) and now Titov reported the attitude changes and the fuel consumption to TsUP . For instance at 0202 UTC: Omega Ypsylon 2/10 Z 1/100 Fuel consumption 73.4, heading 06 Pitch 05. TsUP asked something about the horizon and Manarov told them 1.1. and 2.5. At 0203 UTC Titov reported that the Ypsylon gradually increased and he supposed that this meant a revolution (turning of Progress-36) TsUP confirmed this it "turned" and "returned" . As during previous dockings the Telemetry transmitter on 166.125mc did not work. After passing the horizon it Lasted another 7 minutes before the docking was completed (in my previous report I estimated this to be approx. 0214 UTC, so a nice result for this humble SWL) Again I missed the enthusiasm of their predecessors. During the flight of Romanenko the passes after dockings were joyful happenings. During the next pass they just had switched on their transmitter but did not say a word. The report about the "locks" (against spontaneous undocking) came in the pass in orbit 12863 from 0506-0516 UTC. The fact that. they received letters, papers and photographs was mentioned in a contact with a control ship from 0817--0826 UTC. During the last passes they had conversations with their relatives (with duplex TV). Gradually the windows will occur during night hours and so we will have to wait for a more active period when the first windows shift to the evening hours. That is necessary as on 7 June we wilt have to monitor launch and flight of Soyuz-TM with 3 men on board!

    Greetings and radio amateurs, 73-s,

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


1988 June 6 - .
  • Mir News 035: Progress-56 undocked on June 5. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-3. PROGRESS-56: This cargo ship was separated from the Mir station and destroyed. It was expected that this would happen before the launch of Soyuz-TM5, estimated for tomorrow. During the last operation there have been, deviations from schedules used before. Normally the period between the undockng of a freighter and the next launch is longer. During the radio conversation with TsUP during the pass in orbit 13202/13203 from 1849-1854 UTC they spoke about the departure of the Progress-36. Titov reported that they had been able to observe it until the attitude change of the station. Now this was difficult and they had to look for a suitable porthole. Manarov explained that they were positioned on one side. A few minutes later they saw the Progress-36. Titov said that it looked like Venus, even somewhat clearer. At 1853 UTC Manarov made a photograph of the freighter. He did this on a request of TsUP and used a computer for aiming the camera. At 195220 UTC he entered the command via the "display" and made the shot at 1853 UTC sharp. It was a pity that the sky was overcast over here during the periods that the 2 objects were passing. This must have been so the next pass just before the start of the Progress-36 engine at 2028 UTC to reduce its speed for decay in the atmosphere. which followed a few minutes later. Undoubtedly Moscow will speak about 6 June as for Moscow time it was already 6 June., for UTC still 5 June. A few days ago -probably with the use of the Progress engine- they changed altitude. (Somewhat higher, but enough to corrupt all prediction programs). A manoeuvre necessary for a good ballistic configuration for the rendezvous soon to follow.

    SOYUZ-TM5: The last preparations are in progress now on Baykonur . If all goes well the take off will be on 7 June 1988 at 1405 UTC (1805Msc Time) The independent flight will last 2 days and my own calculation (so might deviate much or somewhat) tells me that the docking might take place on 9 June at 1538 UTC. While editing this story the commission did not yet appoint the crew which will fly. Yesterday they all were in good health and so probably the Soyuz will be flown by Solovyov, Savinykh and the Bulgarian Aleksandrov: if not so Lyakhov, Zaytsev and the Bulgarian will have to postpone terrestrial activities for 10 days. During the flight of Soyuz-TM5 there will be radio traffic on 121.750 Mc, (FM) so several ground services on West European airfields can expect funny sounds during there wok. During a previous occasion. Titov reacted on radio traffic of the Airport Rotterdam. (Until now they do not believe that!) After docking with Mir (Kvant port )the main channel for radio traffic will be 143.625 mc again. In Bulgaria there is a lot of enthusiasm and the Observatory of Stara Zagora will act as a sub control station.

    Greetings and radio amateurs 73-s,

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


1988 June 7 - . 14:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-5 - . Call Sign: Rodnik (Spring - water spring). Crew: Aleksandrov, Aleksandr; Savinykh; Solovyov. Backup Crew: Lyakhov; Serebrov; Stoyanov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 55. Mass: 7,000 kg (15,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Aleksandrov, Aleksandr; Savinykh; Solovyov; Lyakhov; Serebrov; Stoyanov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EP-2; Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 91.45 days. Decay Date: 1988-09-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 19204 . COSPAR: 1988-048A. Apogee: 216 km (134 mi). Perigee: 196 km (121 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Transported to the Mir orbital station a Soviet/Bulgarian crew comprising cosmonauts A Y Solovyev, V P Savinykh and A P Aleksandrov (Bulgaria) to conduct joint research and experiments with cosmonauts V G Titov and M K Manarov. Interim orbit 343 x 282 km. Maneuvered to Mir's 355 x 349 km orbit. Docked 15:57 GMT 9 June to Mir's aft port. Moved to forward port 18 June.

1988 June 17 - .
1988 June 30 - . 05:33 GMT - .
1988 July 18 - . 21:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 37 - . Payload: Progress s/n 145. Mass: 7,065 kg (15,575 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 24.69 days. Completed Operations Date: 1988-08-13 13:45:31 . Decay Date: 1988-08-13 13:45:31 . USAF Sat Cat: 19322 . COSPAR: 1988-061A. Apogee: 256 km (159 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Rendezvous transfer orbits 187x256 km, 51. 62 deg; 235 x 319 km; 343 x 347 km. Docked with Mir on 20 Jul 1988 22:33:40 GMT. Refuelling operations on 7,8, and 9 August 1998. Undocked on 12 Aug 1988 08:31:54 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 12 Aug 1988 13:45:40 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.27 days. Total docked time 22.42 days.

1988 August 29 - . 04:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-6 - . Call Sign: Proton (Proton ). Crew: Lyakhov; Mohmand; Polyakov. Backup Crew: Arzamazov; Berezovoi; Masum. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 56. Mass: 7,070 kg (15,580 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Lyakhov; Mohmand; Polyakov; Arzamazov; Berezovoi; Masum. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EP-3; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 114.23 days. Decay Date: 1988-12-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 19443 . COSPAR: 1988-075A. Apogee: 228 km (141 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Transported to the Mir orbital station a Soviet-Afghan crew comprising the cosmonauts V A Lyakhov, V V Polyakov and A A Momand (Afghanistan) to conduct joint research and experiments with the cosmonauts V G Titov and M K Manarov. Returned Manarov, Titov (Soyuz TM-4), Chretien (Soyuz TM-7) to Earth. Initial orbit 195 X 228 km at 51. 57 deg. Maneuvered to a 235 x 259 km orbit, then docked with Mir at 05:41 GMT on 31 August at its 339 x 366 km orbit. Moved from aft to forward port 8 Sept 88.

1988 September 7 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-5 - . Return Crew: Lyakhov; Mohmand. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Lyakhov; Mohmand. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EP-3; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Undocked 22:55 GMT 5 September. Jettisoned Orbital Module 23:35 GMT 5 September. Planned landing 02:15 September 6 1988 failed due to confusion of infrared horizon sensors. Repeat retrofire attempt one orbit later resulted in a partial burn only. The crew had to spend a tense 24 hours in the cramped Descent Module (the Orbital Module having already been jettisoned before the retrofire burn) before making last chance deorbit. Finally Lyakhov and Afghani cosmonaut Mohmand (Soyuz TM-6) returned safely to Earth and landed September 7, 1988 00:50 GMT, 160 km SE Dzhezkazgan.

1988 September 9 - . 23:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 38 - . Payload: Progress s/n 146. Mass: 7,027 kg (15,491 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 74.81 days. Completed Operations Date: 1988-11-24 19:07:18 . Decay Date: 1988-11-24 19:07:18 . USAF Sat Cat: 19486 . COSPAR: 1988-083A. Apogee: 248 km (154 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. During launch first test of Buran ejection seat was made during ascent to orbit. The K-36M.11F35 seat was installed in an 'experimental droppable compartment' installed in place of the Launch Escape Tower engine on top of the shroud. Rendezvous orbits 186 X 246 km, 51. 63 deg; 234 X 332 km, 337 X 363 km. Docked with Mir on 12 Sep 1988 01:22:28 GMT. Delivered 2,000 kg supplies including 300 kg of food. Refuelled Mir. Undocked on 23 Nov 1988 12:12:46 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 Nov 1988 19:06:58 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.36 days. Total docked time 72.45 days.

1988 October 20 - . 05:59 GMT - .
1988 November 26 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-7 - . Call Sign: Donbass (Donbass - River Don basin). Crew: Chretien; Krikalyov; Volkov, Aleksandr. Backup Crew: Serebrov; Tognini; Viktorenko. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 57. Mass: 7,000 kg (15,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chretien; Krikalyov; Volkov, Aleksandr; Serebrov; Tognini; Viktorenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir Aragatz; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 151.47 days. Decay Date: 1989-04-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 19660 . COSPAR: 1988-104A. Apogee: 235 km (146 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Mir Expedition EO-04. Carried Alexander Volkov, Sergei Krikalev, Jean-Loup Chretien to Mir; returned Volkov, Krikalev to Earth. Initial Orbit: 194 X 235 km. Thereafter maneuvered to rendezvous orbit 256 X 291 km before docking with Mir in 337 X 369 km at 17:16 GMT 28 November.

1988 December 9 - . 09:57 GMT - .
1988 December 21 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-6 - . Return Crew: Chretien; Manarov; Titov, Vladimir. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chretien; Manarov; Titov, Vladimir. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir Aragatz; Mir LD-2; Mir EO-3. Soyuz TM-6 landed at 09:57 GMT with the crew of Chretien, Manarov and Titov Vladimir aboard. Undocked from Mir 21 December 1989 at 03:33 GMTwith the crew of Chretien, Manarov and Titov Vladimir aboard. Revised software installed as a result of TM-5 abort overloaded computer. Landing planned for 06:48 aborted. Backup program used. Orbital Module retained through retrofire. Landed December 21, 1988 09:57 GMT, 180 km SE of Dzhezkazgan.

1988 December 25 - . 04:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 39 - . Payload: Progress s/n 147. Mass: 7,015 kg (15,465 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir LD-2. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 44.40 days. Completed Operations Date: 1989-02-07 13:49:23 . Decay Date: 1989-02-07 13:49:23 . USAF Sat Cat: 19728 . COSPAR: 1988-114A. Apogee: 238 km (147 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Made second test of Buran ejection seat during ascent to orbit. The K-36M.11F35 seat was installed in an 'experimental droppable compartment' installed in place of the Launch Escape Tower engine on top of the shroud. Rendezvous orbits 187 X 237 km, 51.63 deg; 236 X 338 km; 325 X 353 km at Mir. Delivered 1,300 kg cargo. Docked with Mir on 27 Dec 1988 05:35:10 GMT. Undocked on 7 Feb 1989 06:45:34 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 7 Feb 1989 13:49:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.35 days. Total docked time 42.05 days.

1989 February 10 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 40 - . Payload: Progress s/n 148. Mass: 7,022 kg (15,480 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir LD-2. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 22.71 days. Completed Operations Date: 1989-03-05 01:59:08 . Decay Date: 1989-03-05 01:59:08 . USAF Sat Cat: 19783 . COSPAR: 1989-008A. Apogee: 244 km (151 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Conducted third test of Buran ejection seat during ascent to orbit. The K-36M.11F35 seat was installed in an 'experimental droppable compartment' installed in place of the Launch Escape Tower engine on top of the shroud. Docked with Mir on 12 Feb 1989 10:29:38 GMT. Undocked on 3 Mar 1989 01:45:52 GMT. Unfurled experimental space mirror petal structure on undocking. Destroyed in reentry on 5 Mar 1989 01:59:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.08 days. Total docked time 18.64 days.

1989 March 16 - . 18:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress 41 - . Payload: Progress s/n 149. Mass: 6,995 kg (15,421 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-4; Mir LD-2. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 39.72 days. Completed Operations Date: 1989-04-25 12:11:45 . Decay Date: 1989-04-25 12:11:45 . USAF Sat Cat: 19895 . COSPAR: 1989-023A. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Conducted fourth test of Buran ejection seat during ascent to orbit. The K-36M.11F35 seat was installed in an 'experimental droppable compartment' installed in place of the Launch Escape Tower engine on top of the shroud. Delivered Bulgarian Spektr 256 spectrometer, power supplies for failed equipment. Docked with Mir on 18 Mar 1989 20:50:46 GMT. Between April 9 and 17 boosted Mir into a 373 X 416 km storage orbit after the decision was made to delay remanning the station. However these maneuvers resulted in the spacecraft running out of fuel. Undocked on 21 Apr 1989 01:46:15 GMT. Destroyed in uncontrolled decay of orbit on 25 Apr 1989 12:12:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 6.52 days. Total docked time 33.21 days.

1989 April - .
1989 April 27 - .
1989 August 23 - . 03:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-037.
  • Progress M-1 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 201. Mass: 7,270 kg (16,020 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 100.34 days. Completed Operations Date: 1989-12-01 11:21:28 . Decay Date: 1989-12-01 11:21:28 . USAF Sat Cat: 20191 . COSPAR: 1989-066A. Apogee: 217 km (134 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Unmanned supply vehicle to Mir; first flight of new vehicle design. Tested on-board systems under different conditions and delivered expendable materials and sundry cargo to the Mir manned space station. Docked with Mir on 25 Aug 1989 05:19:02 GMT. Undocked on 1 Dec 1989 09:02:23 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 1 Dec 1989 11:21:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.19 days. Total docked time 98.16 days.

1989 September 5 - . 21:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-8 - . Call Sign: Vityaz (Knight ). Crew: Serebrov; Viktorenko. Backup Crew: Balandin; Solovyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 58. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Serebrov; Viktorenko; Balandin; Solovyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 166.29 days. Decay Date: 1990-02-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 20218 . COSPAR: 1989-071A. Apogee: 392 km (243 mi). Perigee: 390 km (240 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Manned two crew. Mir Expedition EO-05. Docked with Mir 8 September. Transported to the Mir orbital station a team consisting of A S Viktorenko, commander of the spacecraft, and A A Serebrov, on-board engineer, to carry out scientific and technological research and experiments. Flight cost 80 million rubles. Expected return 25 million rubles net profit.

1989 November 26 - . 13:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 354-01.
  • Kvant 2 - . Payload: 77KSD s/n 17101. Mass: 19,565 kg (43,133 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Kvant-2. Duration: 1,615.45 days. Decay Date: 2001-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 20335 . COSPAR: 1989-093A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 388 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Mir expansion module. Scheduled docking 2 December delayed due to failure of solar panel to extend and failure of automatic rendezvous system. Faults corrected by ground control and docked with Mir December 6, 1989 at 12:21 GMT. Transferred to lateral port December 8.
    Officially: Delivery to the Mir orbital station of additional equipment and apparatus for the purpose of expanding the research and experiments conducted in the interests of science and the national economy.

1989 December 20 - . 03:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-039?.
  • Progress M-2 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 202. Mass: 7,300 kg (16,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 51.18 days. Completed Operations Date: 1990-02-09 07:56:10 . Decay Date: 1990-02-09 07:56:10 . USAF Sat Cat: 20373 . COSPAR: 1989-099A. Apogee: 392 km (243 mi). Perigee: 390 km (240 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir; carried US microgravity payload. Delivered various cargoes to the Mir orbital station, including scientific apparatus produced in the United States of America and intended, pursuant to a commercial agreement, for the conduct of experiments on space biotechnology. Docked with Mir on 22 Dec 1989 05:41:21 GMT. Undocked on 9 Feb 1990 02:33:07 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 9 Feb 1990 07:56:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.31 days. Total docked time 48.87 days.

1990 January 8 - . 20:23 GMT - .
1990 January 11 - . 18:01 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-5-2 - . Crew: Viktorenko; Serebrov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.12 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Viktorenko; Serebrov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Retrieved and installed material samples.

1990 January 26 - . 12:09 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-5-3 - . Crew: Viktorenko; Serebrov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.13 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Viktorenko; Serebrov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Tested spacesuit. Examined exterior of Kvant 2..

1990 February 1 - . 08:15 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-5-4 - . Crew: Viktorenko; Serebrov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.21 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Viktorenko; Serebrov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Serebrov tested SPK manoeuvring unit..

1990 February 5 - . 06:08 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-5-5 - . Crew: Viktorenko; Serebrov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.16 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Viktorenko; Serebrov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Viktorenko tested SPK manoeuvring unit..

1990 February 11 - . 06:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-9 - . Call Sign: Rodnik (Spring - water spring). Crew: Balandin; Solovyov. Backup Crew: Manakov; Strekalov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 60. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Balandin; Solovyov; Manakov; Strekalov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-5; Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 179.05 days. Decay Date: 1990-08-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 20494 . COSPAR: 1990-014A. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 373 km (231 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Manned two crew. Mir Expedition EO-06. Docked with Mir. Transported to the Mir orbital station a crew comprising the cosmonauts A Y Solovyov and A N Balandin to conduct an extensive programme of geophysical and astrophysical research, experiments on biology and biotechnology and work on space materials science.

1990 February 19 - .
1990 February 28 - . 23:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-040.
  • Progress M-3 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 203. Mass: 7,249 kg (15,981 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 58.07 days. Completed Operations Date: 1990-04-29 00:52:03 . Decay Date: 1990-04-29 00:52:03 . USAF Sat Cat: 20513 . COSPAR: 1990-020A. Apogee: 218 km (135 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 3 Mar 1990 01:04:32 GMT. Undocked on 27 Apr 1990 20:24:43 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 28 Apr 1990 00:52:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.26 days. Total docked time 55.81 days..

1990 May 5 - . 20:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-041.
  • Progress 42 - . Payload: Progress s/n 150. Mass: 7,011 kg (15,456 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Progress. Duration: 21.66 days. Completed Operations Date: 1990-05-28 12:27:29 . Decay Date: 1990-05-28 12:27:29 . USAF Sat Cat: 20602 . COSPAR: 1990-041A. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi). Perigee: 188 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir; last of original design Progress spacecraft. Conducted fifth and final test of Buran ejection seat during ascent to orbit. The K-36M.11F35 seat was installed in an 'experimental droppable compartment' installed in place of the Launch Escape Tower engine on top of the shroud. Docked with Mir on 7 May 1990 22:45:03 GMT. Undocked on 27 May 1990 07:08:58 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 27 May 1990 12:27:30 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.31 days. Total docked time 19.35 days.

1990 May 31 - . 10:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 360-01.
  • Kristall - . Payload: 77KST s/n 17201. Mass: 19,640 kg (43,290 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Kristall. Decay Date: 2001-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 20635 . COSPAR: 1990-048A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 388 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Mir module; materials processing laboratory. Docked with Mir. Kristall: Mass: 19,500 kg. Mass on docking 17,200 kg. Length: 11. 9 m or 13. 73 m?. Solar array span 36 m. Diameter: 4. 35 m. Payload: 7,000 kg. Two compartments. Instrument-Payload Compartment contains food containers, and industrial processing units Krater 3, Optizon 1, Zona 02, and Zona 03. 0. 8 m hatch leads to Junction-Docking compartment. This contains spherical universal docker with two APAS-89 androgynous docking units. These will be used to dock with Buran shuttle and 1,000 kg X-ray telescope to be delivered by Buran in 1991. Third opening houses earth observation cameras.
    Launch originally planned for 30 March 1990. Delayed to April 18, then further delayed due to computer chip problems.
    Launched 31 May 1990 12:33 GMT. Docking scheduled June 6 at 12:36 but delayed due to problem with one of Kristall's orientation engines. Docking successful 10 June at 12:47. On June 11 moved to side port. Work within module began 15 June.
    Spektr: Late 1991 launch. Remote sensing work. Occupies port opposite Kvant 2. Before this occurs Kristall solar arrays will be relocated to Kvant.
    Officially: Specialized module. Experimental-industrial production of semi-conducting materials; refinement of biologically active substances for the production of new medicinal preparations. Cultivation of crystals of different albumine compositions and hybridizatio n of cells. Conduct of astrophysical and technical experiments.

1990 July 17 - . 13:06 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-6-1 - . Crew: Solovyov; Balandin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.30 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Solovyov; Balandin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Repaired Soyuz TM-9 insulation rip..

1990 July 26 - . 11:15 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-6-2 - . Crew: Solovyov; Balandin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.15 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Solovyov; Balandin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Dismantled equipment. Temporarily closed damaged hatch..

1990 August 1 - . 09:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-10 - . Call Sign: Vulkan (Volcano ). Crew: Manakov; Strekalov. Backup Crew: Afanasyev; Manarov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 61A. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Manakov; Strekalov; Afanasyev; Manarov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-7; Mir EO-6. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 130.86 days. Decay Date: 1990-12-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 20722 . COSPAR: 1990-067A. Apogee: 219 km (136 mi). Perigee: 198 km (123 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Manned two crew. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-07. Transported to the Mir manned orbital station the crew consisting of the cosmonauts G M Manakov and G M Strekalov for the purpose of carrying out a programme of geophysical and astrophysical research, biological and biotechnological experiments, and work on space-materials science.

1990 August 9 - .
1990 August 15 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-042.
  • Progress M-4 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 204. Mass: 7,294 kg (16,080 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-7. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 36.32 days. Completed Operations Date: 1990-09-20 11:43:08 . Decay Date: 1990-09-20 11:43:08 . USAF Sat Cat: 20752 . COSPAR: 1990-072A. Apogee: 219 km (136 mi). Perigee: 184 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Delivered cables for rewiring operations and equipment for Soyuz TM-11 Japanese journalist flight. Docked with Mir on 17 Aug 1990 05:26:13 GMT. Undocked on 17 Sep 1990 12:42:43 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 20 Sep 1990 11:42:49 GMT. Total free-flight time 5.02 days. Total docked time 31.30 days.

1990 September 27 - . 10:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-044.
  • Progress M-5 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 206. Mass: 7,320 kg (16,130 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-7. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 62.02 days. Completed Operations Date: 1990-11-28 10:59:23 . Decay Date: 1990-11-28 10:59:23 . USAF Sat Cat: 20824 . COSPAR: 1990-085A. Apogee: 229 km (142 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Included first Progress recoverable capsule for return of 150 kg of payload to earth. Docked with Mir on 29 Sep 1990 12:26:50 GMT. Undocked on 28 Nov 1990 06:15:46 GMT. After deorbit burn, capsule separated for reentry with an expected landing in Kazakhstan at 28 Nov 1990 11:04:05 GMT. However the recoverable capsule's beacon signal was never received after reentry. All experimental data and materials in capsule lost. Total free-flight time 2.28 days. Total docked time 59.74 days.
  • VBK Raduga - . Nation: USSR. Agency: UNKS. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-7. Spacecraft: Progress M. Decay Date: 1990-11-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 20824 . COSPAR: 1990-085xx. Apogee: 406 km (252 mi). Perigee: 361 km (224 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min.

1990 October 30 - . 21:45 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-7-1 - . Crew: Manakov; Strekalov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.11 days. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Manakov; Strekalov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-7. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Attempt to repair Kvant 2 hatch..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1991 May 26 - .
1991 May 30 - . 08:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 R15000-050.
  • Progress M-8 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 207. Mass: 7,296 kg (16,084 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 77.95 days. Completed Operations Date: 1991-08-16 07:02:29 . Decay Date: 1991-08-16 07:02:29 . USAF Sat Cat: 21395 . COSPAR: 1991-038A. Apogee: 396 km (246 mi). Perigee: 390 km (240 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 1 Jun 1991 09:44:37 GMT. Undocked on 15 Aug 1991 22:16:59 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 16 Aug 1991 06:56:32 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.43 days. Total docked time 75.52 days..
  • Naduvaniy gazovoy ballon - . Payload: Balloon subsatellite. Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3. Decay Date: 1991-08-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 21661 . COSPAR: 1986-017FJ. Apogee: 198 km (123 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.5000 deg. Period: 88.34 min.

1991 June 17 - . 21:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 337-01.
  • Mak 1 - . Payload: Mak. Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Flight: Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Mak. Decay Date: 1991-10-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 21425 . COSPAR: 1986-017DV. Apogee: 389 km (241 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Deployed from MIR 6/17/91. Launched from Mir airlock. Investigation of features at the Earth's atmosphere. Launched with the Mir orbital station. .

1991 June 25 - . 21:11 GMT - .
1991 June 28 - . 19:02 GMT - .
1991 July 15 - . 11:45 GMT - .
1991 July 19 - . 11:10 GMT - .
1991 July 23 - . 09:15 GMT - .
1991 July 27 - . 08:44 GMT - .
1991 August - .
1991 August 20 - . 22:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 G15000-047.
  • Progress M-9 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 210. Mass: 7,311 kg (16,117 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 40.39 days. Completed Operations Date: 1991-10-01 08:24:38 . Decay Date: 1991-10-01 08:24:38 . USAF Sat Cat: 21662 . COSPAR: 1991-057A. Apogee: 230 km (140 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir; carried reentry capsule for return of 150 kg of experiment results. Docked with Mir on 23 Aug 1991 00:54:17 GMT. Undocked on 30 Sep 1991 01:53:00 GMT. 350 kg return capsule detached from the Propess' orbital module at an altitude of 110 to 130 km. The capsule underwent a ballistic descent to 15 km, followed by a parachute descent from there to surface. The capsule's beacon began transmitting at 4.5 km. Landed in Kazakhstan on 30 Sep 1991 08:16:24 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.35 days. Total docked time 38.04 days.

1991 October 2 - . 05:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-13 - . Call Sign: Donbass (Donbass - River Don basin). Crew: Aubakirov; Viehboeck; Volkov, Aleksandr. Backup Crew: Lothaller; Musabayev; Viktorenko. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 63. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Aubakirov; Viehboeck; Volkov, Aleksandr; Lothaller; Musabayev; Viktorenko. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir Austromir; Mir EO-9; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 175.12 days. Decay Date: 1992-03-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 21735 . COSPAR: 1991-069A. Apogee: 232 km (144 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Manned three crew. Docked with Mir. Mir Expedition EO-10. Transported to the Mir manned orbital station an international crew comprising the cosmonauts A Volkov (USSR), T Aubakirov (USSR) and F. Viehbock (Austria), to conduct joint scientific and technical research with the cosmonauts A. Artsebarsky and S Krikalev. Austria paid $ 7 million for mission. Kazakh cosmonaut added at last minute.

1991 October 10 - .
1991 October 17 - . 00:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 15000-055.
  • Progress M-10 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 211. Mass: 7,306 kg (16,106 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 95.50 days. Completed Operations Date: 1992-01-20 12:03:05 . Decay Date: 1992-01-20 12:03:05 . USAF Sat Cat: 21746 . COSPAR: 1991-073A. Apogee: 217 km (134 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. First attempted to dock with Mir on 19 October 1991. The docking was automatically aborted at a distance of 150 m from the station. Successfully docked with the forward port of Mir on on 21 Oct 1991 03:40:50 GMT. Unloading began next day. Undocked on 20 Jan 1992 07:13:44 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 20 Jan 1992 12:03:30 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.35 days. Total docked time 91.15 days.
  • VBK Raduga - . Nation: USSR. Agency: UNKS. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Progress M. Decay Date: 1992-01-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 21746 . COSPAR: 1991-073xx. Apogee: 378 km (234 mi). Perigee: 376 km (233 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.10 min.

1991 End - .
1991 End - .
1991 December - .
1991 December 5 - .
  • Mir News 115: Mir solar panel damaged by space debris. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. On 4 Dec. 1991 during pass in orb. 33171 (1103 UTC) Volkov spoke with a Pyotr (might have been Klimuk) about the Ukraine. Volkov made a passing reference to the fact that the crew discovered 2 small holes In one of the solar panels of Module-D. About this damage the cosmonauts spoke during the first 3 passes on 5 Dec. 1991. They made images with a TV camera, but these were not good enough for analyses. To get better images the cosmonauts had to install a special camera in the transition section (P.Kh.O.) and therefor they had to deploy and connect a cable. In Krikalyov's opinion the only way to get a good insight in the damage a space-walk (EVA) will be necessary. On 5 Dec. they spoke about 2 great holes and 1 small hole. Krikalyov even uttered the possibility that the damage has been arisen during the period in which the American Space shuttle 44, Atlantis, had to alter course to avoid a collision with the 3rd of a Soviet rocket launched long ago. So again a substantial problem for the cosmonauts. For a long time the crew are struggling with the water regeneration system Elektron and the attitude control of the complex.

    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


1992 January 19 - .
  • Mir News 118: MOSCOW TIME - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. For those monitoring Radio Moscow: last night Moscow time changed. The clocks have been put 1 hour forward and the new time can be considered to be an interim time. It is called: Sunlight Saving Time and will be valid until 29 March 1992. In the night from 28 to 29 March 1992 the clock will move 1 hour forward again. 50 Moscow time is now UTC+3. (TsUP, and the cosmonauts already used UTC+3 and consequently TsUP/Mir-time is now equal to Moscow time.)

    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


1992 January 25 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 R15000-058.
  • Progress M-11 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 212. Mass: 7,320 kg (16,130 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 48.33 days. Completed Operations Date: 1992-03-13 13:13:31 . Decay Date: 1992-03-13 13:13:31 . USAF Sat Cat: 21851 . COSPAR: 1992-004A. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 27 Jan 1992 09:30:43 GMT. Undocked on 13 Mar 1992 08:43:40 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 13 Mar 1992 15:47:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.36 days. Total docked time 45.97 days..

1992 February 21 - .
  • Mir News 122: Mir EVA - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. The EVA started on 20 Febr. 1992 at 2010 UTC and lasted until 21 Febr. 1992 at 0022 UTC. During the pass in orb. 34398, 23041 UTC, the EVA was still going on Krikalyov told TsUP that Volkov felt very well. TsUP asked for Volkov's condition for Volkov had problems with the cooling of his space-suit. The autonomous life support system in his backpack had a malfunction. He tried to cool down by hiding in the shadow, but this did not work. So he connected his spacesuit with the life-support connection near the hatch of Module-D, switched of his autonomous system and continued his work. (Press reports said that he had to go back inside the complex, but he stayed outside.) The cosmonauts removed and changed experiments with materials which had been in space for a long time. The effects of outer space on these materials, to be used for the construction of space vehicles. Krikalyov retrieved some solar cells, which had been fixed on a little experimental solar-battery. The effects of outer space on the endurance and capacity of these cells will he studied on earth. During the EVA the cosmonauts had to try to clean some windows, but they had to skip this.

    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.


1992 February 21 - . 20:09 GMT - .
1992 February 27 - .
  • Mir News 123: Russian Space Agency created - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. YELSTIN SIGNED DECREE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE R.K.A.:

    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.


1992 March 17 - . 10:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-14 - . Call Sign: Vityaz (Knight ). Crew: Flade; Kaleri; Viktorenko. Backup Crew: Avdeyev; Ewald; Solovyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 64. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Flade; Kaleri; Viktorenko; Avdeyev; Ewald; Solovyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-11; Mir 92; Mir EO-10; Mir LD-3. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 145.59 days. Decay Date: 1992-08-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 21908 . COSPAR: 1992-014A. Apogee: 394 km (244 mi). Perigee: 373 km (231 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Mir Expedition EO-11. Joint flight with Germany. Docked at the Kvant rear port at 12:33 GMT on March 19..

1992 March 25 - .
1992 April 19 - . 21:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 R15000-059.
  • Progress M-12 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 213. Mass: 7,320 kg (16,130 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-11. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 69.11 days. Decay Date: 1992-06-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 21946 . COSPAR: 1992-022A. Apogee: 394 km (244 mi). Perigee: 373 km (231 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 21 Apr 1992 23:21:59 GMT. Undocked on 27 Jun 1992 21:34:44 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 28 Jun 1992 00:02:51 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.18 days. Total docked time 66.93 days..

1992 May 30 - .
  • Mir News 132: Experiments have priority. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-11. The cosmonauts o.b. Mir have been working on experiments instead of repairing and replacing life-support equipment. They used a camera named Liva for earth-observations and mentioned the areas of which they had to make video recordings. The crew also used equipment for the Austrian experiments of Austromir. They worked on a few of those experiments in co-ordination with an expert on TsUP. Monimir (reflexes under micro-gravity) and Migmas (raster ion microscope) of which the data with the device Datamir are transmitted via Mir's telemetry Monimir (reflexes under micro-gravity) and Migmas (raster ion microscope) of which_the_data_with_the_device_Datamir_are_transmitted_via_Mir's_telemetry channels. The continuation of experiments with equipment left behind by guest cosmonauts must be of a great advantage: funds for Russian spaceflight and the fact that the Austrians have constructed the equipment not only for the short stay on board Mir of Franz Viehbock in Oct. 1991.

    THE EX-TRACKING FLEET: Some of the ships of that fleet are still seaborne, but not for tracking or relay purposes. During the last weeks there have been messages that the Kosmonavt Yuriy Gagarin, the K. G. Dobrovolskiy, the K.V. Komarov and the K.P. Belyayev left their home ports. Obviously the ships made short cruises. It took some investigation work to get the following information: the Russians decided to keep the ships floating and to maintain the original shape as to make the ships 'attractive' for foreigners during cruises and business trips and eventual expeditions. Important persons involved in spaceflight, science and commerce founded some organisations to use the ships for cruises and business promotion trips. They already started one or more cruises. One of the travel agencies is leaded by the former cosmonaut Beregovoy. If they pay 350 thousand rubles cosmonauts and spaceflight employees can enjoy a cruise. A few days ago the Kosmonavt Pavel Belyayev showed up in radio contacts with the Mir station. So just as it has been before: Mir traffic in the West while Mir was still out of range of Yevpatoriya. The Belyayev visited Hamburg with the Mir station. So just as it has been before: Mir traffic in the West while Mir was still out of range of Yevpatoriya. The Belyayev visited Hamburg and the mayor of that city greeted the cosmonauts. Some experts on board kept the transceiver for Mir communications in good order and the scientist and tradesmen on board Belyayev spoke with the cosmonauts. The ship does not work for TsUP and on 30 May, during orbit 35950, 1106-1117 UTC wondered with whom the crew has been speaking. On 1 June the ship will visit London and some important passengers on board will speak with Mir during orbits 35982 (1049-1100 UTC) and 35983 (1225-1235 UTC). Some scientist and tradesmen on board will try to promote Russian products and look for partners for commercial and scientific co-operation. There will be not much propaganda for spaceflight for they do not have much material on board. They have photographs, but no TV-films. Viktorenko told the ship that he regretted this. The Belyayev will be involved in a number of events in relation to the Columbus-92 expeditions and Viktorenko promised that the Mir-crew if necessary and possible will co-operate and assist. There are rumours that an ex-tracking ship (Belyayev or Dobrovolskiy) will visit Rotterdam for 2 days around 10 June 1992.

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


1992 June 27 - .
  • Mir News 134: Progress-M13 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-11. Launch of this freighter still on schedule for 30 June 1992. Russian spaceflight authorities now have to take in account interests and feelings of the population, about which they - under protection of the former Soviet Mil. Industrial complex- never bothered. The people living in the Novosibirsk area always feared launches from Baykonur. After launches parts of the rockets (1st stages, hatches, etc.) fall down in that area. Thus far no accidents or damages have been reported -this in contradiction to the ground track areas in Kazakhstan-, but people is always aware of space-launch hazards. To cultivate more goodwill and understanding for space-flight the Baykonur launch-site authorities invited representatives of the administration, civil defence and press of the Novosibirsk region to attend the launch of Progress-M13 on the spot.

    EXTRA VEHICULAR ACTIVITY (SPACEWALK):

    This EVA will take place on 8 or 10 July 1992. The work to be done by the cosmonauts during that EVA is crucial for the operational existence of the Mir complex. 4 of the 6 gyrodynes in Module-D are out of order and so the attitude control of the complex is working unsatisfactorily. For the repair work during the next EVA equipment and tools have to be delivered to Mir by Progress-M13 on 2 July 1992. In the future more work to restore the SUD (movements control system) must be done. For a provisional solution (to keep control on the roll, X- axis, of the complex)f the next crew (Solovyov and Avdeyev) will have to install the VDU (external movements control motor) in the top of the Sofora girder.

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


1992 June 28 - .
  • Mir News 135: Progress-M12 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-11. OPERATIONS CONCLUDED.

    To make the docking of the freighter Progress-M13 on 2 July 1992 possible, the Progress-M12 had to disappear. Progress-M12 had been docked to the forward docking port (PKhO) on 22 April and was often used to correct the orbit of the complex. This also happened a few days ago and so only Kepler elements from day 178 or younger are useable. Radio traffic in the night from 27 to 28 June 1992 revealed that the undocking operation was going on. Kaleri watched the undocking and autonomous flight of Progress-M12 from the airlock (S.Sh.O.) of Module-D and Viktorenko observed all what was happening from the base block. During the pass in orb. 36394, which began at 2129 UTC, Progress-M12 separated from Mir. This was right over our heads at 2135 UTC. Telemetry and Doppler beacon (resp. on 166, 165 and 922.755 mc) could be heard. TsUP received TV images made by Kaleri. For a long time Mir and Progress-M12 flew in formation. During the next pass (in orb. 35395, 2306- UTC) Progress-M12 still flew autonomously still more or less observed by Kaleri. At 230654 UTC the exact TCA could be determined (922.755mc passed the BFO-dip). Almost on this moment Progress-M12's rocket worked to reduce its speed and it entered the earth's atmosphere. It decayed (burnt up) at 2321 UTC on 27 June 1992, so 9 minutes after our LOS. Progress-M12 had not been equipped with a return capsule.

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


1992 June 30 - . 16:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 15000-062.
  • Progress M-13 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 214. Mass: 7,320 kg (16,130 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-11. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 23.64 days. Completed Operations Date: 1992-07-24 08:08:22 . Decay Date: 1992-07-24 08:08:22 . USAF Sat Cat: 22004 . COSPAR: 1992-035A. Apogee: 226 km (140 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. An initial docking attempt on 2 Jul 1992 was a failure. Docked with Mir on 4 Jul 1992 16:55:13 GMT. Undocked on 24 Jul 1992 04:14:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 24 Jul 1992 08:03:35 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.17 days. Total docked time 19.47 days. It was docked to Mir for only a few weeks, since on 26 Jul the Soyuz TM-15 was to be launched with a replacement crew and would need to use the same docking port.

1992 July 4 - .
  • Mir News 137: Progress-M13 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-11. 2D DOCKING ATTEMPT SUCCESSFUL ON 4 JULY 1992 AT 1707 UTC.

    During the first pass here in orb. 36500, 1648-1653 UTC, Progress-M13 was still flying autonomously for she still transmitted on a frequency which has to be quiet during the final approach and after docking. Viktor (Savinykh or Afanasyev) on board of the former tracking ship Belyayev tried to get in touch with Mir, but Kaleri asked him to keep quiet for the docking operation was about to begin. Kaleri told TsUP that they did not see Progress-M13 neither visual nor on their screens. So for abt. 1.5 hour I did not know whether Progress-M13 had been docked or not. During the pass in the next orbit 36501, 1823-1841 UTC, the crew reported that the air-seal was perfect. Progress-M13 had been docked to Mir's forward port at 1707 UTC. Viktorenko told TsUP that they would open the hatch to Progress-M13 as soon as TsUP ordered them to do so. TsUP did this and the cosmonauts crept to the hatch and opened it at 1837 UTC. During the following pass Kaleri reported the good state of the Progress-M13: all was clean. Crew and TsUP exchanged congratulations and the crew thanked the specialists on TsUP for the excellent achievement and TsUP's care for the crew.

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


1992 July 8 - . 12:38 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-11-1 - . Crew: Viktorenko; Kaleri. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0854 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Viktorenko; Kaleri. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-11. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Inspected gyrodyne orientation flywheels..

1992 July 27 - . 06:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-15 - . Call Sign: Rodnik (Spring - water spring). Crew: Avdeyev; Solovyov; Tognini. Backup Crew: Haignere; Manakov; Polishchuk. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 65. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Avdeyev; Solovyov; Tognini; Haignere; Manakov; Polishchuk. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-12; Mir Antares; Mir EO-11. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 188.90 days. Decay Date: 1993-02-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22054 . COSPAR: 1992-046A. Apogee: 216 km (134 mi). Perigee: 196 km (121 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Mir Expedition EO-12. Russian astronauts Solovyov and Avdeev and French astronaut Tognini were inserted into an initial 190 x 200 km orbit inclined 51.6 deg. Later on July 27 they maneuvered to a 223 x 343 km orbit, and on July 28 docked with Mir in its 405 x 410 km orbit.

1992 August 10 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-14 - . Return Crew: Kaleri; Tognini; Viktorenko. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kaleri; Tognini; Viktorenko. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-11; Mir Antares; Mir EO-12. Summary: The Soyuz TM-14 crew, Aleksandr Viktorenko and Aleksandr Kaleri, returned to Earth together with French astronaut Michel Tognini. The Soyuz TM-14 undocked from Mir at 21:47 GMT on August 9, and landed in Kazakhstan at 01:07 GMT on August 10..

1992 August 15 - . 22:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 U15000-064.
  • Progress M-14 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 209. Mass: 7,176 kg (15,820 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 67.04 days. Completed Operations Date: 1992-10-22 23:12:40 . Decay Date: 1992-10-22 23:12:40 . USAF Sat Cat: 22090 . COSPAR: 1992-055A. Apogee: 221 km (137 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.5000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Progress M-38 was specially modified to carry the first VDU (Vynosnaya Dvigatel'naya Ustanovka, External Engine Unit) propulsion unit. The VDU was mounted externally on a special structure between the cargo module and the service module, replacing the OKD fuel section present on normal Progress vehicles. The crew spacewalked to extract the VDU from Progress and place it on the end of the Sofora boom extending from the Kvant module. The VDU was used to provide attitude control capability for the Mir station. Docked with Mir on 18 Aug 1992 00:20:48 GMT. Undocked on 21 Oct 1992 16:46:01 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 21 Oct 1992 23:12:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.35 days. Total docked time 64.68 days.

1992 September 3 - . 13:32 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-12-1 - . Crew: Solovyov; Avdeyev. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.16 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Avdeyev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Began installation of VDU thruster pod on Sofora tower..

1992 September 4 - .
  • Mir News 145: 1st Solovyov/Avdeyev - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-12. This EVA started on 3.09.92 at 1330 UTC (opening hatch airlock Module-D) and ended at 1749 UTC. This EVA is the 1st one in a series to install the VDU (External Movements Control Motor) in the Sofora girder of Kvant-1. The cosmonauts achieved the goals of this EVA. They worked on the container in which the motor was delivered by the freighter Progress-M14. The cosmonauts will continue this work on 7.09.92. It had been expected that during this EVA the cosmonauts would haul down the Soviet flag still waving in the top of the Sofora girder. They only replaced the flag, but certainly will remove it during one of the next 3 or 4 EVA's.

    During the EVA's OM Peter monitored the traffic from the Altair satellite. This traffic will be analysed later.

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


1992 September 7 - . 11:47 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-12-2 - . Crew: Solovyov; Avdeyev. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.21 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Avdeyev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Continued installation of VDU thruster pod on Sofora tower..

1992 September 11 - . 10:06 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-12-3 - . Crew: Solovyov; Avdeyev. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.24 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Avdeyev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Completed installation of VDU thruster pod on Sofora tower..

1992 September 15 - . 07:49 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-12-4 - . Crew: Solovyov; Avdeyev. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.15 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Avdeyev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Installed Kurs docking system antenna on Kristall module..

1992 September 25 - .
  • Mir News 147: Mir-CREW - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-12. After the installation of the VDU (Movements Control Motor) in the Sofora girder the cosmonauts got time to work on other matters. They produced semi-conductor materials in the ovens of the Kristall-module and executed a lot of geophysical observations. They made photo's and spectographic images of the earth surface in a number of CIS-republics. These images will help scientists to get more information about the ecological situation of agricultural areas and water basins. With the Krater-5 oven in the Kristall module they on 23.09.92 continued experiments which had been started by the French cosmonaut Tognini. Among these experiments the Superconconduction. This experiments last 130 days. Under high critical temperatures crystallisation of the materials Barium and Copper.

    Movements control of the complex: About the functioning of the VDU (external movements control motor) the cosmonauts did not speak a lot. A spokesman of TsUP declared that this VDU was functioning normally. (This has been denied later on. It was impossible to use the VDU due to software problems.)

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


1992 October 1 - .
  • Mir News 149: Problems with Mir-TsUP relays work Yevpatoriya. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-12. Disagreements between Russia and the Ukraine about the Black- sea fleet, the Crimea, monetary matters and the former Soviet army on Ukraine's territory for a long time threatened the functioning of the tracking station Yevpatoriya and other radio stations. Half a year ago Yevpatoriya almost had to cease operations due to lack of money. The French government subsidised the station on request of French astronomers who feared that they would lose the input of the satellite Granat, carrying French experiments under control of Yevpatoriya. During recent EVA-s now and then communications between Mir and TsUP were interrupted. As of 21.09.92 no traffic could be heard on 143.625 mc. This traffic came back on 29.09.92. Thus far there has been no telemetry on 166 and 165 mc, so possibly the Russians now use a temporary facility on Russian territory.

    YEVPATORIYA PRIVATISED:

    The Ukrainian government privatised the tracking station Yevpatoriya and forced the staff to be sworn in. Russian has to pay an enormous amount of money for the continuation of Yevpatoriya's services. Russia is not inclined to do so and is trying to find alternatives. As long as the Ukraine does not receive money for the station there is no money to pay the wages of the staff. On 1.10.92 the staff went on strike. Possibly TsUP is now supported by a temporary station on Russian territory for during the passes in orbits nr. 37878, 37879 and 37880 traffic was relayed during the window of Yevpatoriya. There still has been no Telemetry on the normal channels in the 166 and 165 mc bands. Some officials in Kalingrad near Moscow uttered the suggestion to put back in operation one or more tracking ships to fill up the gap caused by the 'radio silence' of Yevpatoriya.

    PROGRESS-M14: This freighter is still attached to the aft (Kvant-1) docking port of the complex. The undocking and decay of Progress-M14 has been planned for 22.10.92. The return capsule will have to make a soft landing while Progress-M14 will burn up.

    PROGRESS-M15: Thus far the launch of this freighter was expected to take place on 5.10.92, but this is impossible due to the delayed departure and decay of its predecessor.

    VDU (EXTERNAL MOVEMENTS CONTROL MOTOR in Sofora girder):

    A spokesman of NPO-Energiya declared that this VDU is perfect in technical respects, but that it has not been used so far. Scientist are computing calculations for the oncoming functioning of the VDU.

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


1992 October 27 - . 17:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 15000-061.
  • Progress M-15 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 215. Mass: 7,250 kg (15,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 102.56 days. Completed Operations Date: 1993-02-07 06:54:51 . Decay Date: 1993-02-07 06:54:51 . USAF Sat Cat: 22203 . COSPAR: 1992-071A. Apogee: 205 km (127 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 29 Oct 1992 19:05:51 GMT. Undocked on 4 Feb 1993 00:44:53 GMT. After completion of the Znamya and autonomous operation experiments, destroyed in reentry on 7 Feb 1993 06:43:20 GMT. Total free-flight time 5.32 days. Total docked time 97.24 days.
  • Mak 2 - . Payload: Mak. Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Mak. Decay Date: 1993-04-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22225 . COSPAR: 1986-017GX. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 394 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Summary: Deployed from MIR on 11/20/92. Launched from Mir airlock. Conduct of experiments to study physical processes in the Earth's ionosphere. Small satellite launched from the Mir station. .
  • Znamya-2 - . Payload: Znamya-2. Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Znamya. Decay Date: 1993-02-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 22449 . COSPAR: 1992-071C. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 389 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.38 min. Summary: Reflector mirror, deployed from Progress M-15 after separation from Mir space station..

1993 January 24 - . 05:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-16 - . Call Sign: Vulkan (Volcano ). Crew: Manakov; Polishchuk. Backup Crew: Serebrov; Tsibliyev. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 101. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Manakov; Polishchuk; Serebrov; Tsibliyev. Agency: RAKA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-13; Mir EO-12. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 179.03 days. Decay Date: 1993-07-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 22319 . COSPAR: 1993-005A. Apogee: 394 km (244 mi). Perigee: 393 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Manned two crew. Mir Expedition EO-13. Transported to the Mir manned orbital station a crew of the thirteenth main expedition comprising the cosmonauts G M Manakov and A F Poleschuk.The Soyuz carried the APAS androgynous docking system instead of the usual probe system.

1993 February 1 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-15 - . Return Crew: Avdeyev; Solovyov. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Avdeyev; Solovyov. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-12; Mir EO-13. Aleksandr Solovyov and Sergey Avdeyev undocked from the Mir complex aboard Soyuz TM-15 on February 1 and landed the same day in Kazakhstan after six months in space at 03:47 GMT. Soyuz TM-15's flight was an in-orbit record for a Soyuz spaceship - 188 days 21 h 39 m.

1993 February 21 - . 18:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 U15000-068.
  • Progress M-16 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 216. Mass: 7,338 kg (16,177 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-13. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 33.65 days. Completed Operations Date: 1993-03-27 10:05:12 . Decay Date: 1993-03-27 10:05:12 . USAF Sat Cat: 22530 . COSPAR: 1993-012A. Apogee: 234 km (145 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 23 Feb 1993 20:17:57 GMT. Undocked on 26 Mar 1993 06:50:00 GMT. Redocked with Mir on 1993-03-26 07:06:03 GMT. Final undocking on 1993-03-27 04:21:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 27 Mar 1993 10:25:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.33 days. Total docked time 31.32 days.

1993 March 15 - .
  • Mir News 165: Mir-DAILY ROUTINE - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-13. After the docking of freighter Progress-M16 the crew continued their reparation and replacement work on the systems of the complex. They did not much experimental work apart from geophysical observations. They needed all their working time for technical maintenance. They repaired a number of gyrodynes and Manakov was positive about the results of that 'high priority' work. I hope that I was right for Manakov is a great optimist. The VDU (the external movements control motor in the Sofora- girder) is still unserviceable due to software problems. Of great concern for crew and experts remain the complicated systems to maintain the climate in that what is like an 'iron lung'. In contradiction to the 'iron lungs' for medical use this one has to feed and regenerate itself. Wear of parts of that complicated complex results in malfunctioning, so the crew repeatedly gets warnings about hitches, but also by more noise than originally had been foreseen. Daily they speak about the BKV-3, a system to restore the condition of the air. When the crew gets permission to switch that system off (getting the command G-24), they enjoy the silence. Polishchuk did a lot of repair work on that BKV-3.

    EXTRA VEHICULAR ACTIVITIES (EVA-S):

    Shortly we can hear the crew speak about preparations for a series of 4 EVA-s. For the 1st one the 16th of April has been mentioned. During the first 3 EVA-s the cosmonauts will have to replace the solar panels from the Kristall module to the Kvant-1. The 4th one is for the removal of materials which for a long time had been exposed to the influences of open space. The solar panels have to be replaced to make future operations possible. To execute the planned docking operations of Buran and Space Shuttle to that Kristall module it has to be redocked to the forward axial (PKhO) docking port. A second reason to replace those solar panels is the fact that some solar panels hinder other ones. Daily the crew has to economise the power consumption of the complex. Polishchuk is responsible for that and in Manakov's opinion he is an expert in that field.

    MODULES:

    Possibly the plans for the launch of the Modules Priroda and Spektr have been altered. The first Module to be launched for a docking with Mir should be a technological one. So Priroda is 2d on schedule. This is a pity for Priroda is ready for launch.

    RETURN CAPSULES: Progress-M16 does not carry such a capsule and the use of such a container from Progress-M17 has not been planned. The return capsules are for 100% reliable, but due to the little amount of freight to be brought back, return capsule operations are too expensive.

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


1993 March 31 - . 03:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 N15000-069.
  • Progress M-17 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 217. Mass: 7,250 kg (15,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-13. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 337.00 days. Completed Operations Date: 1994-03-03 03:29:47 . Decay Date: 1994-03-03 03:29:47 . USAF Sat Cat: 22588 . COSPAR: 1993-019A. Apogee: 365 km (226 mi). Perigee: 362 km (224 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Conducted docked and undocked longevity spacecraft longevity tests. Docked with Mir on 1 Apr 1993 05:16:18 GMT. Undocked on 11 Aug 1993 15:36:42 GMT. Destroyed in reentry over the South Atlantic on 3 Mar 1994 03:28:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 204.56 days. Total docked time 132.43 days.

1993 April 19 - . 17:15 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-13-1 - . Crew: Manakov; Polishchuk. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.23 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Manakov; Polishchuk. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-13. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Began installation of Kvant 1 solar array drive unit..

1993 May 19 - .
  • Mir News 174: Progress-M18 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-13. Launch postponed.

    During checks of the Soyuz-carrier rocket, which had to launch Progress-M18 for a flight to the space station on 19 May 1993, experts discovered a technical deficiency. They decided to postpone the launch. At the earliest the launch is possible on 22 May 1993. If so, the launch will take place at abt. 0640 UTC that day.

    Progress-M18's cargo is essential for the execution of the planning for this and next year. In the first place it has to deliver the replacement of the lost key (or: handle) for the operations with the crane Strela. During the next planned spacewalks the crew needs that Strela for the transfer of the solar panels from Kristall to Kvant-1. Progress-M18 also will bring new equipment and spare parts for the replacement or repairs of worn-out systems, but also equipment and experiments to be used during the French expedition 'Altair' in July this year.

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


1993 May 22 - . 06:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Progress M-18 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 218. Mass: 7,348 kg (16,199 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-13. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 43.44 days. Completed Operations Date: 1993-07-04 17:14:25 . Decay Date: 1993-07-04 17:14:25 . USAF Sat Cat: 22666 . COSPAR: 1993-034A. Apogee: 240 km (140 mi). Perigee: 188 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Last launch using Soyuz-U2 launch vehicle. Docked with Mir's front port on 24 May 1993 08:24:44 GMT. In addition to other supplies, carried repair equipment for a spacewalk device damaged a month before. Undocked on 3 Jul 1993 15:58:16 GMT, with Soyuz TM-17 docking at the same port only minutes later at 17:45 GMT. Meanwhile, Progress M-17 remained docked to the Kvant rear port on a longevity test. Progress M-18 was destroyed in reentry on 4 Jul 1993 17:13:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.12 days. Total docked time 40.31 days.

1993 June 18 - . 17:25 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-13-2 - . Crew: Manakov; Polishchuk. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.19 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Manakov; Polishchuk. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-13. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Completed installation of Kvant 1 solar array drive unit..

1993 July 1 - .
  • Mir News 177: Soyuz-TM17 launched from Baykonur - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Altair; Mir EO-13; Mir EO-14. On 1 July 1993 at 1433 UTC the transport ship Soyuz-TM17 was launched for a flight of 2 days to the Mir Space station. The first crew had been chosen and so Soyuz-TM17 was manned by Tsibliyev, Serebrov and the Frenchman Haignere. The French women cosmonaut Claudie Andre-Deshays will have to wait until 1996 for her flight on board the Mir station to conduct experiments of the French program Cassiopea. 3 Hours after launch Soyuz-TM17 came in our range (orbit 3, 1734 UTC) and strong signals of the 5 transmitters could be monitored (922.755, 165.873, 166.130, 166.140 and 121.750 mc). Tsibliyev reported that all was normal and that health and mood of the crew were excellent. They already had taken off their spacesuits and had just entered the 'life-compartment'. At 1656 UTC they had re-oriented their ship. This crew uses the call 'Ceres', so respectively Ceres-1, Ceres-2 and Ceres-3. So Haignere is 'Ceres-3'. During his return flight on 22 July 1993 he will be a member of Manakov's crew, the Vulkans, and then Haignere will use the call 'Vulkan-3'. During the pass in orbit 4, 1903 UTC, Tsibliyev reported all details about the 2nd orbit correction, which was executed during that pass. All went as scheduled. This had been also the case with the 1st orbit correction. Tsibliyev reported details about this correction as well for during that correction Soyuz-TM17 was out of range of tracking stations. Among the reported data were the times (in seconds) during which the S.K.D. (engines) worked, the gained speed in M/sec, the so called SIRT (fuel consumption in KG) and some pressures in tanks. During the pass in orb. 5 (2036 UTC) again radio traffic loud and clear. During the next pass the cosmonauts slept. At 221345 UTC Soyuz-T17 could be seen passing the TCA as a clear star in elevation 39 degrees. On 2 July 1993 Soyuz-TM17 will be flying autonomously. She will pass at abt. 30 minutes after Mir. Towards midnight Soyuz-TM17 as well as Mir can be observed visually if weather conditions are good. Docking can be expected on 3 July 1993 between 1615 and 1620 UTC, so not long after the first pass of both objects. If the Russians will stick to previous plans the freighter Progress-M17 will undock under observation of the approaching S- TM17. Soyuz-TM17 will dock to the docking port from where Progress-M17 undocked.

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


1993 July 1 - . 14:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-17 - . Call Sign: Sirius (Sirius ). Crew: Haignere; Serebrov; Tsibliyev. Backup Crew: Afanasyev; Andre-Deshays; Usachyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 66. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Haignere; Serebrov; Tsibliyev; Afanasyev; Andre-Deshays; Usachyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-14; Mir Altair; Mir EO-13. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 196.74 days. Decay Date: 1994-02-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 22704 . COSPAR: 1993-043A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 388 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Mir Expedition EO-14. Carried Vasili Tsibliyev, Alexander Serebrov, Jean-Pierre Haignere to Mir; returned Serebrov, Tsibliyev to Earth. Progress M-18 undocked from Mir's front port at around 17:25 GMT on July 3, and Soyuz TM-17 docked at the same port only 20 minutes later at 17:45 GMT.

1993 July 4 - .
  • Mir News 178: Soyuz-TM17 docked to Mir space station - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Altair; Mir EO-13; Mir EO-14. This ship with on board the relief crew and the Frenchman Haignere docked to Mir (forward docking port) on 3.07.93 at 1624 UTC. The docking took place in the automatic mode (Kurs-system). Before Soyuz-TM17 began her final approach the freighter Progress-M17 had to undock. So a few minutes before the final approach Progress-M17 undocked and was brought in a safe distance from Mir. This happened before Mir, Soyuz-TM17 and Progress-M17 came in our range. During the pass in orb. 42169, 1607-1612 UTC, radio traffic could be monitored on 121.750 mc and 143.625 mc. Serebrov reported that he would obey the order to go into the landing module immediately. Neither of the crews commented the final approach. There had been a long transmission via Altair, which ended a few minutes before docking. Good images of the complex (by Soyuz-TM17's cameras) and the docking port could be seen. During the pass in orb. 42170, 1742 UTC, it was obvious that all was well: the hatches had been opened and the first meeting between the 2 crews had already taken place. Mir started to transmit to TsUP the video recordings of the approach and the welcome of the new crew. All cosmonauts, also Tsibliyev, Serebrov and Haignere, could be heard via 143.625 mc. During this pass Mir also transmitted on 145.550 mc. Via the digital memory microphone Polishchuk could be heard with a greeting of P. and Manakov to a conference of radio-amateurs in (probably) St. Petersburg. During the next pass (orb. 42171, 1915 UTC, Mir transmitted on 145.550, 143.625 and 144.475 mc. After a CQ-call in Russian and English, Haignere spoke in French with the radio-amateur Francis, FC1OKN.

    Altair: From 4.07 until 22.07.93 Haignere, in co-operation with his Russian colleagues, will conduct experiments in the framework of the French scientific program Altair.

    Spacewalks: If all goes according to previous planning the new crew (the 14th main expedition to the Mir station) will make 3 spacewalks.

    Progress-M17: This freighter still flew autonomously in the night from 3 to 4.07.93 and was visually observed by Mr. Wim Holwerda (Working group artificial satellites) during Mir's pass in orb. 42174, 2227 UTC, at abt. 8 KM behind Mir. Wim also saw the 3d stage of the rocket which gave Soyuz-TM17 the last 'push' on 1.07.93. Progress-M17 carries a return capsule. In a next Mir-report I hope to tell somewhat about the fate of Progress-M17 and that capsule.

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


1993 July 15 - .
  • Mir News 179: MISSION ALTAIR - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Altair; Mir EO-13; Mir EO-14. This French scientific mission goes according to plan. Haignere stated that all experiments are going well. The only problem is the fact that they have a lot of work to do. On 14.07.93 due to their work a direct TV-report in which a conversation with President Mitterand had to be cancelled or did not take place due to lack of comm. channels. H. is feeling well. No space sickness, no headache or other pains, he sleeps well and has a good appetite. H. praises the good amicable sphere among the crew members, which guarantees a good co-operation. H., call F6Mir, enjoys the possibilities of radio-amateurism: as soon as France is in range he has long conversations with French radio-amateurs. On 11.07.93 in orb. 42293, 1324 UTC, he also got the opportunity to speak with his parents. He had to ask one of the amateurs to leave the frequency (144.475 mc) for he was not able to hear his mother. On this frequency also a lot of P/R traffic. H.'s presence on board Mir caused a remarkable increase of French amateur-calls on Mir's P/R.

    Mir-crew: Manakov is still captain of the Mir-complex and this he shows clearly. During every pass he tightly holds the microphone. Now and then Polishchuk and Serebrov can be heard; Tsybliyev, who has to take over command one of these days, rarely speaks with TsUP.

    Progress-M17: During the experiment 'Rodeo' on 3.07.93 this freighter undocked from the Mir station while Soyuz-TM17 was waiting for the docking port freed by Progress-M17. Progress-M17 undocked at 1553 UTC. Soyuz-TM17 docked to Mir at 1624 UTC. The return-capsule of Progress-M17 landed safely in Kazakhstan at 1802 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM16: With this ship, now still attached to the Kristall- Module, Manakov, Polishchuk and Haignere will return to earth on 22.07.93. The landing is expected at about 0630 UTC.

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


1993 July 16 - .
  • Mir News 180: Movements of Progress-M's and Soyuz-TM's - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Altair; Mir EO-13; Mir EO-14. Movements of Progress-M's and Soyuz-TM's in the near future:

    Progress-M18: Will undock from Mir and decay in the atmosphere on 24.07.93 (so 2 days after the departure of Soyuz-TM16).

    Progress-M19: Launch from Baykonur on 27.07.93.

    Progress-M20: Launch from Baykonur on 12.10.93.

    Soyuz-TM18 : Launch from Baykonur with crew Afanasyev and Usachov on 16.11.93.

    Progress-M21: Launch from Baykonur on 30.11.93.

    In May 1994 there will be a flight of a Soyuz-TM to Mir with on board Malenchenko and Strekalov. (Strekalov replaced Kaleri, because he has more experience than Kaleri.) The 3d crew member will be a physician for a long duration flight of one and a half year. For this flight 3 physicians are selected, one of them will fly, namely Polyakov, Arzamazov and Morukov.

    The Russians have the intention to launch Module Spektr on 20.12.93 for a flight to Mir. This long expected extension will be welcomed by the crew of the 15th Main expedition to Mir: Afanasyev and Usachov.

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


1993 July 22 - .
  • Mir News 181: Soyuz-TM16 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Altair; Mir EO-13; Mir EO-14. SAFE AND SOFT LANDING AT 064200 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM16 landed safely in near the city Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. The ballistic section of Professor Ivanov again deserves admiration for their excellent work: the landing took place 23 seconds later than calculated. During this flight the crews of Mir and Soyuz-TM16 as well had to do somewhat extra in this field for at the moment of undocking the objects were out of range of NIP (measurement points on earth). So they had to take care for the actual attitudes during undocking and thereafter. Data for this operation they got during radio traffic with TsUP on 21.07.93. Just after the separation of the Life compartment (BO) and the Motor block from the Landing module (SA) the SA entered the dense layers of the atmosphere at 061817 UTC surrounded by the fire of the plasma. At a distance of appr. 400 KM the crew on board Mir was able to observe this through porthole nr. 9. At 062655 UTC the main parachute opened and the landing took place at 064200 UTC. So the crew of the 13th Main expedition to Mir, Manakov and Polishchuk, and the French 'spacionaute' Haignere accomplished their flights. H. was able to execute the French scientific program Altair. The last days of his flight he felt tired due to the huge amount of work, which was necessary to get a maximum profit of such an expensive flight. H. was very satisfied about his work on board but also about his activities as a radio- amateur and he was very grateful to make a lot good QSO-s with French and other amateurs.

    Mir: On board Mir are now the cosmonauts Tsybliyev and Serebrov. Their official calls are not 'Ceres' as has been published earlier, but respectively Sirius-1 and 2. Their calls for radio- amateur activities are resp. R3Mir and R4Mir. Ts. en S. will work in open space 3 times in September this year to accomplish the transfer of the solar batteries from the Kristall-module to Kvant-1.

    In a next Mir-report I hope to give attention to the last days of the presence of 5 cosmonauts on board Mir.

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


1993 July 22 - .
1993 July 26 - .
  • Mir News 182: Ham-work during successfully accomplished Altair mission - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Jean-Pierre, F6Mir, was an enthusiastic and skilled amateur. In this field he did not yield to Tognini during his flight in 1992. H. made all his QSO-s in the proper way and during the last day of his flight he told in a CQ-message that he had been pleased by radio-amateurism and he expressed his gratitude to all amateurs with whom he had been in contact. He was not pleased about an Italian amateur, who, using a very strong signal, often blocked the uplink too long. He limited H's possibilities to make more QSO-s with French and other amateurs.

    Mir-crews: On 16.7.93 the control over the Mir-station had been transferred to the new crew: Tsibliyev took care of the attitude control and Serebrov had replaced Polishchuk as board-engineer. Manakov and Polishchuk prepared their return flight. Their main concern was to find room in Soyuz-TM16 for all what they had to bring back to earth. Thoroughly they checked the on board systems of that ship and rehearsed the procedures for the navigation during and after the undocking from Mir on 22.07.93. A physician at TsUP regularly checked the health of M. and P.

    New crew: As of 22.07.93 Tsibliyev and Serebrov are working strenuously. They are busy with a lot of important repairs and replacements. Obviously they have to solve all problems with the attitude(movements-) control of the complex. (Gyrodynes and the VDU motor in the Sofora-girder). They already work on the Gyrodynes. It is a pleasure to hear the new crew: undoubtedly excellent cosmonauts. Quite normal for S.: this is his 4th flight, but the novice T. acts as if he has a long experience in space.

    Progress-M18 and M19: Recently the decay of the first freighter (M18) still was on schedule for 24.07.93. This has been put back. Though still not for 100% sure the plan is to undock Progress-M18 on 8.08.93 after the launch that same day of Progress-M19. If this happens it will be a novelty: for a while 2 freighters flying autonomously in space.

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


1993 August 6 - .
  • Mir News 183: Exchange of freighters - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Progress-M19: The launch date of this freighter for the Mir station has been put back for the 2d time. Now this launch from Baykonur is planned for 10.08.93 at 2216 UTC (for the Russians already on 11.08.93 at 0116 TsUP time). If all goes according to the plan Progress-M19 will dock to Mir at abt. 0000 UTC on 13.08.93. So a few minutes after the first pass of the Mir complex on (for us still) 12.08.93 2350-2356 UTC, pass in orbit 42799. Progress-M19 will dock to the forward port (transition section P.Kh.O.). This port is still occupied by the Progress-M18.

    Progress-M18: This ship will separate from Mir and decay in the atmosphere if the launch of Progress-M19 is successful.

    Radio-amateur traffic new crew: The new crew has not been heard with amateur traffic (packet radio or phone) on the known amateur frequencies during passes within our range. The crew asked TsUP for a computer program to clean the overloaded memory of their computer, which contains a lot of correspondence and documents of the previous crew. So possibly they will resume packet-radio after the deletion of all superfluous files. During a packet QSO with TsUP on 143.625 mc Mir used the call R0Mir.

    Spacewalks (EVA-s): The 3 EVA-s planned for September 1993 have been cancelled. The present crew (14th Main expedition) will not carry out any EVA-s.

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


1993 August 10 - . 22:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U N15000-634.
  • Progress M-19 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 219. Mass: 7,250 kg (15,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-14. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 69.08 days. Completed Operations Date: 1993-10-20 00:17:41 . Decay Date: 1993-10-20 00:17:41 . USAF Sat Cat: 22745 . COSPAR: 1993-052A. Apogee: 223 km (138 mi). Perigee: 179 km (111 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir at the Kvant rear port on 13 Aug 1993 00:00:06 GMT. Undocked on 13 Oct 1993 17:59:06 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 19 Oct 1993 00:22:14 GMT. Total free-flight time 7.33 days. Total docked time 61.75 days..

1993 August 11 - .
  • Mir News 184: Progress-M19 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. This freighter has been launched from Baykonur on 10.08.93 at 2223 UTC (for Moscow and TsUP-time already 11.08.93) for a 2-days flight to the Mir-station. Perhaps there has been a slight delay for I expected the launch at 2216 UTC. Somewhat later than expected I monitored the transmissions of Progress-M19 on 922.755 mc and in the 166 and 165 mc bands between 0256 and 0301 UTC. To enable Progress-M19 to dock to the forward docking port of Mir (transition section P.Kh.O.) the old Progress-M still docked to that port has to disappear soon. This undocking is scheduled for 11.08.93 at 1534 UTC.

    Perseid-meteorites: These meteorites coming from the comet Swift- Tuttle are visible (clouds permitting) around 12 august every year. Thus far clouds did not permit this for us this year, but the Mir-cosmonauts, not hindered by clouds or fog, were able to see the meteorites. Tsibliyev, the captain of the Mir-station, reported during the pass in orbit 42770, 11.08.93, 0452-0503 UTC, that they saw a little bit of it. He added that he had to report some 'battle wounds'. He told TsUP that the station had been hit by 4 particles obviously coming from that meteorite-rain. They caused minor damages to 2 solar batteries (on the base block and on Kristall - Module-T) and to one of the portholes. The window of that porthole showed a cavern with a diameter of 2 a 3 mm. T. nor TsUP did not show any concern. To be realistic: thus far we have to do with minor particles, but bigger particles can cause serious damages to space-ships and stations, even leakage and consequently decompression. In my opinion the recent experience of the Mir-crew fully justifies NASA's decision to put back the launch of Space shuttle Discovery until 12.08.93 due to concern for that meteorite-storm.

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


1993 August 13 - .
  • Mir News 185: Progress-M19 docked to Mir-space station - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. This freighter with food, water, fuel, post, spare parts, etc. docked to the forward docking port transition section -P.Kh.O.) on 13 Aug. 1993 at 0000 UTC. So 4 minutes after LOS for our position. The approach in orb. 42799, 12 Aug. 2351-2356 UTC, the cosmonauts visually observed the Progress-M19. At 2356 UTC Progress-M19 was on a distance of 25 M and the appr. speed was 0.85M/sec. The operation passed off smoothly and already during the pass in the next orb. (42800, 0129-0133 UTC) Tsibliyev reported the hermetic air-seal and the opening of the hatch to Progress-M19. In the pass during orb. 42801, 0304-0309 UTC, the cosmonauts expressed their gratitude for all what Progress-M19 delivered, but in Serebrov's opinion the Progress-M19 was 'too empty'. He said that only 66% of the cargo-volume had been utilised. Nevertheless he was satisfied about the post, the new paper (or: ribbon) for the RTTY printer and the renewed instructions for evacuation in case of emergency.

    Perseid-meteorites: So the crew just had to work during 3 night shifts: 2 due to the meteorite-storm and 1 for the Progress-M19. In the night from 11 to 12 Aug. they enjoyed the sight of the meteorite-rain. They spoke about 'fireballs' and stopped counting them for it really was a rain. The night before they also observed this phenomenon, which was less spectacular then. Unfortunately they again had to report collisions with small particles and damages. S. and T. expressed their relief that all was over now and that they survived the meteorite-bombardments.

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


1993 September 14 - .
  • Mir News 186: SPACE-WALKS (EVA-S) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Some weeks ago TsUP announced that the 3 EVA-s, which had been planned for Sept. this year had been put back and that this crew (the 14th main expedition to Mir) would not make any EVA-s at all. Later on there happened to be a plan to execute an EVA on 10.09.93. This EVA has been put back also. Meanwhile it was obvious that 1 or more EVA-s are badly needed for the inspection of the outer surface of the whole complex. Experts even considered the use of the SPK (MMU) for EVA-s. Board- engineer Serebrov knows how to fly with the SPK: he was the first cosmonaut to fly with it on 1.02.90. Radio traffic during recent passes revealed that the crew is preparing an EVA. Whether they will use the SPK or not is not clear.

    CONSEQUENCES OF THE PERSEID METEORITE STREAM ON 12.08.93:

    After a long period of silence the Russians officially admitted that the station suffered from hits caused by minuscule particles during the Perseid-meteorite stream. One hit even caused a hole in a solar battery with the diameter of appr. 6 cm. Meanwhile messages and questions about the damages reached the Mir crew by amateur radio. Experts are evaluating the eventual influence of the damages on the power supply of the complex. The crew cannot see the whole outer surface of the station from inside and so EVA-s must be carried out to inspect it thoroughly.

    RADIO-AMATEUR TRAFFIC:

    For some weeks again a lot of Packet radio tfc on 145.550 mc. Sometimes there are also calls by 'phone' on that frequency. On 12 and 13.09.93 the crew used 145.500 mc to contact the Irish amateur EI3SI by speech.

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


1993 September 16 - . 05:57 GMT - .
1993 September 17 - .
  • Mir News 187: First spacewalk (EVA) cosmonauts Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Tsibliyev and Serebrov executed their first EVA on 16.09.93. At 0435 UTC they crawled in their spacesuits and at 0604 UTC they opened the exit hatch. After an EVA of appr. 4 hrs 16 mins they closed that hatch behind them. And again this time a change in previous plans: so not as expected, the inspection of the outer surface of the complex or the transfer of the solar batteries from the Kristall-module to the Kvant-1. This time they prepared the installation at the base of the Sofora-mast of a truss structure, called Rapana. The Rapana uses the design for the construction of support arms, which will be used for Mir-2 or for Mir-2's integration in the international station Freedom. The Rapana has a length of several meters and a cylindrical shape. For the installation of this Rapana 3 EVA's are needed, the 2d one will be executed on 20.09.93. It is still unknown when there will be an EVA for the inspection of the outer surface of the complex or whether that inspection will be done during the 2d or 3d EVA. After the installation the Rapana will serve as a platform for experimental materials to be exposed to the influence of open space.

    Another EVA on 16.09.93:

    The astronauts of the space shuttle Discovery also executed an EVA this day. About this EVA the Western media brought news and images, which they did not about the Russian EVA. And that is why I did!

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


1993 September 20 - .
  • Mir News 188: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-Crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Tsibliyev and Serebrov concluded the installation of the Rapan pillar during a relatively short EVA on 20.09.93 between 0352 and 0705 UTC, so 3 hrs and 13 mins. The Rapan is standing perpendicularly on the Kvant-1 module near the Sofora mast. The Sofora is standing under an angle of 79 degrees and inclines towards the forward side of the complex. The crew installed materials, samples and equipment on the Rapan for an exposure to open space during half a year. After this period the samples etc. have to be returned to earth for analyses.

    Eventual 3d EVA:

    After evaluation of today's EVA and an analysis of the TV-images made by the cosmonauts, experts will decide whether there will be needed a 3d EVA. The Russians did speak nor about the inspection of Mir's outer surface and the solar batteries neither about the transfer of solar batteries. If a 3d EVA will be made, this might be on 24.09.93.

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


1993 September 20 - . 03:51 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-14-2 - . Crew: Tsibliyev; Serebrov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.13 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tsibliyev; Serebrov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-14. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Completed installation of Rapana truss..

1993 September 22 - .
  • Mir News 189: 3d Spacewalk (EVA) put back - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Until 22.09.93 the cosmonauts made preparations for an EVA on 24.09.93. During that EVA they had to execute the program 'Panorama', which is an inspection of the outer surface of the station by camera's. On 22.09.93 TsUP announced that the EVA had been put back to 28.09.93. A reason for the delay has not been stated. Possibly the unstable political situation in Moscow has something to do with it, but technical reasons are also possible. On 22.09.93 the crew worked on a problem with a pressure-valve (KVD) of the airlock (Sh.S.O.) in Module-D.

    Mir-station hit by a particle from outer space:

    On 21.09.93 at abt. 1205 UTC, while the station was near the equator, Tsibliyev heard the clap of a particle colliding with Mir's outer surface. The impact caused a little cloud of dust and released some pieces of paint of the wall. Tsibliyev heard the impact while he was flying from Kvant-1 to the Base Block. Serebrov, who was working in Module-D, did not hear it.

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


1993 September 28 - .
  • Mir News 190: 3d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. The crew of the 14th Main Expedition Mir made their 3d EVA on 28.09.93. Planned had been a long EVA (4 or 5 hrs). The crew opened the hatch of Module-D's airlock at 0057 UTC. They had to return after 1 hr 51 mins due to a malfunction in the thermoregulation of commander Tsiblieyev's spacesuit. So they closed the hatch behind them at 0248 UTC. TsUP considered to continue the EVA by Serebrov alone, but 'safety first' prevailed and both cosmonauts concluded the operation at 0248 UTC. So they could not execute the whole plan for this EVA. Main task was the experiment Panorama, an inspection of the outside elements of the station by photo- and video camera. They partly fulfilled this task. The second task was the collection of the American experiment TREK. Serebrov removed the unit in which samples and materials had been exposed to open space for a long time and brought this back on board. In the near future this experiment will be brought back to earth for analyses by the American scientists. Communications during this EVA took place via Altair and after the EVA at 0439 UTC Mir and TsUP communicated again via VHF. The cosmonauts felt well and during the passes in the orbits 43521 until 43523 they already spoke about other matters. There might be a 4th EVA, but this has not been decided so far.

    Reason delay transfer solar batteries from Kristal to Kvant-1:

    Several times this work has been put back. Reason for this delay at the moment is the fact that the launches of the modules Spektr and Priroda to Mir have been delayed due to financing problems. The Russians hope to get support from the west, where a lot of scientists are convinced of the scientific value of those modules.

    Progress-M20: The launch of this freighter is still on schedule for 12.10.93. The crew is already involved in the loading of Progress-M19 with goods they have to get rid off and cargo for the Ballistic Return Capsule (VBK).

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


1993 September 28 - . 00:57 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-14-3 - . Crew: Tsibliyev; Serebrov. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0778 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tsibliyev; Serebrov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-14. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Installed material samples and retrieved experiment packages. Documented external condition of Mir..

1993 October 8 - .
  • Mir News 191: Progress-M17 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. This freighter undocked from Mir after the launch of Progress-M19 on 10.08.93. (So this happened not to be the Progress-M18. Progress-M18 disappeared earlier, i.e. just after the Rodeo- experiment. (Undocking of Progress-M18 under observation of the approaching Soyuz-TM17 which had to dock to the docking- port freed by Progress-M18). While Progress-M19 was flying to Mir Progress-M17 undocked and remained in space. The autonomous flight of this freighter will have a duration of 1 or 1.5 year. This on request of the Americans, who plan to use modified Soyuz-M-ships as ACVR-s (assured crew rescue vehicle) for their space stations. They wish to know the maximum lifetime of a Soyuz-TM. Most of the systems of both vehicles are equal and so Progress-M17 is now playing the role as a test-vehicle. Progress-M17 is flying a dozen kilometres lower than Mir.

    Mir-operations:

    The still attached to Mir Progress-M19 corrected the orbit of the complex. Mir was lifted from ap/per 390.7/384.8 KM to ap/per 397.4/389.2 KM. So Keplers older than day 278 are invalid. The crew still has to spend a lot of time to keep the life systems of the complex operational, especially the water regeneration systems cause a lot of trouble. On 7 Oct. 1993 during their first contact with TsUP (in orb. 43660, 0535-0546 UTC) they heard that the launch of the Soyuz-TM18 with the relief crew had been put back until the 2d half of December 1993 (instead of 24.11.93), which means a prolongation of their flight. The delay is caused by a complex of reasons, one of them has something to do with the carrier-rocket for Soyuz-TM18's launch. Serebrov stated that he and Tsibliyev understand this decision and that they, though reluctantly, agreed to remain longer in space. They asked TsUP to inform Yuriy Semyonov (Head of NPO Energiya) about their consent.

    PROGRESS-M19: The crew is preparing this freighter for her imminent departure. Main task is the loading and servicing of the VBK (ballistic return capsule) of Progress-M19. Progress-M19 will undock from Mir after the eventual successful launch of the freighter Progress-M20.

    PROGRESS-M20: Launch still on schedule for 11.10.93, 2133 UTC (so for TsUP already on 12.10.93, 0033 Msc Winter Time) from Baykonur. Rendezvous and docking with Mir in the late evening of 13.10.93 ( UTC).

    4th Spacewalk (EVA): This EVA will be carried out after the arrival of Progress-M20. The most convenient day for this EVA will probably be 28.10.93. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1993 October 11 - . 21:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U 77044270.
  • Progress M-20 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 220. Mass: 7,250 kg (15,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-14. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 40.48 days. Decay Date: 1993-11-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 22867 . COSPAR: 1993-064A. Apogee: 226 km (140 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir, carried a Raduga reentry capsule for return of experimental materials to earth. Docked with Mir on 13 Oct 1993 23:24:46 GMT. Undocked on 21 Nov 1993 02:38:43 GMT. Capsule landed in Kazakhstan on 21 Nov 1993 09:06:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.35 days. Total docked time 38.13 days.

1993 October 12 - .
  • Mir News 192: Progress-M20 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. The launch of this freighter took place on 11.10.93 at 2133 UTC (for the Russians, using 'decree-time', already 12.10.93 0033 hrs). Progress-M20 reached the right initial orbit and the first corrections have been executed successfully. Progress-M20's transmissions in the 166, 165 and 922 bands could be monitored in the pass in the 2d orbit on 12.10.93 between 0035 and 0037 UTC. Progress-M20 has to deliver to the Mir-station spare parts, food, water, fuel and post. It contains also a package of experiments in the framework of Biokrist. These are protein-crystallisation experiments from several countries. One experiment is of Dr. Grip of the Faculty for Eye Surgery, University of Nijmegen (the Netherlands). A Biokrist container, including the same Dutch experiment, has been on board of the Mir-complex in the first 3 months of 1992. During the transport, after the skilful delivery on earth by the cosmonauts Volkov and Krikalyov, something went wrong due to extreme low temperatures and the results suffered damages. The present experiment will return to earth by the crew of this expedition in December 1993. In 2 days Progress-M20 will fly to Mir and if all goes well the freighter will dock to Mir on 13.10.93 at abt. 2316 UTC (so for the Russians already on 14.10.93, 0216 Msc decree-time).

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


1993 October 14 - .
  • Mir News 193: Progress-M20 DOCKED TO Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. This freighter docked to Mir's aft docking port (Kvant-1) on 13.10.93 at 2325 UTC. The approach and docking took place in the automatic mode under observation of the crew. The docking took place a little bit later than expected after Mir's pass in orbit 43764 from 2309-2314 UTC. During this pass the transmitters of Progress-M20 still could be monitored on 922.755 mc and in the 166 and 165 mc bands. Mir also worked with packet radio on 145.550 mc. During the passes in orb. 43765 (14.01 0043-0050 UTC) and 43766 (0221-0227 UTC) the crew and TsUP spoke about the just arrived freighter. The crew was satisfied: the ship was clean and they got the badly needed dairy-products, which they ordered only recently. Progress-M20 has a V.B.K. (ballistic return capsule) on board. The arrival of the Progress-M20 is good news for the Dutch University in Nijmegen for she safely delivered their experiments in the Biokrist-package.

    PROGRESS-M19:

    To enable Progress-M20 to dock with the complex the Progress-M19 had to disappear. Nowadays the Russians undock the old freighter as soon as they are sure about the right orbit and the good functioning of the new one. So Progress-M19 separated from Mir on 12.10.1993 at 1759 UTC. Before burning up in the atmosphere Progress-M19 jettisoned the V.B.K. and this landed safely in the designated area on 13.10.93 at 0022 UTC. The crew on board Mir did not go asleep but observed the whole operation. The were enthusiastic about this interesting event. They saw how the engines of Pr-19 worked, how the V.B.K. separated from Progress-M19 and they even could see the burning up of the rest of the freighter. They made a lot of video-films and images. During the pass in 43751, on 13.10.93 at 0135 UTC they reported about these observations to TsUP. In the course of 13.10 they transmitted their films to TsUP via the geostationary satellite Altair.

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


1993 October 21 - .
  • Mir News 194: 4th Spacewalk (EVA) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. This EVA has been put forward and will take place on 22.10.93. The crew will open the hatch at 1630 UTC and the EVA has to last 3 or 4 hours. During this EVA the crew will conclude the experiment Panorama. This is an inspection with camera's of the outer surface of the complex. Special attention will be given to the damages caused by particles from outer space during the Perseid meteorites storm around 12.08.93 and that of the collision with something from outer space on 21.09.93. Serebrov will execute this survey from a position in the top of the Strela crane (or: girder). The crane will be steered by Tsibliyev.

    Progress-M20:

    This freighter will undock from the complex on 21.11.93. After jettisoning the V.B.K. (return capsule) Progress-M20 will burn up in the atmosphere. The undocking and decay of Progress-M20 has been put forward due to one of the American (Boeing) experiments. To keep this experiment in space until the return of Soyuz-TM17 to the 2d decade of January 1994 was undesirable.

    Reason for the delay of the launch of Soyuz-TM18:

    This delay has been caused by the bad economical situation. Simply: there was no funding available for a launch in November 1993. Soyuz-TM18 will start on 4.01.94 with the relief crew (15th main expedition to Mir) on board. One of the crew of 3 persons will be a doctor (Polyakov or Arzamazov), who will remain on board Mir for 1.5 year. The present crew (14th main expedition) will return to earth with Soyuz-TM17 on 12.01.94, so their flight will last well over 1.5 months longer than foreseen in the original planning. Though reluctantly Tsibliyev and Serebrov agreed to this delay.

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


1993 October 22 - . 15:47 GMT - .
1993 October 23 - .
  • Mir News 195: 4th Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew on 22.10.93 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. This EVA started earlier than was expected. The hatch swung open at abt. 1535 UTC. During the first half hour of this EVA the cosmonauts spoke with the Russian premier-minister Chernomyrdin who visited TsUP. Regretfully this EVA ended earlier than planned due to a malfunction of a life system Serebrov's spacesuit. The EVA took place between (plus/min) 1535-1615 UTC and had a duration of only 38 minutes. The crew succeeded in installing on the outer surface of the complex a device for measurements of the micro-meteorite flux and the salvaging of materials which had been exposed to the influence of outer space. Serebrov made some images in the framework of the Panorama experiment, but for the conclusion of that experiment another EVA will be necessary. Our good friend OM Peter observed via Altair that the cosmonauts had left the airlock. After a while the transmission of images switched over to the system Orbita and only the speech could be monitored. Soon we derived from this traffic that the cosmonauts were in the airlock, that they had closed the exit hatch and were equalising the pressures between the airlock (S.Sh.O.) and the instrument- and scientific compartment (P.N.O.). For that purpose they had opened the valve K.V.D. and via the downlink the sound of streaming air could be heard. During the first pass within VHF-range (in orbit 43902, 1932- 1937 UTC) the cosmonauts reported that all was well. The possible date of the 5th EVA also was mentioned. This might be 29.10.93 depending on further analyses of the emerged problems.

    Information: The English service of Radio Moscow slightly paid attention to this EVA, but did not speak about the cause of the premature return on board of the crew. For the first time in the history of spaceflight Radio Moscow spoke about the Russian crew as 'astronauts' instead of 'cosmonauts'.

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


1993 October 29 - . 13:38 GMT - .
1993 October 30 - .
  • Mir News 196: 5th Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew on 29.10.93 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. The crew opened the hatch at 1338 UTC and closed this behind them at 1750 UTC, so the duration of this EVA was 4 hrs and 12 mins. They fully accomplished their tasks: the experiment Panorama, during which Sererbrov made video-images of the outer surface of the station, they removed samples of materials which had been exposed to open space and placed new samples and on instructions from experts on earth they carried out an inspection of objects on the outside, for instance the solar panels. They also carried out prophylactic work. Most of the radio-communications was relayed by the satellite Altair. During the first 2 passes for our position the EVA was still going on and the radio-traffic could be heard on VHF as well as on Altair. During the pass in orbit 44010, 1742-1752 UTC, the cosmonauts returned to the airlock and they told TsUP that they were ready to close the hatch on TsUP's command. So they did at 1750 UTC and they immediately started with the equalisation of the pressures between the airlock (S.Sh.O.) and the Instrument-Scientific compartment (P.N.O.). OM Peter monitored phone as well as TV-images and in co-ordination with him I was able to determine that all went well during this EVA. During the first communication session via Altair after the EVA the cosmonauts transmitted images made during the EVA to TsUP. So OM Peter could see how the crew during their EVA jettisoned an old (probably no longer usable)EVA or spacesuit. They succeeded in sending away this dummy in such a shape that it looked like someone who saluted like a soldier. After analyses of the monitored radio-traffic I hope to tell something about the crew's assessment of the damage, which had been caused by micro-meteorites around 12.08.93.

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


1993 November 16 - .
  • Mir News 197: Progress-M20 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. For some time the Mir-crew is preparing the freighter Progress- M20 for its last autonomous flight. They store all what they want to throw away in the Progress-M20 herself and all experiments, films etc. in the return capsule (VBK). The Progress-M20 has to undock from Mir on 21.11.93 at abt. 0900 UTC for decay in the atmosphere. Before burning up the Progress-M20 will jettison the VBK for a safe landing in the Orenburg region, so on Russian territory. A landing in Kazakhstan means that the Russians must pay import duties to Kazakhstan!

    Orbit correction: One of these days the Progress-M20 will have to correct the orbit of the complex. After this correction old Keplers will no longer be valid.

    Mir-crew: The cosmonauts reported that the outside surface of the Mir-station is in a good shape. The damages caused by micro- meteorites are not that bad as previously expected. More concern they expressed about the inside systems of the station. The guaranteed lifetime is running to its end and they have to do a lot of strenuous maintenance work on the life systems. Nowadays they have problems with the provision of oxygen.

    Contact between Mir and Shuttle Columbia on 26.10.93:

    It was a great surprise for the Mir-crew to get a call in Russian from the Columbia on a radio-amateur channel.

    Renovation work in my shack:

    Due to renovation work in my shack it might be difficult to maintain my operational possibilities for a while. So there might be a period in which I will be unable to make Mir- reports. Please don't worry: when this misery is over I will be back again!

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


1993 November 21 - .
  • Mir News 198: Progress-M20 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. Orbit correction: On 17.11.93 during orbit 44300 the engines of Progress-M20 corrected the orbit of the Mir-complex: Ap/per now 395.3/388.2 KM.

    Decay of Progress-M20 and safe landing return capsule on 21.11.93:

    Undocking of Progress-M20 from Mir at 0236 UTC. Progress-M20 jettisoned the VBK (return capsule) at 0850 UTC. Progress-M20 entered dense layers of the atmosphere at 0851 UTC and decayed. The VBK safely landed not far from Orsk at 0903 UTC. Orsk is a town just north of the border with Kazakhstan. The VBK itself landed just inside Kazakhstans territory. So possibly Russia will have to pay Kazakhstan import duties for the VBK and the cargo.

    VBK's cargo:

    The cargo mainly consisted of 2 American containers with experiments: The first one is the experiment TREK, which had been installed outside Mir from 4.04.91. This experiment registered particles of super-heavy elements in the cosmic radiation. The 2d American experiment was the grow of biological crystals delivered by the firm Boeing. The VBK brought back to earth some Russian experiments: 2 videocassettes with images made during the survey experiment Panorama, an experiment with Ultraviolet in the earth's atmosphere, a sample of thermo-insulation material exposed to open space and a lot of negative-films.

    Progress-M21: It is still unknown when this freighter will be launched for a flight to Mir. This freighter is badly needed, especially for a supply of fresh oxygen. The last days the crew is complaining about problems with the air pressure and oxygen, which cause respiration problems (dry nostrils and throat).

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


1993 December 10 - .
  • Mir News 199: Progress-M21 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-14. For a long time we expected the launch of the freighter towards the end of November 1993. Due to economic and other problems this launch has been put back. The launch is now on schedule for 26.01.1994, so long after the relief of the present crew.

    SOYUZ-TM18:

    This ship will be launched for a flight to the Mir-station on 6.01.1994. If all goes according to the original planning the relief crew will consist of 3 cosmonauts. One of them is a doctor (Polyakov or Arazamov) who must remain in space for 1.5 year. Whether the crew will consist of 2 or 3 cosmonauts is not sure for 100%.

    Mir-routine:

    In this period Mir's passes are in the night hours. The crew is still busy in keeping the station operational. They have to pay a lot of attention to the life-support systems: air pressure- and air composition and the water regeneration systems Elektron and S.R.V.-U.

    Visit of the American vice-president to TsUP:

    The Russians very badly need financial support from the United States for the upgrading of the partly worn-out Mir-station. So they are very pleased that vice-president Gore will visit Kaliningrad near Moscow around 14.12.93. He will also visit the flight control centre TsUP.

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


1994 January 6 - .
  • Mir News 201: Soyuz-TM18 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir EO-14; Mir LD-4. The launch of this ship with the relief crew of 3 will take place from Baykonur on 8.01.94 at 1005 UTC. If all goes according to schedule Soyuz-TM18 will dock to Mir on 10.01.94 at abt. 1148 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM17:

    The present Mir-crew (Tsibliyev and Serebrov) is already involved in activities related to their oncoming relief and their return to earth on 14.01.94. On 5.01.94 they remained on board of this ship for a long time to check systems and to look for areas in which they can stow things, which have to be returned to earth.

    Progress-M17:

    This freighter is still flying autonomously after the separation from Mir on 11.08.93. The Russians left Progress-M17 in space to check the lifetime of the systems due to the future use by the Americans of a Soyuz-TM modification as ACVR (rescue boat) for their space station. During a manoeuvre before Christmas the station came in a lower perigee (235 KM) due to a failure in the attitude control system. TsUP lost control over the freighter and they plan to have her decayed in the end of February this year. Probably this will happen spontaneously: the present orbital elements will lead to a decay at abt 28.03.94 (+ or - 3 days).

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


1994 January 8 - . 10:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-18 - . Call Sign: Derbent (Derbent - Russian city). Crew: Afanasyev; Polyakov; Usachyov. Backup Crew: Arzamazov; Malenchenko; Strekalov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 67. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev; Polyakov; Usachyov; Arzamazov; Malenchenko; Strekalov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir EO-14; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 182.02 days. Decay Date: 1994-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 22957 . COSPAR: 1994-001A. Apogee: 335 km (208 mi). Perigee: 244 km (151 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 90.10 min. Summary: Mir Expedition EO-15. Docked at the Kvant module on January 10 at 11:15 GMT. Transported to the Mir orbital station of a crew comprising the cosmonauts V M Afanasev, Y V Usachev, and V V Polyakov for the fifteenth main expedition..

1994 January 9 - .
  • Mir News 202: Soyuz-TM18 blasted off for flight to Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir EO-14; Mir LD-4. Soyuz-TM18 has been launched from Baykonur on 8.01.94 at 1005 UTC. All went well and at 1014 UTC Soyuz-TM18 had reached the right orbit. For the flight the 1st crew had been selected, so: Captain V. Afanasyev, who makes his 2d flight, board engineer (rookie) Yu. Usachev (pronunciation Usachov ) and the physician Dr. V. Polaykov, making his 2d flight. He will try to remain 427 days in space. The call of the crew is Derbent, so resp. Derbent-1, 2 and 3. For radio-amateur traffic resp. U9Mir, R3Mir and U3Mir. Soyuz-TM18 came in range during orbit 3, 1307 UTC. Strong transmissions on the known frequencies (121.750, 165.874 and 922.755 mc). Afanasyev reported that all went well and he added some pressure values. After abt. 30 mins Mir (orb. 45114) could be heard here. TsUP told the Mir-crew that all on board Soyuz-TM18 was normal. In the pass in the 4th orbit (1436 UTC) Afanasyev reported that the Soyuz-TM18 executed 2 orbit corrections without significant problems. During the pass in the 5th orbit (1609- UTC) Afanasyev reported the successful performance of Soyuz-TM18 during the 3d orbit correction. Afanasyev got the order to adjust the Globus position indicator and Dr. Polyakov stated that the condition of the crew was excellent. On 10.01.94 at 1150 UTC Soyuz-TM18 has to dock to the Mir-complex. This will be abt 4 mins. after LOS of the space objects in Mir's orbit nr. 45144.

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


1994 January 11 - .
  • Mir News 203: Soyuz-TM18 docked with the Mir-space station. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir EO-14; Mir LD-4. On 10.01.94 at 1050 UTC Soyuz-TM18 docked to the Mir-station. Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the use of the system Kurs. During Mir's pass in orbit 45144 (1138-1147 UTC) the approach was going on. Afanasyev watched the behaviour of Soyuz-TM18 on his monitor. He had to be alert to take over manually, but this was not necessary. Soyuz-TM18 approached and docked smoothly. During the approach the transmitter of Mir and of the Soyuz-TM18 as well could be heard. During the pass in the next orbit (45145, 1315-1323 UTC) the hatch was opened and the enthusiastic welcome and greetings of both crews could be monitored. The following pass (orb. 45146, 1448-1459 UTC) Serebrov spoke a word of welcome and reported that mood and health of the newcomers were excellent. For Dr. Polyakov reason to gather blood samples from the cosmonauts to be able to confirm this scientifically.

    The 5 men will work together during the next 3 days and the old crew (Mir Main expedition nr. 14) will then hand over the station to the 15th Main expedition.

    On 14.01.1994 Tsibliyev and Serebrov will return to earth in the Soyuz-TM17.

    The 15th Main Expedition will last until 6.07.1994, so 177 days. Then Afanasyev and Usachev will be relieved by Malenchenko, Musabayev and Strekalov. Strekalov will return with the relieved crew. Dr. Polyakov will remain on board until spring 1995 (427 days) to conduct medical experiments aimed at the long-lasting flights to Mars.

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


1994 January 14 - .
1994 January 15 - .
  • Mir News 204: Soyuz-TM17 returned to earth - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir EO-14; Mir LD-4. On 14.01.1994 at 0819 UTC (08 hrs 18 mins 20 secs) the return capsule of the Soyuz-TM18 landed at 215 KM West of Karaganda in Kazakhstan. The cosmonauts (Tsibliyev and Serebrov) felt well after their flight of 197 days. They will be flown to Starcity near Moscow this afternoon. Again a routine-message about a routine-operation, but yet 'it has been a near thing' and nearly I had to draft a real shocking message!

    Return operation:

    At 0145 UTC the hatch of Soyuz-TM17 was closed behind Tsibliyev and Serebrov. At 0430 UTC the Soyuz-TM17 undocked from Mir. Tsibliyev had got orders to make a short inspection flight around the Mir-complex. They had to make images of the outer surface and they had to give special attention to the APAS89 docking system on Kristall (Module-T). In a distance of 30 Meters S- TM17 deviated from the desired course and collided with the Mir-station. Immediately radio contact with Soyuz-TM17 was lost. After 10 minutes TsUP managed to re-established radio contact with Soyuz-TM17 and the crew reported that their ship did not suffer damages and that the air-seal was still in good order. They also did not see any damages on the Mir-complex. Soyuz-TM17 made its last 2 orbits around the earth and the descent started at abt. 0715 UTC. At 0804 UTC the parachute opened and the 2-tonne heavy capsule made a safe landing at 08.18.20 UTC.

    Mir:

    The new crew (15th Main Expedition) immediately started observations through the portholes to try to determine eventual damages. During the passes in orbits 45206 (1100 UTC) and 45207 (1234 UTC) they transmitted to earth video-images which they made during the departure and fly-around of Soyuz-TM17. Shortly Afanasyev and Usachov will have to make a non-scheduled spacewalk to inspect the place, where Soyuz-TM17 hit the Mir- station. (probably near the APAS89 docking device on Kristall -Module-T).

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


1994 January 24 - .
  • Mir News 205: Soyuz-TM18 flown from aft to forward docking port - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Mir-station:

    This operation was on schedule for 21.01.94 but was put back to 24.01.94. Instead of a short operation (undocking, hovering until the complex turned 180 degrees and docking to the other port) TsUP decided to use the operation for an inspection of the whole complex to be sure that the collision of S- TM18 and the Kristall-module on 14.01.94 did not cause fatal damages. The whole crew went aboard the Soyuz-TM18 and undocked from the aft docking port at 0309 UTC and flew autonomously for a long time. At 0452 UTC Soyuz-TM18 docked to the forward (P.Kh.O.) docking port and remained on board of the Soyuz-TM18 until 0619 UTC. During the first pass of the complex within our range (orb. 45359, 0615 UTC) Usachov reported via 121.750 mc that Afanasyev had opened the hatch. During the long period between docking and entering the station the crew checked systems and airseal of compartments.

    Damage assessment during inspection flight:

    Apart from some negligible scratches in the area of the collision (on Kristall-module) no significant or fatal damages have been discovered. In a long communication session between TsUP and Mir via Altair (0855-0946 UTC) the crew extensively reported about that inspection and transmitted images to earth. Obviously it will not be necessary to insert an unscheduled spacewalk to inspect the outer surface of Kristall.

    Progress-M21: This freighter will be launched from Baykonur on 28.01.94 at 0212 UTC. Docking 2 days later to Mir's aft (Kvant) docking port on 30.01.94 at abt. 0300 UTC.

    Yevpatoriya: The tracking and communication facilities near Yevpatoriya and Simferopol on the Crimea are again operational for TsUP's control of the Mir-space station. On 20.01.94 (orb. 45300, 1137 UTC) the crew waited for communications via Yevpatoriya. Meanwhile this has been confirmed: the RKA and her Ukrainian counterpart have reached an agreement on the use of Ukrainian space facilities for Russian spaceflight.

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


1994 January 28 - . 02:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U N15000-635.
  • Progress M-21 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 221. Mass: 7,130 kg (15,710 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 54.13 days. Completed Operations Date: 1994-03-21 05:24:50 . Decay Date: 1994-03-21 05:24:50 . USAF Sat Cat: 22975 . COSPAR: 1994-005A. Apogee: 236 km (146 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 30 Jan 1994 03:56:13 GMT. Undocked on 23 Mar 1994 01:20:29 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 Mar 1994 05:13:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 51.89 days..

1994 January 29 - .
  • Mir News 206: Progress-M21 launched - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. The freighter Progress-M21 was launched from Baykonur on 28.01.94 at 0213 UTC. Already at 0514 UTC the transmissions of Progress-M21 on 166, 165 and 922.755 mc could be heard. During the rest of Progress-M21's passes within our range the transmitters worked continuously. Progress-M21 will deliver supplies, food, water, fuel, equipment, spare parts and post to the Mir-complex. Progress-M21 does not carry a VBK (ballistic return capsule). This crew (the 15th Main Expedition) will receive another 2 Progress-M-s. The first one, the Progress-M22, will start on 16 (or: 18) March 1994. Progress-M22 will not carry a VBK. Progress-M23 is on schedule for launch on 18 (or: 20) May 1994 and will have a VBK on board.

    Expected docking time of Progress-M21 to Mir:

    On 30.01.94 at abt. 0354 UTC Progress-M21 will dock to Mir's aft (Kvant-1) docking port. The approach and docking will be automatically with the system Kurs. Afanasyev will be standby with the TORU (tele-orientation and command regime) which might enable him to take over manually in case of a Kurs system failure.

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


1994 January 31 - .
  • Mir News 207: Progress-M21 docked to the Mir-space station - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. On 30.01.94 at 0356 UTC (03 hrs 56 mins 14 secs) the freighter Progress-M21 docked to the aft (Kvant) docking port of the Mir-complex. Afanasyev did not have to use the TORU for the Progress-M21 approached and docked automatically with the system Kurs. During the pass in orb. 45452 (0520 UTC) checks of the airseal proved that all was in good order and Afanasyev opened the hatch to the freighter at 0524 UTC. During the next passes the crew reported their satisfaction about the state of the Progress-M21: all was clean and fresh and the people on earth had taken good care for the cargo.

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


1994 February 11 - .
  • Mir News 208: Mir again can be montiored - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. For a period of almost a fortnight Mir passed over here during the night hours and this meant radio silence on 143.625 mc. Now we again can monitor traffic during the evening hours. 145.550 mc remained active all the time, mainly with Packet radio. During the first passes this week the Mir crew spoke with their colleagues Manarov (U2Mir), Volkov (U4Mir) and Artsebarskiy (U7Mir) in Russia and Tognini in France. These contacts were in the Russian language and they used their operational call sign 'Derbenty'. The 145.550 mc was also in use on board of the space shuttle Discovery (STS-60) during the flight of the Russian 'astronaut' Krikolyov, who got permission for the temporary use of his own call sign U5Mir. The contacts between Discovery and Mir took place out of our range. On 8.02.94 they communicated via TDRS-es and the first direct contact on VHF took place on 10.02.94. During the night and early morning of 10.02.94 both objects regularly passed within our range during overlaps of their footprints.

    Schedule for operations with Progress-M freighters:

    Progress-M22: Launch on 16.03.94, docking with Mir on 18.03.- 94. This freighter does not carry a VBK (ballistic return capsule). Progress-M21: Separation from Mir on 17.03.94 if Progress-M22 is in the right orbit and functioning normally. Progress-M21 has no VBK on board. Progress-M23: Launch on 18.03.94, docking to Mir at 20.04.94. This freighter carries a VBK. Progress-M22: Separation from Mir on 19.05.94 if all is going well with Progress-M23. A schedule for the freighters after Progress-23 has been published, but data might be subject to changes. The transport ship Soyuz-TM19, had to be launched on 24.06.94, but this launch has been put forward to 20.06.94, docking to Mir on 22.06.94. The first crew consisted of Malenchenko, Musabayev and Strekalov. Strekalov had to return with the relieved Afanasyev and Usachov after 12 days. Possibly Strekalov will fly with Soyuz-TM21 together with Dezhurov and an American cosmonaut on 01.03.95.

    American 'cosmonauts': 2 American astronauts had to arrive in Starcity near Moscow on one of these days to begin with their training for a flight as 'cosmonaut'. Due to technical reasons their departure has been postponed for 1 or 2 weeks.

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


1994 March 15 - .
  • Mir News 209: Launch Progress-M22 postponed - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. This freighter was on schedule to be launched on 16 or 18.03. Due to very bad weather conditions (blizzards) the launch has been put back for a while. Possibly the exact date of launch will be published on 17.03.94.

    Fire on Baykonur: On 7.03.94 a heavy fire broke out in a MIK (Assembly and test complex) and spread to a Maintenance Unit Headquarters. There the fire damaged a Telemetry installation. The fire caused a damage of appr. 1.7 a 1.8 million dollars. The Russians declared that space-programs will not suffer from this event.

    Progress-M17: This freighter has been flying autonomously from 11.08.93 for a duration test of its systems. The Russians planned to leave the Progress-M17 in orbit for a year and a half on request by the Americans who want to use modified versions of the Soyuz-TM-ships for ACRV (assured crew return vehicle) for the space station Alpha. A test flight with a Progress-M was useful for a lot of systems of this freighter are the same as those of the Soyuz-TM. During an orbit manoeuvre in December 1993 something went wrong and the Progress-M17 came in a very low perigee from where it decayed naturally by burning up in the Earth's atmosphere on 3.03.94 at 0406 UTC

    Tracking ships: The tracking ship Cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev is floating somewhere in the Atlantic for the support of spaceflight operations which have nothing to do with the Mir-station. Nevertheless the ship now and then assists TsUP for communications with the Mir-station. This took place on 13.03- .94 at 2004 UTC and on 14.03.94 at 2045 UTC, so out of our range. We can expect that within due time we can hear Mir- radio traffic relayed by the KPB or one of the other ships.

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


1994 March 22 - . 04:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U 76032992.
  • Progress M-22 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 222. Mass: 7,103 kg (15,659 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 61.99 days. Completed Operations Date: 1994-05-23 04:48:12 . Decay Date: 1994-05-23 04:48:12 . USAF Sat Cat: 23035 . COSPAR: 1994-019A. Apogee: 335 km (208 mi). Perigee: 260 km (160 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Launched into an initial 192 x 238 x 51.6 km orbit. Docked with Mir on 24 Mar 1994 06:39:37 GMT. Fired its engine around 15 May to raise the orbit of the Mir station from 381 x 400 km to 398 x 399 km. Undocked on 23 May 1994 00:58:38 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 May 1994 04:40:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 59.76 days.

1994 March 23 - .
  • Mir News 210: Progress-M22 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. This freighter will be launched from Baykonur on 22.03.94 at 0454 UTC for a flight to the Mir-space station. This launch, originally planned for 16 or 18.03.94, has been postponed due to problems on Baykonur. Russians sources stated that meteorological conditions (blizzards) had forced them to put back the launch. On 7.03.94 a heavy fire broke out in the MIK (assembly- and test complex) for Progress-M-s and Soyuz-TM- s. The fire also effected a command centre. It was almost impossible to extinguish this fire due to the lack of water caused by one of those inclement blizzards.

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


1994 March 25 - .
  • Mir News 211: Progress-M22 launched - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. The freighter Progress-M22 has been launched from Baykonur on 22.03- .94 at 0454 UTC. If all goes well the Progress-M22 will dock to Mir's aft (Kvant-1) docking port on 24.03.94 at abt. 0638 UTC. During some of the passes within our range the transmitters of Progress-M22 could be heard. During the pass from 0929-0931 UTC only in the 166 and 165 mc bands, from 1059-1105 UTC also the beacon on 922.755 mc transmitted. So the transmitters did not -as usual- transmit during all passes. TsUP stated that all systems worked without problems. TsUP emphasised that the delay of the launch (originally on schedule for 16 or 18.03.94) was caused by the blizzards and that the fire in MIK and a command centre on 7.03.94 had nothing to do with the delay. The blizzards buried the cosmodrome under snow dunes up to 6 meters high.

    Tracking ships: Now and then TsUP and Mir meet problems with the communications via the geostationary satellite Altair. Probably this is caused by malfunctions of the meanwhile worn out transceiver (Antares) on board Mir The tracking ship Cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev (KPB), somewhere in the Atlantic, regularly is involved in Mir-communications. On 23.03.94 from 1705-1714 UTC Mir and TsUP have a communication sched via KPB.

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


1994 March 26 - .
  • Mir News 212: Progress-M21 separated from the Mir-space station - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. As of 30.01.94 this freighter occupied the aft (Kvant-1) docking port of the complex. To enable the new freighter, Progress-M22, to dock to that port Progress-M21 had to disappear. On 23.03.94 at 0118 UTC Progress-M21 undocked and flew its last flight as an independent satellite until 0432 UTC. At 0432 UTC Progress-M21's engine gave an impulse to bring her back in the atmosphere. Consequently she burnt up and decayed over the Pacific a few minutes later. Progress-M21 had no ballistic return capsule on board.

    Progress-M22 docked to the Mir-space station:

    Progress-M22 docked to the aft (Kvant-1) docking port of the complex on 24.03.94 at 0639 UTC. The docking took place just after LOS of Mir and Progress-M22 for my position. During the pass before the docking Mir's radio traffic on 143.625mc and Progress-M22's beacon on 922.755mc could be heard. Afanasyev reported data about the approach: the final approach, distance 59 M, approach speed 0.3M/sec, etc. Already during the next pass (orb. 46281, 0803 UTC) the hatch to Progress-M22 had been opened. Inside Progress-M22 all was clean and the crew -as always- enjoyed the nice smell of apples. Progress-M22 delivered to the complex food, water, fuel, post, spare parts and equipment for the maintenance of Mir's systems and additional equipment to be used by Dr. Polyakov for his medical experiments. If the Russians stick to the original schedule Progress-M22 will have to leave the aft docking port on 19.05.94 to enable her successor Progress-M23 to dock on 20.05.94. Progress-M22 does not have a VBK on board; Progress-M23 will carry a VBK.

    Baykonur: As of 22.03.94 Russian and Kazakhstan politicians and experts are gathered in Moscow for negotiations on a draft agreement about the right of Russia to use the cosmodrome Baykonur. Thus far it was impossible to reach consonance about the amount of money for the rent and the compensation for ecological damages caused by soviet space-activities over some decades. Russians are considering the possibility to reconstruct the base for ICBM's near Svobodnyy (East Siberiya, 51degr24min N, 128degr07min E.) into a cosmodrome to replace Baykonur. Yuriy Semyonov, Head of NPO 'Energiya', is against this idea: in his opinion Russia will loose its place as a leading space-power if Russia abandons Baykonur. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1994 May 10 - .
  • Mir News 213: Mir-operations - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. After the docking of Progress-M22 to the Mir-station the passes gradually shifted to the night hours. Meanwhile Mir passes take place again during the day hours, which means that regularly radio traffic can be heard. In this stage of the Mir- mission there is not too much to report: just routine matters and the well-known experiments: measurements of the flows of elementary charged particles by the Mariya-spectrometer and x- ray and gamma radiation by spectrometers in the Kvant-1 module. The crew shot a lot of video- and photo-images of the earth on request by geologists en ecologists. Polyakov continues his medical experiments. On 9.05.94 the crew made films of heavy fires along the frontier of Siberia and Mongolia. During passes in which Mir is in contact with TsUP often only Afanasyev is heard. Sometimes, but not as much as Afanasyev, Polyakov and Usachov communicate with TsUP. Daily routine for the crew still remains the functioning of the water regeneration systems, about the SRV-U -distillation of water from urine- they daily have discussions with TsUP.

    Baykonur: After long and difficult negotiations Russia and Kazakhstan reached an agreement about the use by Russia of Baykonur and Leninsk. Russia has to pay a rent of 115 million. US-dollars a year for a period of 20 years and the option for a prolongation by another 10 years. Russia can act in Baykonur and Leninsk as if it was Russian territory. Let us hope that the agreement puts an end to the uncertainties for Russian and future users of the cosmodrome and to the vexations and confiscation of vital materials by the Kazakhstan authorities.

    Soyuz-TM19: This transport ship will be launched from Baykonur on 24.06.94 with the crew for the 16th Main Expedition to Mir. The first crew consists of Musabayev and Malenchenko, both rookies. Musabayev is from Kazakhstan, but the Russians stressed that he will fly just because he is a good cosmonaut and not to please Kazakhstan. On 4.04.94 the State commission decided to exclude Strekalov from that flight. He was on schedule for the Russians use to add an experienced cosmonaut to a crew with only rookies. So for the first time in many years a Soyuz-ship will fly with only rookies on board. The reason for the exclusion of Strekalov is economical: his seat will be used for an extra amount of cargo (85 KG). Strekalov is still in the race for he will fly during the 1995 program. He will then be 'ferried' to Mir by the space shuttle Atlantis. To get the training as an 'astronaut' he will arrive in the USA one of these days.

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


1994 May 17 - .
  • Mir News 214: Mir-operations - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. On 16.05.94 the engines of the Progress-M22, still docked to the Mir-space station, corrected the orbit of the complex. The orbit on appr. 400 KM is almost fully circular now. Kepler elements earlier than 16.05.94 cannot be used any longer. Herewith the 2-line elements for day 137: 137.63180416 0.00005592 51.6463 339.1528 .0001314 282.2347 77.8458 15.56018306 47128. Progress-M23: The launch of this freighter has been put back until 22.05.94 at abt. 0425 UTC. If all will go according to plan we can for the first time monitor the transmissions of Progress-M23 that day at abt. 0725 UTC on the freq.-s 922.755, 166.140, 166.130 and 165.873 mc. Progress-M23 will have a VBK (ballistic return capsule) on board.

    The docking of Progress-M23 to the Mir-complex is scheduled for 24.05.94 at abt. 0617 UTC, so 4 minutes after LOS (Loss of signal) for our position.

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


1994 May 22 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U 76024355.
  • Progress M-23 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 223. Mass: 7,117 kg (15,690 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 41.44 days. Decay Date: 1994-07-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 23114 . COSPAR: 1994-031A. Apogee: 399 km (247 mi). Perigee: 397 km (246 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.52 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir, with Raduga return capsule. Docked with Mir on 24 May 1994 06:18:35 GMT. Undocked on 2 Jul 1994 08:46:49 GMT. The braking engine was ignited at 14:44 GMT, and the Raduga VBK reentry capsule was ejected at 14:55:45 GMT. The Progress burnt up in the atmosphere at 14:57 GMT. The Raduga deployed its parachute after reentry and landed on 2 Jul 1994 15:09:00 GMT at 51 deg 41 min N, 59 deg 21 min E, in the Orenburg region. Total free-flight time 2.34 days. Total docked time 39.10 days.

1994 May 25 - .
  • Mir News 215: Progress-M23 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. This freighter has been launched from Baykonur on 22.05.94 at 0430 UTC. During the first pass for our position the transmitters of Progress-M23 did not work possibly due to the fact that Yevpatoria still does not participate in the tracking activities of TsUP. During orbit 4 the transmissions on 166, 165 and 922mc could be monitored over here. Progress-M23 carries more than 2000 KG cargo for the Mir- complex, i.e. fuel, food, water, post, equipment and experiments. In contradiction to her predecessor this Progress-M also carries a VBK (ballistic return capsule).

    Progress-M22: This freighter had to free the aft (Kvant-1) docking port for the Progress-M23. After TsUP was sure about the good functioning of all systems of Progress-M23 Progress-M22 could be separated from Mir for decay in the atmosphere. The undocking took place on 23.05.94 at 0057 UTC and after some hours Progress-M22 burnt up over the Pacific.

    Progress-M23 docked to the Mir-station on 24.05.94 at 0619 UTC. During the first pass, in which the approach of Progress-M23 to Mir was in its final stage, there was no radio traffic on VHF (possibly again due to the absence of the Yevpatoriya- facilities). For communications TsUP used the Ku-bands of the Altair satellite. During the 2d pass (orb. 47232, 0745-0751- UTC) Polyakov reported from Mir's central post that Afanasyev and Usachov already were near the opened hatch to the Progress-M23. They had followed the safety recommendations of TsUP (for instance the use of protection glasses). The Progress-M23 was clean and already had given the whole complex a higher pressure to 717mm. The crew enjoyed the fresh air with the smell of fruits. Afanasyev reported that all was well. Launch date Soyuz-TM19 possibly put back:

    There are circulating messages about a possible change of the launch date of Soyuz-TM19, thus far on schedule for 24.06.94. These messages are not equal: there might be a delay until 20.07.94, but the Russians did not confirm this. They admitted that there are discussions about a possible delay, but if so the launch will take place not mare than 2 weeks later. The discussions are still going on.

    Yevpatoriya: For a short period in the beginning of 1994 this station could be used by the Russians for TsUP- Mir communications. During the flight of the Soyuz-TM18 the station could be used due to a provisional agreement between the RKA and her Ukrainian counterpart. Regretfully this probably only worked for a short period. Tough negotiations between Russia and the Ukraine were going on about this matter and the present problems on the Crimea certainly will not make the negotiations easier. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1994 June 25 - .
  • Mir News 216: Soyuz-TM19 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. The launch of this ship had been put back several times due to problems with the production of the fairing for the protection of Soyuz-TM19 during the first phase of the launch. Now this launch from Baykonur is on schedule for 1.07.94 at abt. 1224 UTC. If all goes well Soyuz-TM19 will dock to the Mir- complex (aft, Kvant-2 docking port) 2 days later. This ship will ferry the relief crew, Malenchenko and Musabayev, to Mir. On 9.07.94 the present crew Afanasyev and Usachov will return to earth with the Soyuz-TM18. Dr. Polyakov will remain on board to reach a place in the Guiness Book of Records after a stay of 429 days in space.

    Kazakhstan insists upon the fact that Musabayev will make his spaceflight as a representative of Kazakhstan for he is a native of that country. The Russians agreed with that, but told Kazakhstan that this means that Musabayev will fly as a foreign guest cosmonaut and that Kazakhstan has to pay for that just like western countries have to pay for their cosmonauts. Kazakhstan cannot afford this.

    Progress-M23: Before Soyuz-TM19 can dock to the aft docking port the freighter Progress-M23 has to undock from there. If all goes well on board Soyuz-TM19 after launch Progress-M23 will separate from Mir on 2.07.94. The return capsule (VBK) of Progress-M23 has to make a soft landing somewhere in Kazakhstan.

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


1994 July 1 - .
  • Mir News 217: Soyuz-TM19 launched for flight to Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Soyuz-TM19 started from Baykonur on 1.07.94 at 1224 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM19 has a crew of two: Yuriy Malenchenko and Tolgat Musabayev. For a long time the status of this flight was unknown: Musabayev's native country is Kazakhstan, but he was supposed to fly as an officer of the Russian airforce. Now the flight has been announced as a Russian-Kazakh expedition. Russia paid for the preparations and Kazakhstan will pay a contribution for Musabayev's activities on board Mir. All went well during the launch and the first day of the flight. The cosmonauts use the call sign Agat-1 and Agat-2. The crew has no problems with micro-gravity and space sickness. During the 3d orbit at 1527 UTC the ship came in our range. Malenchenko reported that all was going according to plan and the results were positive. The pressure of the atmosphere on board was 803 mm. Already during the next pass (orb. 4, 1656 UTC) Malenchenko reported the first 2 orbit corrections accomplished as needed and without any problems. During the following pass (orb. 5, 1837 UTC) Malenchenko announced that the 3d orbit correction would take place at 18 hrs 47mins and 45 secs UTC. As usual during such flights: radio contact with TsUP on 121.- 750 mc and telemetry and beacons on 166, 165 and 922.755 mc.

    Progress-M23: As soon as TsUP was sure that all went well with Soyuz-TM19 the undocking of Progress-M23 was possible and took place on 2.07.94 at 0841 UTC. The landing of the VBK (ballistic return capsule) had to take place on 2.07.94 at 1500 UTC at 150 KM North East of the town Orsk, within Russian territory, so no need to pay import duties.

    Estimated docking day and time of Soyuz-TM19 with Mir:

    3.07.94 at 1404 UTC, so just after LOS for us after the first pass of Mir and Soyuz-TM19 for our position.

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


1994 July 1 - . 12:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-19 - . Call Sign: Agat (Agate ). Crew: Malenchenko; Musabayev. Backup Crew: Dezhurov; Strekalov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 68. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Malenchenko; Musabayev; Dezhurov; Strekalov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 125.95 days. Decay Date: 1994-11-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 23139 . COSPAR: 1994-036A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 396 km (246 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.49 min. Summary: Mir Expedition EO-16. Soyuz TM-19 docked at the rear port of the Kvant module (vacated by Progress M-23 on July 2) at 13:55:01 GMT on July 3..

1994 July 3 - .
  • Mir News 218: Soyuz-TM19 docked to Mir-space station - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. Soyuz-TM19 docked to the aft docking port (Kvant-1) on 3.07.94 at 1355 UTC, so 9 minutes earlier than planned. Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. So during the pass in orb. 47859, 1355-1402 UTC, the docking just took place. By monitoring Altair OM Peter could determine the right docking time meanwhile confirmed by TsUP. During the 2d pass (orb. 47860, 1527 UTC) the crew for the 16th Main expedition already had joined their predecessors inside Mir itself. During radio contact with the tracking ship Kosmonavt Pavel Belyayev in the 3rd pass (orb. 47861, 1704 UTC) Talgat Musabayev told that he was very pleased to be on board and that he did not suffer from adaptation problems at all. He also stated that he does not have any problems with the status of this flight: Russian, Russian-Kazakh, CIS or international. He considers himself to be a representative of all human beings on earth. He also emphasised that nothing can hamper the good friendship between the Russian an Kazakh people (let us hope this also applies to the politicians!).

    16th Main expedition to Mir:

    This mission consists of the new crew together with Doctor Polyakov. Malenchenko and Musabayev will return to earth on 2.11.94. Together with the new enthusiastic cosmonauts Soyuz-TM19 delivered to Mir hard- and software for experiments during the Euromir 94 mission of Merbold in October this year. In September 1994 Mal. and Mus. have to make 4 EVA (spacewalks) aimed at the transfer of the solar panels from Kristall to Kvant-1, maintenance and inspections of the outer surface of the complex and the replacement of containers (among other things the American Trek-experiment) with experiments exposed to open space.

    Soyuz-TM18: The relieved crew (Afanasyev and Usachov) will return to earth by this ship on 9.07.94.

    Progress-M23: This freighter undocked from Mir on 2.07.94 at 0841 UTC and decayed in the earth's atmosphere the same day. Just before decay it jettisoned the VBK (ballistic return capsule) which made a safe landing within Russian territory 150 KM N.E. of the town Orsk at 1508 UTC.

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


1994 July 9 - .
  • Mir News 219: Soyuz-TM18 safely landed in Kazakhstan. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir EO-15; Mir LD-4. The relieved cosmonauts Afanasyev and Usachov landed with the Descent Module of the Soyuz-TM18 at 100 KM NE of Arkalyk on 9.07.- 94 at 1033 UTC. Radio traffic of Soyuz-TM18 during the descent -also the ANAN aiming beacon- could be monitored via Altair until 1020 UTC. Immediately after the landing the cosmonauts boarded an aircraft for a non-stop flight to Star City near Moscow.

    Mir: 2 days ago the command of the Mir-complex was handed over by Afanasyev to Malenchenko. From this moment on the call sign of Polyakov changed from Derbent-3 to Agat-3.

    Soyuz-TM19: This ship is still docked to the aft (Kvant-1) docking port of the Mir-complex. Contrary to the normal practice this ship will remain there, so no redocking from the aft to the forward docking port has been planned. One of the reasons may be the future operations with modules like Module- T (Kristall), Spektr and Priroda.

    Progress-M24: Thus far the launch of this freighter is still on schedule for 13.07.94.

    Tracking ships: On 8.07.94 the tracking ship Kosmonavt Pavel Belyayev moored in the port of Antwerp. A few hours later I visited the ship for a long interview with the Chief of the Expedition of KPB. I was able to follow the movements of the ship and to determine her destination by monitoring radio traffic between the ship and the Mir-station. The chief answered a lot of questions regarding the fate and future of the famous fleet of tracking ships. The KPB is now on her way to Sankt Peterburg. A ship to take over her task in the Atlantic did not show up but remained in Sankt Peterburg due to budget problems.

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


1994 July 9 - .
1994 July 17 - .
  • Mir News 220: Progress-M24 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. The launch of this freighter has been put back. Originally 2 Progress-M's had to be launched in the period July/August 1994. The Russians had to give up one of the Progress-Ms for economical reasons. Now the Progress-M24 is on schedule to be launched on 24.08.94. Progress-M24 will deliver the normal cargo to the Mir-complex plus the equipment to be used by an European cosmonaut (Ulf Merbold or Pedro Duque) during the EuroMir94 mission in October 1994.

    Soyuz-TM19: This ship is still docked to the aft (Kvant-1) port of the Mir-station. Contrary to the normal practice S- TM19 will not be redocked to the forward (PKhO) docking port of the complex.

    EuroMir94: The Soyuz-TM20 with on board the relief crew (Viktorenko and Kondakova or the stand-in crew Gidzhenko and Avdeyev) with an ESA-cosmonaut (Ulf Merbold or Pedro Duque) is on schedule for launch on 3.10.94. The European cosmonaut will remain on board Mir for a period of 30 days. The training of the crews takes place in Starcity near Moscow as well as in the European Astronaut Centre of ESA in Cologne. In Moscow they have to study the Russian language and to get familiar with the Soyuz-TM and the Mir-space station and its modules and in Cologne the training is aimed at the European experiments, which for the greater part will cover life-sciences, i.e. monitoring the human body in microgravity conditions.

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


1994 July 25 - .
  • Mir News 221: Russian spaceflight tracking ships. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. Until 1992 the fleet of tracking ships consisted of ten ships. These ships formed a part of the infrastructure of control centres and measurement points for soviet spaceflight operations. In this case the word 'operations' covers a wide variety for the assistance of the manned spaceflight program was only a small part of their duties. The role of the ships, as far as manned spaceflight was concerned, sharply deteriorated after the beginning of the use of geostationary satellites for communications between the Salyut-7 and the Mir-space stations. The TDRS system used by the Russians did not always work satisfactorily and so all experts involved in Russian spaceflight expected that the 'ships' would remain operational at least until 2000. Already in 1990 there circulated rumours about the a gradual withdrawal of that fleet, but nobody dared to take the responsibility. However the economical problems in the last year of the S.U. forced the Russians to withdraw most of the ships from service and as of January 1st 1992 the ships in the Atlantic apart from some modest exceptions ceased to assist during Mir-operations. Sometimes a ship was operational in the Atlantic to assist space-operations for other objects and organisations and now and then had to be stand-by during Mir-operations (launches of Progresses, Soyuzes, dockings, return operations, EVA's a.s.o.), but always on a secondary basis. For the last half year the Kosmonavt Pavel Belyayev operated from a position west of Africa and even played an important role during the almost fatal flight of Soyuz-TM17 on 14.01.94. After some bumps of the Soyuz-TM17 into the Mir-station the communications via the Altair (Cosmos-2054) ceased and this caused great concern at TsUP. KPB was the first to pick up radio traffic from the Soyuz-TM17 and thus shortened the awful uncertainty phase at TsUP by 10 minutes. In the past the ships relayed traffic between Mir and TsUP via Molniya satellites during the first part of Mir's footprint for our position. Nowadays the traffic between Mir and TsUP only begins at TCA for our position. The fate of the fleet: the ships belonged to the Soviet (now Russian) Academy of Sciences. The maritime part fell under the responsibility of the Baltic- and Black sea shipping. The ships which have home ports in the Ukraine (the Kosmonavt Yuriy Gagarin and the Akademik Sergey Korolyov) now belong to that country and so their role in spaceflight fully ceased. The ships made some trips for tourists, but that was not successful. Both ships have been used to evacuate Russian military personnel and their families from Cuba to St. Petersburg. From there they returned to their Ukrainian ports. The Ukraine does not know what to do with the ships and tried to sell them to the Russians. The Russians were not interested: they still have 4 ships for the Western Hemisphere and a 5th one is under construction. Spaceflight needs over the Pacific are covered by 2 ships of the Russian Navy, the Marshal Nedelin and the Marshal Krylov. The Odessa based Kosmonavt Vladimir Komarov already before the independence of the Ukraine was transferred to Leningrad to be refurbished for other purposes: ecological expeditions in the Baltic and the North Atlantic. Thus far this plan did not work: the attempts to use the ship for that purposes on a commercial base did not have success due to the lack of customers. So in St Petersburg we have 4 ships: the Kosmonavt Pavel Belyayev, the Kosmonavt Vladislav Volkov, the Kosmonavt Viktor Patsayev and the Kosmonavt Georgiy Dobrovolskiy. They are waiting for an assignment. Possibly one of them will be used in the Atlantic west of Africa in October and November 1994 to assist during the launch and docking of Soyuz-TM20 (resp. 3 and 5.10.94) and the return flight of the Soyuz-TM19 on 3.11.94. A new ship, the Akademik Nikolay Pilyugin, has already been launched and has to be fitted. Thus far it is not known whether this new ship will influence the fate of 1 or more ships of the 4 in St Peterburg. After the last expedition the Belyayev several times had contact with the crew of the Mir-complex. From this traffic I could derive the indication that the ship planned to visit Antwerp in Belgium. This enabled me to go on board and I had a long and interesting conversation with the chief of the expedition, Nikolay Burov and the captain Sivtsov. In spite of the enormous economical difficulties of their country their hospitality towards me was 100%.

    (This Mir-report is derived from the reports in Dutch 221 and 222. So the next Mir-report in English will be MirNEWS.223)

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


1994 July 30 - .
  • Mir News 222: Radio-amateur information - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. Info for Radio-amateurs trying to make QSO's with Mir:

    On 30 July 1994 during pass in orbit nr. 48273 Musabayev asked TsUp to inform Sergey Samburov that the power unit of the transceiver for Radio-amateurism is out of order. The last time I monitored traffic on 145.550 Mc from Mir was on 27 July 1994 during the passes in orbits 48226 and 48227 when Polyakov (U3Mir) tried to make a QSO with Francis in France and with OE1AKB.

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


1994 August 16 - .
  • Mir News 223: Mir-operations - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. These days Mir's passes for our position take place during the night-hours. During the Perseid meteorite streams no nightly radio-traffic on VHF, so obviously nothing happened. This in contradiction to the same period in 1993 when several particles collided with the Mir-station. In a few days we can expect radio traffic during the evening hours again.

    PROGRESS-M24: This freighter will be launched from Baykonur on 25.08.94 at 1425 UTC. If all goes according to the plan listeners in Western-Europe can receive radio signals on the known frequencies (166.140, 166.130, 165.874 and 922.755 + or - for Doppler) 3 hours later.

    Spacewalks (EVA-s): Instead of 4 only 2 EVA's will be made by Malenchenko and Musabayev. These EVA-s are scheduled for 8 and 12.09.94. Purpose: transfer of solar panels from Kristall to Kvant-1.

    SPEKTR: The launch of this Module-O has been put back again. Now there is word that the launch will take place in may 1995. Undoubtedly this will also mean that the launch of Priroda (Module-E) will be put back either.

    American flights to Mir: The schedule for these flights might be changed due to the delay of the launch of Spektr. No further details yet.

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


1994 August 25 - .
  • Mir News 224: Progress-M24 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. A Soyuz carrier with the freighter Progress-M24 blasted off from Baykonur on 25.08.94 at 1425 UTC. The Progress-M24 has to deliver to the Mir-space station food, water, fuel, post for the crew, spare parts and equipment for repairs, also for the radio-amateur installation, and experiments to be used during the Euromir94 expedition in October this year. The Progress-M24 does NOT carry a VBK (ballistic return capsule). The telemetry- and beacon transmitters in the 166, 165 and 922 Mc bands could be monitored here during the passes in the 2d, 3d and 4th orbit. The estimated docking time with Mir is on 27.08.94 at 1601 UTC, so appr. 5 minutes after LOS of Mir's pass in orbit 48715. Progress-M24 will have to dock at the forward (PKhO) docking port.

    Recently the cosmonauts checked the system TORU (teleorientation and guidance) obviously to be ready to guide Progress-M24 manually from Mir during the approach and docking if necessary.

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


1994 August 25 - . 14:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U N15000-636.
  • Progress M-24 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 224. Mass: 7,250 kg (15,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 40.35 days. Completed Operations Date: 1994-10-04 22:41:48 . Decay Date: 1994-10-04 22:41:48 . USAF Sat Cat: 23215 . COSPAR: 1994-052A. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 394 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.47 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Failed to dock with Mir on 27 Aug 1994. A second automatic docking attempt on 30 Aug 1994 also failed and the Progress collided with the Kvant module. A third and final attempt, manually controlled by Mir commander Yuriy Malenchenko, was successful on 2 Sep 1994 13:30:28 GMT. The Mir commander and flight engineer, Yuriy Malenchenko and Talgat Musabaev, made a spacewalk on 9 Sep 1994 to inspect the damage to the Kvant module made when the Progress collided with Kvant. Undocked on 4 Oct 1994 18:55:52 GMT, leaving the rear docking port free for Soyuz TM-20. Destroyed in reentry over the Pacific at 38.4 deg S, 137.4 deg W,on 4 Oct 1994 22:43:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 8.12 days. Total docked time 32.23 days.

1994 August 27 - .
  • Mir News 225: Progress-M24 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. During the preparations for the docking of this freighter to the Mir-complex something seemed to be wrong with some systems of that ship. TsUP decided to discontinue the approach-procedure and to maintain Progress-M24 in an autonomous status for the time being. A commission is investigating the causes of the problem and must to decide when a second docking attempt will be made. Probably this will last 3 or more days.

    Radio traffic: The fact that there might be something wrong could be derived from TV-images received via Altair by our good friend Peter and from the radio traffic thereafter. In the period in which the 'final approach' was planned the crew changed the orientation of the Mir-complex to get better visual observations of the 'naughty' Progress-M24. The transmitters of the Progress-M24 in the 922, 166 and 165 Mc bands transmitted continuously. During the 2d pass of the Mir-station (orb. 48716, 1725-1735 UTC) Progress-M24 still flew autonomously and from the radio traffic between Mir and TsUP could be derived that the cosmonauts tried to observe Progress-M24 visually. Progress-M24 flew a few kilometres (2.7 a 1.5) ahead of Mir on the same altitude. Visual observations: In those part of the Netherlands and UK where the sky was clear Mir and Progress-M24 could be seen flying separately from each other during Mir's orb. nr. 48718, 2038- 2046 UTC. The 'small' star Progress-M24 flew 6 seconds ahead of the 'huge' star Mir. TCA Progress-M24: 204051 UTC, TCA Mir: 204057 UTC.

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


1994 August 31 - .
  • Mir News 226: Progress-M24 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. The 2d attempt to dock this freighter to Mir also did fail. The estimated docking time was 30.08.94 at 1450 UTC. The Progress-M24 softly hit the Mir-complex twice after which Progress-M24 immediately moved away. The Mir-crew felt the little shocks caused by the 2 contacts. They reported this during the pass in Mir's orbit 48762 at 1615 UTC. They also tried to assess eventual damages by looking through portholes. The transmitters of Progress-M24 functioned normally after the event.

    TsUP: In this flight control centre specialists did (until deadline of this report) not know the causes of both failures. More docking attempts are under consideration, but the decision depends on further analyses and results of meetings of specialists today. An eventual 3d attempt will not be made today (31.08). Among the possibilities is the use of the system TORU (Tele-orientation and guidance), which enables the crew to guide Progress-M24 from inside Mir.

    Consequences: These can be far-reaching for Russian manned spaceflight if further attempts to dock Progress-M24 would fail. Except from the normal cargo (food, water, fuel, repair material, post etc.) Progress-M24 had to deliver a part of the experiments for the Euromir94 mission and American equipment to enhance some systems on board Mir. The spare stock now available for life on board of the complex is enough for 1 month. So new supply before the end of September is urgently needed. Further failures can hamper the plans for the near future, i.e. the EVA-s in September, Euromir94 and the flights of American astronauts and Mir-Shuttle operation.

    (Derived from an enormous amount of information available until 31.08.94 at 1130 UTC.)

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


1994 September 2 - .
  • Mir News 227: Progress M-24 docks to Mir. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. TO BE ALLOWED TO TRY THREE TIMES RUNNING IS BUT FAIR!!

    The 3d attempt to dock the freighter Progress-M24 to Mir succeeded. This time they used the system TORU instead of Kurs. Malenchenko safely guided and docked Progress-M24 to the forward axial docking port (P.Kh.O.-transition section). The docking took place on 2.09.94 at 1330 UTC. During the last phase of the approach Malenchenko was fully responsible and in an admirable way he performed his task. Molodets!! Voice communication between Mir and TsUP via Altair was loud and clear and so I was able to monitor the actions and observations of Malenchenko. Just before docking the voice communication stopped while Progress-M24 was on a distance of 5 Meters with an approach speed of 26 cm/sec. M. had to correct Progress-M24's course due to a slight deviation to left.

    Radio traffic via VHF after the docking:

    During the pass in orb. 48809 (1648 UTC) M. reported that the hatch had been opened and that they already more or less had started the unloading. The ship was in good order and all was clean. The crew had to unload the container Biokrist and install it in the right place as soon as possible. (Biokrist is complex of protein crystallisation experiments) During the next pass (orb. 48810, 1824 UTC) the main subject again was the cargo and the special attention for the container Biokrist).

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


1994 September 6 - .
  • Mir News 228: Spacewalks (EVA's) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. The delay in the arrival of the freighter Progress-M24 will not cause significant changes in the original programme for the near future. The EVA's to be made in September have been put back by only 1 day: so to 9 and 13.09.94. The EVA on 9.09 will start at abt. 1300 UTC. The schedule for 13.09 depends on the results of the 1st EVA. The main task during these EVA's will be the transfer of the solar batteries from Module-T (Kristall) to Module-E (Kvant-1).

    Euromir94:

    Rumours suggested a substantial delay of the beginning of that mission. This has not officially been confirmed. Officially has been stated that it might be possible that Soyuz-TM20 with the European cosmonaut on board will blast off on 4.10.94, so 1 day later.

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


1994 September 9 - . 07:00 GMT - .
1994 September 13 - .
  • Mir News 229: 2 Spacewalks (EVA-s) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. On 9.09.1994 Malenchenko and Musabayev worked in open space for the first time. The duration of the EVA was more than 4 hours (a reliable source even spoke about 5 hrs 2 mins.). During the pass in orb. 48915, 1200-1207 UTC, so within our VHF-range, they reported the closure of the hatch at 1202 UTC. During this EVA they inspected the outside of the whole complex, installed on outside platforms experimental materials for exposure to open space and removed other experiments of that kind for storage inside the complex. They repaired the damaged thermo-isolation layer on the transition section (P.Kh.O.) of which a piece of 30x40 cm had been torn away during the collision with Soyuz-TM17 in January 1994. The inspection made clear that the touches of the freighter Progress-M24 during its 2d approach on 30.08.94 did not cause significant damages.

    On 13.09.1994 they worked in open space for the 2d time. The EVA lasted 6 hrs and 1 min between 0631 UTC (opening of the hatch) and 1232 UTC (closure of the hatch). The cosmonauts did a lot of minor repairs, replacements of bolts, screws, etc. of platforms and equipment on the outer surface of the complex. They also spoke about an old antenna. Activities of that kind must be done now and then, but have been often neglected during EVA's due to more important matters. The cosmonauts also did some preparatory work aimed at the future transfer of the solar batteries from Kristall to Kvant-1. This transfer has been put back again, now even to the beginning of 1995.

    Radio communications: During EVA-s the frequency of the VHF- downlink is somewhat lower: 143.622 mc, shifting by Doppler to 143.617 mc. Listeners in Western-Europe, inclusive UK, who monitor Mir-traffic during EVA's often experience heavy interference caused by cross-modulation from an air traffic control frequency.

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


1994 September 13 - . 06:30 GMT - .
1994 September 29 - .
  • Mir News 230: Soyuz-TM20 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. The preparations for the launch of this ship with the relief crew and the Euromir94 astronaut are proceeding normally. The launch from Baykonur is scheduled for 3.10.94 at 2242 UTC (so for Moscow: 4.10.94 at 0142 Msc Winter Time.) If all goes well during the 2-days flight the Soyuz-TM20 will dock to the Mir complex on 6.10.94 at 0013 UTC. Radio traffic and beacon signals from Soyuz-TM20 can be monitored in our area for the first time on 4.10.94 at abt. 0142 UTC on the known frequencies. The crews on the roll are still: Aleksandr Viktorenko (commander), Yelena Kondakova (board-engineer) and the ESA astronaut, the German Ulf Merbold. The stand-ins: Yuriy Gidzenko (comm.), Sergey Avdeyev (B.E.), and the ESA astronaut, the Spaniard Pedro Duque. If the state commission decides to appoint the main-crew for the flight the crew of Soyuz-TM20 will use the call sign Vityaz (so Vityaz-1, 2 and 3.)

    Mir: The Mir-crew is preparing the station for the extension of the crew with another 3 persons. Therefore the life-support systems get special attention. The crew also modified the ASU (waste collection equipment) for the use by a lady. The crew is also busy with the loading of the freighter Progress-M24 with garbage and no things which are no longer needed. The Progress-M24 will have to leave the complex to free the docking port for the Soyuz-TM20. There have been plans to execute some test-approaches by the Progress-M24 after the undocking to try to unveil the causes of the malfunction of the Kurs system during the unsuccessful docking attempts on 26 and 30.08.94. After that operation the Progress-M24 will burn up in the atmosphere over a designated area in the Pacific ocean. Progress-M24 does not carry a VBK (ballistic return capsule).

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


1994 October 3 - . 22:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-20 - . Call Sign: Vityaz (Knight ). Crew: Kondakova; Merbold; Viktorenko. Backup Crew: Budarin; Reiter; Solovyov. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 69. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kondakova; Merbold; Viktorenko; Budarin; Reiter; Solovyov. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 169.22 days. Decay Date: 1995-03-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 23288 . COSPAR: 1994-063A. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 392 km (243 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.43 min. Mir Expedition EO-17. Docked at the Mir forward port at 00:28 on 1994 October 6. The Mir crew of Viktorenko, Kondakova and Polyakov boarded Soyuz TM-20 on January 11, and undocked from Mir's front port at 09:00 GMT. The spacecraft withdrew to about two hundred metres from Mir and then redocked in a test of the automatic Kurs system, which had failed in Progress M-24's attempted docking. Redocking came at 09:25 GMT.

1994 October 4 - .
  • Mir News 231: Soyuz-TM20 launched. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir LD-4. The Soyuz-TM20 with on board the Euromir94 astronaut Merbold and the cosmonauts Viktorenko and Kondakova blasted off from Baykonur exactly on schedule on 3.10.94 at 2242 UTC (Moscow time 4.10.94 at 0142 UTC). During the passes in our range during the orbits 2, 3, 4 and 5 at resp. 0143, 0312, 0445 and 0625 UTC the Soyuz-TM20 could be monitored on the known frequencies. At 0320 UTC Viktorenko, prompted by Kondakova, reported the successful first 2 orbit corrections and the additional data. It was obvious that all on board was going well. Judging by the cheerful voice of Kondakova she must be in a good condition. Kondakova wants to stay in orbit for approx. 6 months.

    Estimated time of docking to Mir:

    Result of calculations estimate the docking time of Soyuz-TM20 to Mir on 6.10.94 at 0013 UTC, ESA (still) sticks to 0030 UTC. Soyuz-TM20 has to dock to the forward (P.Kh.O.) axial docking port of the Mir complex.

    Progress-M24: This freighter still occupies that docking port and has to get away before the arrival of Soyuz-TM20. It might be possible that after the separation the Russians will check the system Kurs of Progress-M24 during some dummy approaches as to reveal the causes of malfunctions during recent unsuccessful docking attempts. Progress-M24 does not carry a VBK (ballistic return capsule) and will burn up in the atmosphere over an area in the Pacific.

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


1994 October 6 - .
  • Mir News 232: Soyuz-TM20 docked at the Mir complex - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Soyuz-TM20 docked at the Mir complex on 6.10.94 at 0028 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM20 docked at the forward axial docking port (transition section) of the complex. At a distance of 130 M. from the Mir complex Viktorenko had to take over manually due to a malfunction of an on board computer. During the radio traffic in orb. 49328, 0005 UTC, V. reported the progress of the operation. The Soyuz-TM20 was in a distance of 151 M., approach speed of 3 cm/sec just before LOS at 001148 UTC. From a distance of appr. 50 M Viktorenko had started the final approach and his skill amazed the observers in the ESA/EAC facility in Cologne: very quickly, with only a few corrections, he accurately moored his ship. During the next pass in orb. 49329, 0143 UTC, the new crew already was in Mir's base block preparing a TV-session. One of the first persons to congratulate the crew, especially the Euromir94 astronaut Merbold, was the Dir. General of ESA, Luton. Everybody in Cologne was pleased with the excellent physical condition of the newcomers. During the pass in orb. 49330, 0317 UTC, the cheerful meeting of both crews could be heard. Again there was a TV-session also with Kondakova. During the next window in orb. 49331, 0449 UTC, Viktorenko reported that he did all what he had to do with his ship Soyuz-TM20. Progress-M24: This naughty freighter had to withdraw before the arrival of Soyuz-TM20. Progress-M24 separated from Mir on 5.10.-

    94 at 1853 UTC. Probably she flew some orbits autonomously before burning up in the atmosphere over an area in the Pacific. There have been no reports about extra manoeuvres with Progress-M24.

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


1994 October 13 - .
  • Mir News 233: Failure power supply on board Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. In the night from 11 to 12.10.94 the voltage of the power supply sharply decreased. This failure had been caused by the insufficient charging by solar batteries. All systems in the base block discontinued functioning. From this moment on it was impossible to control the attitude of the Mir-complex. It became impossible to aim the antenna for communications via the geostationary satellite. During this night a lot of radio traffic via 143.625 mc was monitored in which the problems were reported and discussed. Opinions of Russian specialists are not unanimous: the VKS (Russian space forces) spoke of a very complicated situation. Deputy Flight controller Blagov of TsUP blamed the age of the station, which is in orbit as of the beginning of 1986, while the PRO of TsUP sounded rather optimistic. He stated that the Euromir94 expedition will remain on schedule. In the night from 12 to 13 Oct. Viktorenko and Kondakova remained on duty to be able to act if necessary. Meanwhile a lot of electric energy had been loaded and specialists hope to be able to adjust the attitude of the complex in such a way that the solar arrays will function as efficient as possible and that communications via the relay satellite will be restored. The cosmonauts did not panic at all: Viktorenko and Kondakova even joked about the fact that the exchange rate of the dollar on board Mir remained stable, which could not be said about the voltages of their power supply systems.

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


1994 October 31 - .
  • Mir News 234: Soyuz-TM19 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. This ship with on board the cosmonauts Malenchenko, Musabayev and Merbold will return to earth on 4.11.94. The return flight has been put back 1 day. The Russians had to extend the Euromir94 mission for an extra test flight with the Soyuz-TM19. The crew of Soyuz-TM19 will close the hatch behind them on 4.11.94 at 0450 UTC. The ship will undock from the Mir-complex at abt. 0700 UTC and if all goes according to the so called 'cyclogram' the landing in Kazakhstan will follow at 1118 UTC.

    The inserted test flight of Soyuz-TM19 will take place on 2.11.94. The ship will separate from at 1100 UTC and execute some approaches to check the automatic Kurs system.

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


1994 November 2 - .
  • Mir News 235: Soyuz-TM19 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. On 2.11.94 from 1040-1116 UTC this ship made an autonomous flight to test the automatic approach system. The crew consisted of Malenchenko, Musabayev and Merbold. No anomalies have been reported thus far.

    Euromir94: In spite of power problems in the beginning of this mission all medical-biological experiments during which Ulf Merbold, the ESA-astronaut, was the main guinea-pig have been successfully concluded. Merbold is sure that the samples did not suffer damages from the period in which the refrigerator was switched off. The material-processing experiments had to be cancelled due to the malfunction of an oven. The materials for these experiments remain on board Mir and after the repair of that oven the Russian crew will do the experiments. Spare parts for that oven will be delivered to the complex by the next Progress-M freighter.

    Estimated landing time Soyuz-TM19:

    The landing has been put forward a little bit and is expected to take place on 4.11.94 at 1055 UTC.

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


1994 November 4 - .
  • Mir News 236: Soyuz-TM19 returned to earth. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Soyuz-TM19 with on board the cosmonauts Malenchenko, Musabayev and Merbold landed at abt. 170 KM N.E. of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 4.11.94 at 1118 UTC. Soyuz-TM19 separated from Mir at 0729 UTC. For radio- and TV-communications the tracking stations Ulan-Ude, Ussuriysk, Kolpashevo and Petropavlovsk Kamchatka were used. From 1020 UTC, so 3 minutes before retrofire, Soyuz-TM-19's traffic was relayed via Mir and the geostationary Altair satellite to TsUP. Malenchenko gave information about the retrofire, the fuel consumption and the altitudes of his ship. At 1051 UTC Soyuz-TM19 jettisoned the life compartment and the service module. These compartments burnt up in the atmosphere. At 1054 UTC the descent module entered the dense layers of the atmosphere and a short period of radio silence began. The radio contact had to be resumed at about 1101 UTC, but obviously due to a failure the transmitters of Soyuz-TM19 remained silent. This caused anxiety among 'observers' and the people following the events in the centres in Moscow, Toulouse, Cologne and Noordwijk (Estec). The controllers at TsUP did not get any reaction on their calls. At 1119 UTC a representative of ESA, who was on board of a search- en rescue helicopter, reported that he saw the landed capsule. Gradually reports came in about the safe landing of the cosmonauts without any reference to their physical condition.

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


1994 November 4 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-19 - . Return Crew: Malenchenko; Merbold; Musabayev. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Malenchenko; Merbold; Musabayev. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Soyuz TM-19 undocked from Mir with the crew of Malenchenko, Merbold and Musabayev aboard at 07:29 GMT on November 4. The Soyuz instrument module (PAO, priborno-agregatniy otsek) fired its deorbit engine, and was jettisoned together with the orbital module (BO, bitovoy otsek) at 10:51 GMT, with entry interface for the descent module (SA, spuskaemiy apparat) at 10:54. It landed 170 km north-east of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 1994 November 4 at 11:18 GMT.

1994 November 9 - .
  • Mir News 237: Progress-M25 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Euromir 94; Mir EO-16; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Summary: The launch of this freighter from Baykonur is on schedule for 11 November 1994 at 0721 UTC. If all goes according to plan Progress-M25 will dock to the Mir-complex in the morning of 13 November 1994.

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


1994 November 11 - .
  • Mir News 238: Progress-M25 launched for flight to Mir. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. The freighter Progress-M25 blasted off from Baykonur on 11.11.94 at 0721 UTC for a flight of 2 days to the Mir station. The transmitters of Progress-M25 could be heard here during the 3d and 4th orbit at resp. 1157 and 1326 UTC. If all goes according to plan Progress-M25 will arrive at Mir on 13.11.94 at abt 0902 UTC. Progress-M25 has to dock to the aft (Kvant- 1) docking port of the station. The approach system for this port has been checked during a short autonomous flight of Soyuz-TM19 on 3.11.94. No anomalies were found. If the system fails on 13.11 the cosmonauts are ready to guide Progress-M25 with the system TORU.

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


1994 November 11 - . 07:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U Ya15000-638.
  • Progress M-25 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 225. Mass: 7,125 kg (15,707 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 97.39 days. Decay Date: 1995-02-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 23348 . COSPAR: 1994-075A. Apogee: 394 km (244 mi). Perigee: 391 km (242 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.41 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 13 Nov 1994 09:04:29 GMT. Undocked on 16 Feb 1995 13:03:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 16 Feb 1995 16:45:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 95.17 days..

1994 November 13 - .
  • Mir News 239: Progress-M25 docked at Mir-space station. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. The freighter P-M25 docked at Mir's aft (Kvant-1) docking port on 13.11.94 at 0904 UTC (during orb. 49926). The approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. On board Soyuz-TM20 Viktorenko was standby with the system TORU, but manual interference was not necessary. The operation could be monitored via Altair between 0822 and 0904 UTC. During the next pass (orb. 49927, 1027 UTC) the gentlemen on board left the honour to give the first post-docking report to Yelena Kondakova. Enthusiastically she reported the airseal, the opening of the hatch, the fact that Progress-M25 was clean and that they enjoyed the nice smell of apples and lemons. Polyakov said that the Progress-M25 was an ideal freighter.

    Progress-M25 delivered to the Mir-station new supplies of water, fuel, food, spare parts for repair (among which parts for the furnace to be used for the conclusion of the Euromir94 materials processing experiments) and post. Progress-M25 has not been equipped by a VBK (Ballistic Return Capsule).

    Jubilees: In the early morning of 18.11.94 Mir -that is to say the first part, the base block, launched on 19.02.1986- will make her 50000th orbit around the Earth. From that early beginning I tried to monitor as much as possible all passes within range. If I was a robot and had been able to monitor all passes this number would be 12500. But not being a robot I needed holidays etc. Nevertheless at a rough estimation I must have been monitoring Mir's radio traffic during 10000 passes. Homage to my poor ear-drums!

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


1994 Late or Early 1995 - .
  • Buran 5 (cancelled) - . Crew: Volk; Tolboyev. Backup Crew: Zabolotski; Sultanov. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Volk; Tolboyev; Zabolotski; Sultanov. Program: Mir. Flight: Buran 5. Spacecraft: Buran. Buran Flight 5 (3K1) would have been the first flight of the third orbiter. It would be the first manned Buran flight; the third orbiter was the first outfitted with life support systems and ejection seats. Two cosmonauts would deliver the 37KBI module to Mir, using the Buran manipulator arm to dock it to the station's Kristall module. Final crew selection had still not been made at the time the program was cancelled.

1994 December 20 - .
  • Mir News 240: After Euromir94 and the docking of the freighter - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Progress-M25 there have been no important operations. During the last 10 days the passes for our position took place at night. Meanwhile these passes shifted to the early evening. There has been radio traffic during the night hours about power supply problems. This time the solar panels are not to blame, but the accumulators full of age after 8 years continuous loading and unloading, are no longer able to fulfil their task properly. Now and then they cannot deliver enough power to keep important systems in operation. Sometimes this even causes malfunctions of the gyrodynes.

    Spacewalks (EVA-s): The long awaited EVA's have been put back again. The EVA in which Viktorenko and Polyakov have to replace a docking system inside the transition section obviously is no longer on schedule. The important EVA for the transfer of the solar panels of Kristall to Kvant-1 has been put back to May 1995.

    Communications: The geostationary Kosmos-2054 (Altair) on 16 degr. West is still operational but seldom in use for Mir-TsUP traffic. Sometimes the channel on 10.835 GHz is in use for other 'customers'. Possibly the Russians use another channel for Mir-TsUP communications. On 16.12.94 at abt. noon a new geostationary satellite, Luch-1 has been launched from Baykonur. This Luch-1 will be used for Mir-TsUP communications over 95 dgs East. Possibly this satellite will be operational in January 1995. Long ago 95 dgs East was in use for Luch satellites (Cosmos- 1700 and 1897). For the Russians it would be very useful to place a 2d Luch on 160 dgs. West. Luch-1 on 95 dgs East will help to fill up the gaps after the loss of the tracking stations in Tblisi and Yevpatoriya. There still is a third tracking station near Russia's weak underbelly: Dzhusaly not far from Baykonur, but the status of this station is vulnerable as it is located in Kazakhstan. A lot of unpleasant events during the last years proved that this country does not always appreciate the Russian presence on its territory.

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


1995 January 11 - .
  • Mir News 241: Autonomous test flight Soyuz-TM20 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. On 11.01.1995 between 0900 and 0925 UTC the Soyuz-TM20 flew autonomously to test the Kurs-approach and docking system at the forward transition section (P.Kh.O.) of the Mir-complex. Problems during some docking operations in Aug/Sept 1994 (Progress-M24) and on 6.10.1994 (Soyuz-TM20) made this operation necessary. Long before Soyuz-TM20 separated from the complex the whole crew was on board of that ship and thoroughly tested all systems. According to the plan the Soyuz-TM20 executed the approach and docking fully automatically by use of the Kurs system. Viktorenko, assisted by Kondakova, was ready to take over manually if something went wrong or in case of a too high fuel consumption. Soyuz-TM20 perfectly linked to the station at 09.24.57 UTC, the aberrations remained far within the limits, just before docking less than 0.5 degrees. The good functioning of the Kurs systems is indispensable for the execution of the program for this year. During the operation with the Soyuz-TM20 the radio traffic went via the geostationary Altair. During the separation Soyuz-TM20 flew within our range and the traffic could be monitored on 121.750 mc as well as via Altair.

    Luch-1:

    This geostationary satellite to be used for Mir-TsUP communications in the near future is standing over 95 degrees East, but is not yet operational for TDRS purposes.

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


1995 January 26 - .
  • Mir News 242: Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. The Mir-crew is still struggling along to keep the complex habitable and operational. Recently they had to cope with technical problems with the heating, drinking-water, pressure control and with a leakage of water in the Kristall-module. With the help of advice from experts on earth they solved the problems. On 23.01.1995 during the pass in orbit 51032, 0719- UTC, TsUP gave Viktorenko attitude control data to adjust the attitude of the complex in such a way that the solar panels of the Kristall module could deliver a maximum of energy. Dr. Polyakov continued his medical checks and experiments. On request by experts on earth the crew filmed and observed the areas of Kobe in Japan and Grozny. On 21.01.1995 they transmitted these images to earth. It was not always possible to do this due to clouds and bad weather in the areas of interest. Also on 21.01.1995 Dr. Polyakov gave a lecture for Russian children, members of an organisation for young people interested in spaceflight. During a long TV-session via Altair Polyakov explained how the systems in the base block worked. Extensively he explained all about the production and delivery of oxygen for the complex and the purification of the air on board. He emphasised the necessity of the permanent survey of the life systems and a regular maintenance.

    Rendezvous Discovery (STS-63) with Mir: On 2.02.1995 at 0549 UTC STS-63 will be launched for a flight in which the most important operation will be a rendezvous with the Mir-complex. Somewhat earlier, on 4.02.1995 at 1221- UTC Mir and Discovery will be able to establish radio contact. From Discovery cosmonaut Titov and the female astronauts Collins and Voss will speak with the crew of Mir. On 5.02.1995 at 1828 UTC the rendezvous operation will begin and STS-63 will approach Mir in a distance of 10 meters.

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


1995 February 3 - . 05:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-63.
  • STS-63 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Collins, Eileen; Foale; Harris; Titov, Vladimir; Voss, Janice; Wetherbee. Backup Crew: Krikalyov. Payload: Discovery F20 / Spacehab SH03 / CGP / ODERACS. Mass: 8,641 kg (19,050 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins, Eileen; Foale; Harris; Titov, Vladimir; Voss, Janice; Wetherbee; Krikalyov. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-63; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 8.27 days. Decay Date: 1995-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23469 . COSPAR: 1995-004A. Apogee: 342 km (212 mi). Perigee: 275 km (170 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Deployed ODERACS 2A-2E; deployed and retrieved Spartan 204. Discovery rendezvoused with Russia's space station, Mir, to a distance of 11 m and performed a fly-around, but did not dock with Mir. Payloads: SPACEHAB 03, Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN) 204, Cryo Systems Experiment (CSE)/GLO-2 Experi-ment Payload (CGP)/Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) 2, Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS), IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC)
  • CGP/ODERACS - . Payload: HH-M. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1995-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23469 . COSPAR: 1995-004xx. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 386 km (239 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.30 min.
  • Spacehab SH-03 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1995-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23469 . COSPAR: 1995-004xx. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 386 km (239 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.30 min.
  • ODERACS 2F - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. COSPAR: 1995-004xx.

1995 February 11 - .
  • Mir News 243: Discovery-Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-63; Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. The rendezvous operation got sufficient attention in the media. So I refrain from repeating the extensively published facts. I monitored as much as possible radio traffic related to the rendezvous. Here some items which might be interesting for insiders and 'real spaceflight freaks': 1. During the rendezvous TV transmissions from Mir with images of Discovery were relayed via Altair, the Russian TDRS over 17 degs. West. These transmissions reached K.S.C. and Houston and have been widely used by TV-organisations, for instance CNN. As soon as the windows for Mir-Altair traffic closed the new Luch-1 over 97 degrees East and a number of Russian tracking stations took over. 2. Co-operation and co-ordination between both FCC-s (Houston and Kaliningrad) went smoothly. 3. For direct radio contact between Mir and Discovery the VHF- channels 121.750 and 130.1625MC -in fact Mir-channels- were in use. Vladimir Titov also used a handset for communications in the ham band: 145.325 and 145.625Mc. Before and after the rendezvous operation Mir and Discovery now and then used Altair and TDRS channels for contact with each other. 4. Regularly commentators emphasised the fact that the operation was a rehearsal for the docking operation of Atlantis in June 1995. This rehearsal was a success: Discovery remained stable on the closest approach of 10 M just in a position opposite to the docking port of the Kristall-module to be used by Atlantis for the docking. Before that docking the Russians will have to move the Kristall from the side- to the axial forward docking port of the transition section.

    Radio traffic during the days before the launch of Discovery and before the rendezvous: A lot of traffic was related to the preparations of the rendezvous. For the Mir-crew this meant a lot of work to install TV- and Photo camera's and training in communication procedures. Conversations about these subjects could be monitored during communication sessions via Altair. Also via Altair the Mir-crew regularly spoke with cosmonaut Titov on K.S.C. where he was waiting for the launch.

    After the rendezvous: Unfortunately the passes of Mir and Discovery for our position occurred during the night hours and the cosmonauts stuck to their normal day- and night routine. This made it impossible for us to monitor direct radio traffic between Mir and Discovery being not far from each other for a long time. During all possible windows for visual observations dense clouds made these observations impossible.

    Mir-routine now: Now the Russians are again among themselves. This will not often be the case in 1995 and 1996. (To be continued in the next MirNEWS).

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


1995 February 11 - .
1995 February 12 - .
  • Mir News 244: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Mir's passes within our range are gradually shifting to the late evening hours. So the number of VHF- sessions will increase. During the day hours the Russians regularly, though a little bit frugally, use the Altair satellite for Mir-communications. During a long session on 8.02.95, orb. 51281, 0824-0853 UTC, Polyakov was training at the controls of Soyuz-TM20. By the use of the test possibilities without activation of the systems Soyuz-TM's can be used as link trainer. In fact steering of such a ship is not the task of the physician-cosmonaut, but useful if this unexpected might be necessary in emergency situations. Polyakov had a rough time during this exercise for towards the end everything went wrong. On the same day during orb. 51284, 1437-1500 UTC, Mir spoke with the crew of Discovery via Altair and an American TDRS. Polyakov congratulated the Discovery crew with the successful deployment of the satellite Spartan. On 11.02.95 , orb. 51327, 0829-0913 UTC, Polyakov assisted by Kondakova gave a lecture for a group of spaceflight loving children about food on board the Mir complex.

    Progress-M27: The launch from Baykonur of this freighter is on schedule for 15.02.1995 at 1647 UTC. If all goes according to plan Progress-M27 can be monitored in our vicinity (Western Europa and UK) that day at about 1950 UTC. Frequencies: 922.755, 166.130, 166.140 and 165.873 MC.

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


1995 February 15 - .
  • Mir News 245: Progress-M26 launched - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Correction on MirNEWS.244 Read Progress-M26 instead of Progress-M27.

    Progress-M26 launched:

    The freighter Progress-M26 has been launched from Baykonur on 15.02-

    .1995 at 164827 UTC. During the pass between 2252 and 2259 UTC the transmissions in the 166, 165 and 922 Mc band could be monitored. Progress-M26 has to deliver new supplies to the Mir station, i.e. water, fuel, oxygen, oxidisers, food, but also materials for the extension of the on board systems, repair material for the drinking water installation, post and a new board documentation, medical goods, underwear etc. and an amount of 132 KG hard- and software for the experiments of the American Thagard. The enormous cargo made it impossible to equip Progress-M26 with a VBK (ballistic return capsule). Progress-M25: This freighter will separate from Mir on 16.02.1995 at 1303 UTC and will be deorbited at 1606 UTC for decay in the atmosphere over the Pacific. In this way the aft (Kvant-1) docking port of the complex will be made available for the arrival of the Progress-M26.

    Estimated docking time: Progress-M26 has to dock to the Mir station on 17.02.1995 at 1821 UTC.

    Mir: On 10.02.1995 at 183542 UTC the orbit of Mir has been corrected a little bit. With an impulse of 2m/sec the period changed from 92.3 mins to 92.39 mins. New Keplers: Epoch 95043.6810782, decay rate: 0.00046585, incl 51.6467, raan 61.6530, ecc. 0.0005015, arg per 116.1404, ma 244.1203, mm 15.57626647, rev. nr. 51354.

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


1995 February 15 - . 16:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U Ya15000-641.
  • Progress M-26 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 226. Mass: 7,139 kg (15,738 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 27.56 days. Completed Operations Date: 1995-03-15 06:14:32 . Decay Date: 1995-03-15 06:14:32 . USAF Sat Cat: 23477 . COSPAR: 1995-005A. Apogee: 396 km (246 mi). Perigee: 391 km (242 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 17 Feb 1995 18:21:34 GMT. Undocked on 15 Mar 1995 02:26:38 GMT. Destroyed in reentry over the Pacific Ocean on 15 Mar 1995 06:15:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.22 days. Total docked time 25.34 days..

1995 February 17 - .
  • Mir News 246: Successful docking Progress-M26 at Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-17; Mir LD-4. Freighter Progress-M26 docked at the aft (Kvant-1) docking port of the Mir-complex on 17.02.1995 at 182136 UTC in orb. 51427. Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. Viktorenko was ready to take over manually (by TORU) if necessary. He reported the movements of the Progress-M26 which enabled me to monitor the operation until 'kasaniye' (touch, soft docking). For TV-transmissions and phone the Russians used the geostationary Altair. This time the docking was executed in the earth's shadow. A searchlight had been installed on the Progress-M26. During the next orbit (0912 UTC) the crew reported that the airseal was good. It lasted a long time before the crew could enter the Progress-M26 due to some obstructing goods.

    Decay of Progress-M25: Progress-M25 left the aft docking port on 16.02.1995 at 1303 UTC. After two autonomous orbits the Progress-M25 got an impulse at 1606 UTC to enter the dense layers of the atmosphere. She decayed in a for that purpose designated area over the Pacific East of New-Zealand. Progress-M25 did not carry a VBK (ballistic return capsule). The Russians do not equip Progress-M ships with such a capsule if the landing has to take place in the winter.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

    Records:

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

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


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

    ALTERATIONS:

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

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

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


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

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

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

    NEWS.249)

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

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

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


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

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

    Planning for the near future:

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

    1st EVA (correction and completion):

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

    Launch of Spektr: Still on schedule for 20.05.1995.

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


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

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

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


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

    Launch of Spektr:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    4th Spacewalk (EVA):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Results of the operations as of 27.05.1995:

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

    Plans for the next 7 days:

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

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

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

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


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

    Redocking Spektr (Module-O):

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    6th EVA:

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

    Launch Atlantis:

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

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


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

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


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

    ATLANTIS READY TO GO!!

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

    HOWEVER.......:

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

    Goodbye everybody!!

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


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

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

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

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

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


1995 July 14 - . 03:56 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-19-1 - . Crew: Solovyov; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.23 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Solovyov; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-19. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Repaired solar array. Inspected exterior of station..

1995 July 17 - .
  • Mir News 266: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-19 crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-19. Solovyov and Budarin made their 1st EVA on 14.07.1995 from 0356-0930 UTC. They fully performed their tasks. They found no pollution or damages on the outside of the docking mechanism of the -Z axis. They deployed the jammed solar array on Spektr with the exception of 1 section. The solar array has now been included in the power supply system of the complex. They also worked at a solar array of Module-D and an antenna.

    Redocking of the Kristall-module:

    Kristall has been moved from the forward port (-X axis) to the side port (-Z axis) on 17.07.1995 between 0230 and 0400 UTC. The redocking took place by the use of the 'lyappa'. a manipulator arm. So Kristall is now in the right position to receive the Atlantis (STS-74) and the new docking module in October 1995. On 17.07.1995 during the pass in orb. 53761 at 0554 UTC Solovyov reported that the airseal of the system after the redocking was normal.

    2d EVA Mir-19 crew:

    On 19.07.1995 between 0050 and 0620 UTC the Mir-19 crew will make their 2d EVA for the installation of the Belgian spectrometer MirAS on Mir's outer surface. Originally this operation was on schedule for 18.08.1995.

    Progress-M28: This freighter will be launched from Baykonur on 20.07.1995 at 0305 UTC for a flight to the Mir-space station. If all goes well this freighter will dock to the station on 22.07.1995 at 0437 UTC.

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


1995 July 19 - . 00:39 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-19-2 - . Crew: Solovyov; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.13 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Solovyov; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-19. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Retrieved TREK detector..

1995 July 20 - .
  • Mir News 267: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-19 crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-19. Solovyov and Budarin made their 2d Spacewalk from 0039-0347 UTC. They did not accomplish their tasks and the EVA was shorter than planned. The thermoregulation in the spacesuit of Solovyov was not working normally. S. got orders to remain in the hatch of the airlock and observe the activities of his crew mate. Budarin did some preparations for the installation of the Belgian MirAS experiment and brought back some materials from Mir's outer surface. (possibly the American experiment TREK).

    PROGRESS-M28 launched for flight to Mir:

    The freighter Progress-M28 blasted off from Baykonur on 20.07.95 at 03.04.40 UTC for a 2-days flight to the Mir-space station. Transmissions of this ship could be monitored a few hours after launch on the known frequencies in the 166, 165, 922 and 926 m/c bands. If Progress-M28 sticks to the timetable she will dock at Mir's forward docking port on 22.07.1995 at 0437 UTC.

    3rd EVA Mir-19 crew:

    To finish the tasks, which they were unable to accomplish during their 2d EVA Solovyov and Budarin will do this EVA on 21.07.95 from 0030-0530 UTC. Radio traffic can be expected via Altair during windows Mir-Altair and on VHF (143.625 and 130.165 mc) during the first pass of Mir for Western-Europa in orb. 53823 from abt. 0520-0529 UTC.

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


1995 July 20 - . 03:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-28 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 228. Mass: 7,125 kg (15,707 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-19. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 46.25 days. Completed Operations Date: 1995-09-04 08:58:14 . Decay Date: 1995-09-04 08:58:14 . USAF Sat Cat: 23617 . COSPAR: 1995-036A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 393 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir's front port on 22 Jul 1995 04:39:37 GMT. Undocked on 4 Sep 1995 05:09:53 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 4 Sep 1995 08:58:55 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.22 days. Total docked time 44.02 days. Two Icons of Saint Anastasia were taken into space aboard the craft and transferred to the Mir station where they remained for about seven months. They were returned to earth, apparently aboard Soyuz TM-22, and later shown in diffent shrines around the world.

1995 July 21 - . 00:28 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-19-3 - . Crew: Solovyov; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.23 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Solovyov; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-19. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Installed Miras spectrometer..

1995 July 22 - .
  • Mir News 268: 3d Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-19 crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-19. This EVA took place on 21.07.1995 from 0030-0605 UTC. The main task of the crew consisted of the installation of the Belgian Spectrometer, MirAS, on the outer surface of the Spektr-module. The EVA was a success and the last to be executed by this crew. During the EVA the geostationary satellite Altair (west) has not been used during all possible windows and if so only for voice communications. The recorded images have been transmitted to earth after the EVA possibly via direct channels or Luch-1. Progress-M28 successfully linked up with Mir:

    On 22.07.1995 at 0440 UTC Solovyov reported 'kasaniye' (touch). During the Altair-window in orbit 53838, so in which the approach and docking took place, only voice communications could be monitored. So no images of the approach. Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. The crew observed the approach of Progress-M28 through portholes.

    Progress-M28 docked to the forward axial port (-X) of the transition section (P.Kh.O.). At 0630 UTC checks of the hard docking and airseal had been completed and the hatch was opened just before 0705 UTC. Progress-M28 delivered to the Mir-complex food, water, fuel and scientific equipment.

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


1995 August 26 - .
  • Mir News 269: Euromir'95 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-19. The launch from Baykonur of Soyuz-TM22 is still on schedule for 3.09.95 at 0900 UTC. Soyuz-TM22 will carry the relief crew (the 20th Main expedition) to the Mir-station together with the ESA astronaut, the German, Thomas Reiter. The Russian crew consists of the Mir's captain Yuriy Gidzenko, who will make his first spaceflight, and the board-engineer Sergey Avdeyev, who already made 1 spaceflight. This crew and the stand-in crew flew to Baykonur on 23.08.95 to accomplish their final training.

    Mir: During the past weeks the complex passed during the night hours. Meanwhile the passes shifted to the afternoon en evening hours. The clear skies during the evenings made good visual observations possible. The cosmonauts executed a lot of experiments and repairs. They installed new gyrodynes in Module-D and resolved airseal problems. Probably one or more gyrodyne cases showed leaks. The cosmonauts solved this problem using a lute named 'germetik'. They did this by putting this lute around some leaking electric sockets.

    Scarce information: During the past weeks it was difficult for me to maintain sufficient grip on the Mir-operations. This due to family circumstances, the night passes of the complex and the capricious behaviour of the geostationary satellite Altair. (see File ALTC2054.TXT.)

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


1995 September 3 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Soyuz TM-22 - . Call Sign: Uran (Uranus ). Crew: Avdeyev; Gidzenko; Reiter. Backup Crew: Duque; Kaleri; Korzun. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 71. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Avdeyev; Gidzenko; Reiter; Duque; Kaleri; Korzun. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-20; Mir EO-19. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 179.07 days. Decay Date: 1996-02-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 23665 . COSPAR: 1995-047A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 391 km (242 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Mir Expedition EO-20. Crew commander was Yuriy Pavlovich Gidzenko of the Russian Air Force. Flight engineer was Sergey Vasilyevich Avdeev of RKK Energiya, and cosmonaut-researcher was Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency. Soyuz TM-22 docked with Mir's front (-X) port at 10:29:54 GMT on September 5 and the hatch was opened at 11:01:23.

1995 September 4 - .
  • Mir News 270: Soyuz-TM22 launched from Baykonur. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-20; Mir EO-19. This ship with on board the crew for the 20d Main Expedition to Mir and the Euromir'95 cosmonaut Thomas Reiter started flawlessly from Baykonur on 3.09.1995 at 0900 UTC (for the connoisseurs: 09.00.23.115). The Russians are the captain Yuriy Pavlovich Gidzenko, making his first spaceflight, Sergey Vasilyevich Avdeyev, making his 2d flight. The crew uses the call 'Uran', so for Gidzenko, Avdeyev and Reiter, respectively Uran-1, -2 and -3. The 1st day of the 2 days autonomous flight to Mir passed without any problems. Already during the 3d orbit at 120240 UTC Soyuz-TM22 came within our range. Gidzenko reported the successful check of the manual orientation control system. All went well. During the pass at 1332 UTC Gidzenko, sounding very fit, reported that the first 2 orbit corrections had been performed well. All systems worked without hitches and the health and mood of the crew were excellent.

    Planned linkup with Mir-station:

    If all continues to go according to plan the Soyuz-TM22 will dock at the forward docking port (P.Kh.O. -transition section), the -X axis on 5.09.95 at 1030 UTC. The last phase of the approach will take place within our range during Mir-orbit 54543 from 1018-1025 UTC. In this period we can expect radio traffic on the frequencies: 121.750 Mc (Soyuz-TM22) and 143.625 Mc (Mir). It is not possible to predict whether the old Altair on 17 dgs West will be used or not for this good old 'geo' did not show up since 26.08.95 0824 UTC.

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


1995 September 11 - .
1995 October 8 - . 18:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U V15000-645.
  • Progress M-29 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 229. Mass: 7,122 kg (15,701 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 71.89 days. Completed Operations Date: 1995-12-19 16:15:20 . Decay Date: 1995-12-19 16:15:20 . USAF Sat Cat: 23678 . COSPAR: 1995-053A. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi). Perigee: 391 km (242 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Launched into an initial 194 x 242 km x 51.7 deg orbit. Docked with Mir's rear of the Kvant module port on 10 Oct 1995 20:32:40 GMT (Soyuz TM-22 was docked to the front port). Undocked on 19 Dec 1995 09:15:05 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 19 Dec 1995 16:15:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.36 days. Total docked time 69.53 days.

1995 October 20 - . 11:50 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-20-1 - . Crew: Avdeyev; Reiter. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.22 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Avdeyev; Reiter. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Sample cassettes installed in ESEF (European Science Exposure Facility)..

1995 November 12 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-74.
  • STS-74 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Cameron; Hadfield; Halsell; McArthur; Ross. Payload: Atlantis F15 / 316GK SM. Mass: 6,134 kg (13,523 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cameron; Hadfield; Halsell; McArthur; Ross. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-74; Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 8.19 days. Decay Date: 1995-11-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 23714 . COSPAR: 1995-061A. Apogee: 342 km (212 mi). Perigee: 257 km (159 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Rendezvoused and docked with Mir space station on November 15. Delivered the Russian-built 316GK Shuttle-Mir docking module to Mir.Payloads: Shuttle-Mir Mission 2; docking module with two attached solar arrays; IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC); Glow Experiment (GLO-4)/ Photogrammetric Appendage Structural Dynamics Experiment (PASDE) Payload (GPP); Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II.
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-74; Mir EO-20. Decay Date: 1995-11-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 23714 . COSPAR: 1995-061xx. Apogee: 347 km (215 mi). Perigee: 336 km (208 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.40 min.
  • Mir-Shuttle Docking Module - . Payload: DM 316GK s/n 1. Mass: 6,134 kg (13,523 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: STS-74; Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Mir-Shuttle Docking Module. Duration: 8.19 days. COSPAR: 1995-061xx. Apogee: 342 km (212 mi). Perigee: 356 km (221 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Summary: Atlantis rendezvoused and docked with Mir space station on Nov 15. After departure the Russian-built 316GK Shuttle-Mir docking module remained attached to Mir to provide easier docking capability in the future..

1995 November 20 - .
1995 December 8 - . 19:23 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-20-2 - . Crew: Gidzenko; Avdeyev. EVA Type: Internal Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0201 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gidzenko; Avdeyev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Repositioned docking adapter..

1995 December 18 - . 14:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U 647.
  • Progress M-30 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 230. Mass: 7,068 kg (15,582 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 65.85 days. Decay Date: 1996-02-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 23744 . COSPAR: 1995-070A. Apogee: 409 km (254 mi). Perigee: 391 km (242 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.60 min. Summary: Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 20 Dec 1995 16:10:15 GMT. Undocked on 22 Feb 1996 07:30:02 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 22 Feb 1996 11:02:36 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.22 days. Total docked time 63.64 days..

1996 February 8 - . 14:03 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-20-3 - . Crew: Gidzenko; Reiter. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.13 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gidzenko; Reiter. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Retrieved and installed material samples.

1996 February 21 - . 12:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U 651.
  • Soyuz TM-23 - . Call Sign: Skif (Roman-age tribe). Crew: Onufrienko; Usachyov. Backup Crew: Lazutkin; Tsibliyev. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 72. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Onufrienko; Usachyov; Lazutkin; Tsibliyev. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-21; Mir EO-20. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 193.80 days. Decay Date: 1996-09-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 23798 . COSPAR: 1996-011A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 375 km (233 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Mir Expedition EO-21. Soyuz TM-23 docked with Mir at 14:20:35 on February 23..

1996 February 29 - .
1996 March 15 - . 01:04 GMT - .
1996 March 22 - . 08:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-76.
  • STS-76 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Lucid; Searfoss; Sega. Payload: Atlantis F16 / Spacehab-SM. Mass: 6,753 kg (14,887 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Lucid; Searfoss; Sega. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.22 days. Decay Date: 1996-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23831 . COSPAR: 1996-018A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 394 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. Docked with the Mir space station 24 March 1996; Shannon Lucid was left on Mir for an extended stay. First American EVA on Mir. Payloads: SPACEHAB/Mir 03; KidSat; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Configuration M; RME 1304—Mir/ Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP); orbiter docking system RME 1315; Trapped Ions in Space Experiment (TRIS); Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Test (EDFT) 04.
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Decay Date: 1996-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23831 . COSPAR: 1996-018xx. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 34 km (21 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min.
  • Spacehab-SM - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1996-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23831 . COSPAR: 1996-018xx. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 34 km (21 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min.

1996 March 27 - . 06:34 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-76-1 - . Crew: Godwin; Clifford. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.25 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Godwin; Clifford. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Attached MEEP materials exposure experiment to outside of Mir (retrieved on STS-86)..

1996 March 31 - .
1996 April 2 - .
  • Mir News 296: American EVA outside Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The EVA made by Clifford and Godwin on 27.03.96 lasted 6 hrs and 2 mins. The Mir crew experienced this EVA passively: their involvement consisted of observing and filming the event through some portholes. It was not easy to cover all activities of the American astronauts fully. They could see a part of the EVA through a porthole in de airlock of Module-D. The best view they got was through the porthole of the cabin of the board engineer in the Base Block. During the EVA the communications went via American channels. On the EVA frequency 279.000 mc Clifford and Godwin could be heard now and then. The same transmissions could be heard via the CNN relay from a TDRS. The Americans installed the experiments on the outer surface of the Docking Compartment at the Kristall-module. (The Russians speak about the 'SO'. The 'O' stands for Otsek, which means 'compartment'. So the do not speak about 'module'.) Atlantis-Mir-combination: During the period in which Atlantis and Mir were linked together many activities took place during the night in our area. We were lucky that this was not so during the EVA, which took place during our morning hours. The operations during the precursor flights cast a gloom over the future. It becomes obvious who will be in command during the flight of the International Space Station: undoubtedly this will be the Americans. Immediately after the docking the Americans took over the attitude control of the whole complex, and most of the communications and the control of the operations were theirs. Undocking of Atlantis. This took place on 29.03.96 at 0108 UTC. After the undocking Atlantis made a flight around the Mir complex and moved away at abt 1 hour later. Onufriyenko could be heard on the Mir-frequencies 130.625 and 143.625mc speaking about the attitude (movements-) control of the Mir station which was now under full control of FCC Kalingrad again. (TsUP-M). The transmissions of the images from Mir about the Atlantis were relayed by tracking stations inside Russian territory.

    Mir: The passes of Mir for our area take place during the night hours and so there is not much to report about the life on board. Module Priroda: The launch of this module has been put back again. Latest available planned launch date: 23.04.1996. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1996 April 15 - .
  • Mir News 297: Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Plans for the near future:

    The first operation will be the launch of the module Priroda. The Russians want to launch this module on 23.04.1996, but further delay might be possible. In fact all is ready for that launch, but specialists responsible for the power supply of that module want to be sure that the accumulators are fully reliable if unexpected the Priroda has to fly longer than the estimated period between launch and docking. The Priroda has not been equipped with solar panels and if the accumulators show failures there are no alternatives. That is why the experts responsible for the power systems and energy consumption take more time for tests. The dates for some important operations can be set only after the launch and successful docking of Priroda and the redocking thereafter. Priroda has to dock to the forward axial port (-X axis) and will be repositioned from there to the radial port (+Z axis). After this the date for the launch of the freighter Progress-M31 can be determined.

    2d Spacewalk (EVA) 21st Main Expedition Mir: Possibly this operation will be executed in May this year. The cosmonauts will have to transfer one of the solar panels which have been brought to Mir by Atlantis (STS-74) and who are still attached at the outer surface of the Docking Compartment (SO - so not Docking Module. SO stands for 'Stykovochnyy Otsek'). They will have to transfer that solar panel to the astrophysical module Kvant-1 (Module-E). During this operation they will use the 2d Strela, which they installed during their first EVA. With this 2d Strela-crane they have the possibility for movements between the SO and the Kvant-1. Originally the Russians planned to install on Kvant-1 the solar panel which is still at the outer surface of the Kristall-module, but they preferred the installation on Kvant-1 of a brand new one. The Russians hope to accomplish this task during that 2nd EVA, but they are ready to insert a 3rd EVA if necessary. The solar panels which have been brought to Mir on the outer surface of the SO will not be deployed from there, but will be used on parts of the Mir-complex.

    VDU: This abbreviation stands for External Engine Installation. This is the box, which can be seen in the top of the long Sofora mast which has been erected on Kvant-1. Nobody was sure about the use or the usefulness of that engine. In an interview Thomas Reiter told me that this VDU often is used for the orientation of the complex during periods in which the gyrodynes have to be silenced for repositioning. These gyrodynes cannot turn through 360 degrees and so now and then repositioning is necessary. There is a problem for the future: when the fuel of the VDU has been spent refuelling will not be possible. Perhaps the Russians hoped that fuel would be sufficient for the VDU at least until the end of the operational life of Mir in 1997 or 1998. So if they want to prolong the use of Mir by some years they will have to find a way to refuel that VDU or to install a new one.

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


1996 April 22 - .
  • Mir News 298: Launch Priroda - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The planned launch date/time for the Module Priroda is 23.04. 1996 at 11hrs 48mins 43secs UTC. If all goes according to plan the Priroda will dock to Mir (forward docking port transition section -P.Kh.O.-, -X axis) on 26.04.1996 at 1203 UTC.

    Priroda: The module for remote sensing Priroda is also known as TsM-I and 77KSI. In space Priroda has a mass of 19.5 tons. The mass of the payload is 10.5 tons, among which 1.2 tons as a supplement for the equipment of the Mir-complex, the remote sensing equipment has a mass of 4.7 tons and Priroda can transport 1.8 tons cargo. The original planning foresaw in a solar array in the front of Priroda (axial), but the place of the array is now used for the installation of extra equipment and experiments. So during the autonomous flight Priroda has to depend on the nickel cadmium accumulators for her power supply. Priroda must have an active lifetime of more than 3 years.

    Cargo: Priroda will also deliver additional equipment to the Mir station, experiments for Shannon Lucid and the SAFEX-2 transceiver for radio-amateur activities.

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


1996 April 23 - . 11:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton-K 385-01.
  • Priroda - . Payload: 77KSI s/n 17401. Mass: 19,000 kg (41,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Priroda. Decay Date: 2001-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 23848 . COSPAR: 1996-023A. Apogee: 347 km (215 mi). Perigee: 220 km (130 mi). Inclination: 51.6700 deg. Period: 89.89 min. Summary: LEO. Remote sensing module for Mir space station Docked with Mir Apr 26. .

1996 April 24 - .
  • Mir News 299: Launch Priroda - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The Priroda module blasted off from Baykonur on 23.04.1996 at 11.48.50 UTC, so 7 secs later than planned.

    During the first day the flight went well, all systems functioned normally. On 24.04 two orbit corrections will be executed to bring Priroda in a higher orbit. This will also be done on 25.04. After the corrections on 25.04 the orbit must have an apogee of 404 KM and a perigee of 358 KM. On docking day (26.04) the last 2 orbit corrections will take place.

    Estimated day/time of docking:

    On 26.04.1996 at 12.43.00 UTC. So the soft docking (Kasaniye) will take place just a few minutes after LOS of both objects for our position during the first pass over here in Mir's orbit 58195 and Priroda's orbit 48. So there might be traffic from Mir about the approaching Priroda between 1233-1238 UTC. Undoubtedly the Russians will use the eastern geostationary satellite (Altair-2 on 96 dgs East) for communications, but mostly during such operations traffic can also be monitored on VHF. Possibly it might be worthwhile to monitor Mir/Altair-1 windows in the period before approach and docking.

    Repositioning of Priroda: If the docking on 26.04.1996 will be successful the repositioning of Priroda will take place on the next day, 27.04.1996. Priroda will be repositioned by a manipulator arm (the Lyappa) from the forward port of the transition section (P.Kh.O.), -X axis to the radial port of that section, +Z axis.

    Progress-M31: The launch date of this freighter depends on the docking- and repositioning operations with Priroda. If this all goes according to plan Progress-M31 will be launched on 8.05.1996.

    Safex-2: In fact this complete radio-amateur station has been installed in Priroda and does not belong to the cargo transported by that module. For this radio station 3 antennae have been installed on Priroda.

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


1996 April 26 - .
  • Mir News 300: Priroda successfully docked with Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. After an automatic approach guided by the system Kurs Priroda linked up with Mir complex on 26.04.1996 at 1243 UTC. Quite an achievement to aim and dock a mass of 20 tons (like a huge locomotive) with a precision of less than millimetres. Priroda can take a breath for a while at the forward axial docking port of the transition section (P.Kh.O.). During the first pass of both objects for our position in Mir orbit 58195, 1235-1239 UTC, it was obvious that there were no intentions to switch over to the manual remote control TORU. At 123530 UTC Onufriyenko reported that Priroda was hovering for a while in a distance of 182 M and that all was going well. From that distance Priroda started the final stage of the approach and flawlessly docked with Mir. Just like during the whole autonomous flight the Telemetry transmitters of Priroda in het UHF band could be monitored. During the passes after the docking these transmitters remained active. Reason for this is the fact that Priroda will remain electrically autonomous until the accomplishment of the repositioning to the +Z axis.

    On 27.04.1996 at 0800 UTC Priroda will remove itself with a manipulator arm (the Lyappa) to the +Z axis. After that operation the airseal can be checked before the opening of the hatches. The repositioning will take place out of our range.

    A part of the cargo of Priroda consists of biological experiments for the production of clean medical preparations and 900 KG equipment and experiments for the American astronaut Shannon Lucid. Priroda has been equipped by a lot of equipment for scientific research of the earth (all kinds of devices and camera's for remote sensing) and the atmosphere.

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


1996 April 30 - .
  • Mir News 301: Priroda - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. On 27.04.96 Priroda has been redocked from the -X to the +Z axis. This operation began at 0830 UTC and lasted app. 2 hours. During the first pass of the complex for our position (orb. 58211, 1310-1319 UTC) the cosmonauts just finished the airseal checks and opened the K.V.D., the valve for the equalisation of the pressure. The cosmonauts also took air samples of the atmosphere inside Priroda for analyses. Just before LOS (Loss of Signal) for our position the hatch to Priroda was opened.

    Power supply problems: Radio traffic during 27, 28 and 29.04.96 revealed that the cosmonauts worked on problems regarding the power supply of Priroda. After the redocking Priroda will get power from the S.E.P. (power supply system) of the Mir complex.

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


1996 May 4 - .
  • Mir News 302: Progress-M31 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The launch of this freighter has been put forward to 5.05.1996 at 0704 UTC. If all goes according to plan the freighter will link up with Mir on 7.04.1996 at 0853 UTC.

    Spacewalk (EVA): It might be possible that the 2d EVA of the crew of the 21st Main Expedition to Mir will be put forward too. The date 8.05 has been mentioned, but the exact date still has to be determined.

    Priroda: The repositioning of this module on 27.04. took place between 0830 and 0920 UTC, so considerably shorter than originally reported.

    SAFEX-2: This radio-amateur station on board Priroda cannot be used before the Priroda is unpacked and fully operational.

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


1996 May 5 - . 07:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-31 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 231. Mass: 7,140 kg (15,740 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 88.56 days. Completed Operations Date: 1996-08-01 20:32:45 . Decay Date: 1996-08-01 20:32:45 . USAF Sat Cat: 23860 . COSPAR: 1996-028A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 376 km (233 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Delivered 1,140 kg of fuel and 1,700 kg of cargo to the Mir complex. Docked with Mir on 7 May 1996 08:54:19 GMT. Undocked on 1 Aug 1996 16:44:54 GMT. Destroyed in reentry over the Pacific on 1 Aug 1996 20:33:03 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 86.33 days.

1996 May 7 - .
  • Mir News 303: Launch Progress-M31 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The freighter Progress-M31 was launched from Baykonur on 5.05.96 at 07.04.18 UTC. During the following passes within our range the TLM and Bcn transmitters on 166, 165 and 922 mc could be monitored.

    On the 2d day of the flight again signals from Progress-M31's transmitters.

    Docking Progress-M31: On 7.05.1996 at 08.54.17 UTC Progress-31M docked automatically at the forward axial docking port of the Mir-complex (-X axis). During the first pass over here of both objects in orb. 58364 (1016-1026 UTC) Onufriyenko could be heard reporting data of the approach. He was following the approach on the screen of the TORU (remote guidance from the inside of Mir) monitor. He was ready to take over the guidance if necessary or ordered by TsUP. On the screen he could see the docking port where Progress-M31 had to dock.

    Opening of the hatch: Already during the next pass in orb. 58365 they accomplished the airseal checks and opened the hatch at 10.25.11 UTC, so within our range.

    Cargo: This has a mass of 2410 KG and consists of the normal cargo delivered by Progresses: water, fuel, letters, equipment, repair material etc.

    Spacewalk (EVA): The next EVA of this crew is on schedule for 18 or 19.05.1996.

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


1996 May 17 - .
  • Mir News 304: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) crew Mir's 21 Main Expedition - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. This EVA will be the 1st of a series of 3, still to be done by this crew. The EVA will begin on 20.05.1996 at 2255 UTC (opening of the hatch) and end on 21.05.1996 at abt. 0400 UTC (closing of the hatch). During this EVA a solar panel will be transferred from the Docking Compartment, DC, to the astrophysical module Kvant-1 (Module-E). This solar panel had been delivered together with that DC by Atlantis in November 1995. The cosmonauts Onufriyenko and Usachov will transport themselves and the solar panel using the 2d Strela girder, which they installed on Kvant-1 during their first EVA on 15.05.96. The solar panel is folded up and will only be installed on Kvant-1. The deployment and tests will take place during the next EVA. During passes in which the EVA might still be going on EVA-traffic can be monitored on 143.618 and 130.165 mc. (21.05.96 from 0340-0349 UTC and possibly during pressure equalisation of the airlock between 0515-0525 UTC).

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


1996 May 21 - .
  • Mir News 305: 2d Spacewalk (EVA) crew 21st Main Expedition to MI - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The EVA began on 20.05.96 at 2250 UTC (opening hatch) and ended on 21.05.96 at 0410 UTC (so duration 5 hrs 20 mins.). During the EVA all went well and that what the crew had to do has been accomplished for 100% . The crew transferred a solar battery from the outside of the docking compartment (SO) to the Kvant-1 (Module-E). For their work the cosmonauts used the 2d Strela girder.

    Radio traffic between the cosmonauts and Sannon Lucid who kept watch on board Mir went via the normal VHF-frequencies and was relayed via the geostationary satellite Altair (Kosmos-2054) on 16 dgs West. Shannon assisted the cosmonauts during the putting on and off of their spacesuits. During the EVA she took care for the systems of the space station and the communications.

    3d EVA: This is on schedule in the night from 24 to 25.05.96. Opening of the hatch on 24.05 at 2050 UTC, closing of the hatch on 25.05.96 at 0205 UTC. During this EVA the cosmonauts will deploy, connect and test the solar panel on Kvant-1.

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


1996 May 21 - . 22:50 GMT - .
1996 May 25 - .
  • Mir News 306: 3d Spacewalk (EVA) crew 21st Main Expedition Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The cosmonauts Onufriyenko and Usachov made this EVA between 24.05 at 2047 UTC and 25.05 at 0230 UTC. This EVA lasted somewhat longer than planned, but all went well. The cosmonauts installed the new solar panel on the outer surface of Kvant-1, connected the contacts and attended the deployment of that panel. This was also a good performance. During the last phase of the EVA radio traffic went via Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054) and the known VHF-frequencies. After returning inside Mir the cosmonauts expressed their satisfaction about the good co-operation with TsUP during this work and also about the very good construction of the new solar panel.

    4th EVA: This EVA is on schedule for 30.05.1996 between 1900-2100 UTC. Main task will be the transfer of the MOMS (opto-electronic stereo scanner) to the outer surface of the Priroda module and the installation of this device over there. The MOMS has been delivered to Mir as a part of the cargo of the Priroda. Apart from this work they will also have to accomplish some minor tasks.

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


1996 May 25 - . 20:47 GMT - .
1996 May 30 - . 18:20 GMT - .
1996 May 31 - .
  • Mir News 307: 4th Spacewalk (EVA) Onufriyenko and Usachov - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. This EVA started on 30.05 at 1820 UTC (opening of the hatch) and ended on 30.05. at 2240 UTC (closing of the hatch). The MOMS-2 camera (Modular Opto-electronic Multi-spectral/ Stereo scanner has been installed on the outer surface of the module Priroda. The 2d task was the installation of an extra handrail outside Priroda to facilitate EVA's. The EVA passed without problems.

1996 June 5 - .
  • Mir News 308: 5th Spacewalk (EVA) Onufriyenko and Usachov - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. This EVA is planned for 6.06.1996 between 1655 UTC (opening hatch) and 1930 UTC (closing hatch). During this EVA the cosmonauts will work at the outer surface of module Spektr and module Kvant-2 ('D'). On Spektr they will replace the cassette of the Komza-experiment. Then they will retrieve some American and Russian dust collectors from Module Kvant-2 ('D').

    6th EVA Onufriyenko and Usachov:

    This EVA will take place on 13.06.1996. Times not decided yet. During this EVA the cosmonauts will install Ferma-3 (a girder or truss construction) at the outer surface of the astrophysical module Kvant-1. Experience with constructions like these are very important for the future. They will be used for the building and exploitation of the International Space Station Alpha.

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


1996 June 6 - . 16:56 GMT - .
1996 June 7 - .
  • Mir News 309: 5th Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. This EVA took place on 6.06.1996 between 1656 UTC (opening of the hatch) and 2030 UTC (closing of the hatch). At the outer surface of the Module Spektr they replaced a cassette of the KOMZA-experiment (a Swiss experiment for the study of inert interstellar gasses) and at the outside of Module-D (Kvant-2) they installed some detectors for space dust and space debris: an American instrument and the SKK-11, a Russian made device. The EVA lasted 1 hour longer than had been planned. Onufriyenko and Usachov needed for their work and movements considerably more time than had been foreseen in the so called cyclogram for this EVA. During the EVA communications took also place via the geostationary satellite Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054). Now and then the EVA cosmonauts gave instructions to Shannon Lucid who was on duty inside the complex and observed the EVA through portholes.

    6th EVA: Still on schedule for 13.06.96. Times not yet decided. Task: Installation of the Ferma-3 girder construction at the outer surface of the astrophysical module Kvant-1.

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


1996 June 13 - .
  • Mir News 310: 6th Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. This EVA began earlier than planned on 13.06.96 at 1245 UTC (opening of the hatch) and lasted until 1827 UTC (closing of the hatch). They had to accomplish some very strenuous tasks: the installation and deployment of the Ferma-3 girder construction at the outer surface of the Kvant-1 module and the repair of the Travers-antenna (the huge SAR antenna on the module Priroda). They deployed the 4 sections of the Ferma-structure until the desired length of 5 meters. The Travers radio locator antenna had not been fully deployed by commands from inside the module Priroda and so Onufriyenko and Usachov completed this manually during their EVA. The Travers is now operational. After this work they made their way back to the airlock of Module-D. This was not easy and went slowly. (It is the last straw that can brake the camel's back). Back on board the cosmonauts quickly recovered and expressed their satisfaction about the accomplished tasks but also about the assistance they got from Shannon Lucid being on command inside the complex. She had been busy with camerawork and used all available films and cassettes. TsUP also thanked her for her work during the EVA. This has been the last EVA planned for this crew. The next EVA has to be made by the next crew in September this year.

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


1996 June 13 - . 12:45 GMT - .
1996 July 4 - .
  • Mir News 311: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The launch of this freighter has been put back again and is now on schedule for 22.07.1996. The Progress-M32 has to deliver new supplies of water, fuel, oxygen, food, etc. to the Mir-space station. The reason for this delay are two failures with the Soyuz-U rocket, which also is used for the launches of Progress-M ships.

    Soyuz-U: Within the period of some weeks 2 launches of reconnaissance satellites with the carrier Soyuz-U failed. The first time this was on Baykonur on 13.05. 49 seconds after lift off the payload fairing came loose and the control-system gave the command for self-destruction. The commission to investigate the accident failed to find a unanimous conclusion. 4 different possibilities had been suggested even the rather bizarre idea that a big bird collided with the rocket. Normally all launches of analogue rockets are suspended until the experts know for sure the cause of the accident. This time they did not wait until a definite conclusion and launched another spy-satellite, now from Plesetsk using the rocket Soyuz-U. And again exactly after 49 seconds the fairing came loose and rocket and satellite were destroyed. This time the commission started a thorough investigation, which is still going on. So possibly the launch of the freighter Progress-M32 will be put back again.

    Mir-routine: Life goes on: the 2 Russians and Shannon Lucid are still in a very good mood. They do not seem to worry about the 'rocket' problems. The relief crew for Onufriyenko and Usachov has to fly with the Soyuz-TM24 on 14.08.1996. This crew consists of the Russians Manakov and Vinogradov and de French cosmonaut Claudie Andree-Deshays. For this launch a modified rocket, the Soyuz-U2 is needed. Financial problems might put a spoke in the wheel. During the last week Shannon Lucid worked with the Glove box. She met some problems with contacts and switches but resolved these by the help of an expert at TsUP Moscow. Shannon Lucid will be relieved by John Blaha during the 4th Shuttle-Mir docking mission STS-79 by Atlantis in the beginning of August.

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


1996 July 9 - .
  • Mir News 312: POSSIBLE CHANGES IN PLANNING NEAR FUTURE - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. During the launch of Columbia on 20.06.1996 hot gasses leaked through the insulation of the rocket boosters. This might cause a month's delay in the launch of Atlantis -STS-79- 4th docking mission with Mir. During radio traffic from Mir Shannon Lucid confirmed that she takes into account the possibility that she might return in the first week of September. During the mission of Atlantis Lucid has to be relieved by John Blaha.

    Soyuz-TM24: Shannon Lucid also said that the Russians still stick to the launch of this ship on 14.08.1996 with Manakov, Vinogradov and Claudie Andree-Deshays and the return of Onufriyenko and Usachov together with the French guest-cosmonaut on 30.08.1996 with the Soyuz-TM23. So possibly Lucid will be in the Mir-station during the mission of Andree-Deshays.

    Progress-M32: If there will be permission for the use of the rocket Soyuz-U before 21.07.1996 this freighter will be launched from Baykonur in the night from 21 to 22.07.1996.

    Just before the deadline for this report the press-service of TsUP near Moscow did not have information about changes and sticks to the original schedule: Launch Atlantis: 31.07.1996, Launch Progress-M22: night from 21. to 22. 07.1996, and Launch Soyuz-TM24: 14.08.1996.

    Moscow confirmed that changes might be possible.

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


1996 July 14 - .
  • Mir News 313: Atlantis - STS-79 4th Mir Docking mission. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. On 11.07.96 the NASA decided to take a decision about the flight of Atlantis next week, but already within 24 hours NASA decided to postpone the launch of Atlantis until the midst of September. For that flight Atlantis will be equipped by the boosters used before the use of the modified boosters which have been used during the launch of Columbia on 20.06.96. So Shannon Lucid will have to stay on board of the Mir-station 1.5 month longer. She will be there during the mission of the French cosmonaut Claudie Andree-Deshays (Cassiopea) and for a while working under command of Manakov.

    Progress-M32: Still to be launched in the night from 21 to 22.07.96.

    Soyuz-TM24: The ship will have to bring the relief crew and the French cosmonaut to the Mir-station. Soyuz-TM24 with a crew of 3 persons will be launched by the use of the rocket Soyuz-U, so not with the more powerful Soyuz-U2. To enable Soyuz-TM24 to have a rendezvous with Mir after being launched with a Soyuz-U rocket , the Mir-station had to be brought in a lower orbit. The engines of the Progress-M31 corrected Mir's orbit on 2 and 4.07.96.

    Radio-amateur traffic: Now and then phone from Mir on 145.550 mc. That what is needed for Packet radio traffic is always in use for service traffic on 143.625 mc. The downlink signals of the Mir-station only give the P/R confirmation (R0Mir-CUP). The transmitter of Safex-2 in the Priroda-module can be heard in a recorded greeting in Russian and English on 437.925 mc, FM-N. This frequency is also in use as a primary frequency for ISM-purposes (Industrial Scientific and Medical), which means that there might be a lot of interference if that frequency is in use for ISM by local stations, for instance hospitals.

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


1996 July 16 - .
  • Mir News 314: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The launch of this freighter with new supplies for the Mir-space station is on schedule for 21.07.1996 at 23.58.06 UTC (For Moscow summertime already on 22.07.96). So for the launch of this freighter green light has been given for the use of the carrier Soyuz-U. (For details about the Soyuz-U problems see MirNEWS.311)

    Soyuz-TM24: The intention still exists to launch this ship with the crew of the 22d Main expedition to Mir (Manakov and Vinogradov) and the French cosmonaut Claudie Andre- Deshays on 14.08.1996, but a final decision has not yet been made. It might be possible that the Russians entrust the launch of the unmanned Progress-M to the carrier Soyuz-U, but wait with the green light for the use of that carrier for a manned ship until the eventual successful launch of the freighter.

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


1996 July 19 - .
  • Mir News 315: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The launch of this freighter has been put back again. Using the carrier Soyuz-U Progress-M32 will start from Baykonur on 24.07.1996 at 2347 UTC (Moscow time 25.07.1996 - 0247 UTC)

    Progress-M32 has to link up with Mir at the forward axial port (-X axis). The first approach will be in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. The crew has to be ready to use the TORU (Tele-operating Guidance regime). If the automatic approach will fail the first time the crew will control the approach the next day using TORU. During the pass in orbit 59500 from 0918-0930 UTC today the crew got instructions about this operation.

    During the flight signals from Progress-M32 can be monitored in the 166, 165 and 922 MC bands.

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


1996 July 22 - .
  • Mir News 316: CORRECTION - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Summary: Ref. MirNWS.315: The planned launch time of Progress-M32 is on 24.07.1996 at 2247 UTC. The time in Moscow Summertime is 25.07.1996 at 0247.

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


1996 July 25 - .
  • Mir News 317: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The launch of this freighter has been postponed. A few seconds before blast off the control system discovered an irregularity in one of the systems of the carrier Soyuz-U and stopped the operation. An inquiry into the cause of the failure is going on. Depending on this inquiry the decision for the second launch attempt will be made.

    Towards the planned launch time (24.07 at abt. 2247 UTC) the Mir station was in visual range of Baykonur and the crew hoped to see the start. So they did not see anything and during the pass in orbit 59591 (0500-0512 UTC) Onufriyenko asked TsUP why the launch has been postponed.

    Meanwhile the cosmonauts continue the preparations for the departure of the freighter Progress-M31, still docked to the station. They are loading the Progress-M31 with things they do not longer need . Progress-M31 remains docked at the station until the 2d day of the flight of Progress-M32 when it is obvious that the systems of that freighter are functioning normally.

    Soyuz-TM24: About this ship with the relief crew Manakov and Vinogradov and the French spacionaute Claudie Andre-Deshays there will be a press-conference in Ts.P.K. (Starcity) on 26.07.1996. Undoubtedly the failure of the Soyuz-U rocket will be discussed there and we hope to get information about the eventual launch of Soyuz-TM24 on 14.08.1996.

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


1996 July 30 - .
  • Mir News 318: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The launch of this freighter is now on schedule for 31.07.1996 at 20.00.04 UTC (For Moscow summertime 4 seconds after midnight on 1.08.96). The decision to give the green light for this launch has been taken on 29.07.1996 during a meeting of the state committee. The first attempt to launch the Progress-M32 failed due to a tank pressurisation problem. During the inspection afterwards a problem was revealed in one of the engines of a booster. The possibility to change that engine has been considered but finally the decision was taken to replace the whole booster. If all goes according to plan we might be able to hear the signals of the beacon- and telemetry transmitters of Progress-M32 at abt. 3 hrs after launch in the 922, 166 and 165 mc bands.

    The estimated docking time of Progress-M32 at Mir: 2.08.1996 at abt. 2159 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM24: The launch of this ship with the relief crew and the French spacionaute is now on schedule for 20.08.1996. We hope to get an eventual confirmation or additional information by CNES during this week.

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


1996 July 31 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-32 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 232. Mass: 7,130 kg (15,710 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 96.11 days. Completed Operations Date: 1996-11-04 22:47:04 . Decay Date: 1996-11-04 22:47:04 . USAF Sat Cat: 24071 . COSPAR: 1996-043A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 371 km (230 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. This was the first successful launch of a Soyuz-U after two failures. Docked with Mir at the forward docking port on 2 Aug 1996 22:03:40 GMT. Undocked on 18 Aug 1996 09:33:45 GMT in order to free up the docking port. By 29 August 1994 Mir was in a 375 x 390 km x 51.6 deg orbit; the Progress M-32 cargo ship, flying separately, was in a 375 x 392 km x 51.6 deg orbit. Redocked with Mir on 3 Sep 1996 09:35:00 GMT at the rear port of the Kvant module. Finally undocked from Mir on 20 Nov 1996 19:51:20 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 20 Nov 1996 22:42:25 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.20 days. Total docked time 93.91 days.

1996 August 1 - .
  • Mir News 319: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. This freighter was launched from Baykonur on 31.07.1996 at 20.00.06 UTC. All went well and during passes within our range the signals of the beacon- and telemetry transmitters in the 166, 165 and 922.755mc could be monitored. During the pass in orbit 4, 020700-021220 UTC TCA (Time Closest Approach) for the Hague was 020808 UTC (922.755 mc Doppler dip).

    If all continues to go according to plan the Progress-M32 will link up with Mir on 2.08.1996 at 2158 UTC. The first pass (of that sequence) of Mir and Progress-M32 in Mir's orbit 59727, will last from 2147 until 2154 UTC. So during this pass the final approach is going on and radio communications regarding this operation possibly can be monitored in the VHF-band.

    The Progress-M32 will deliver to the Mir-station a cargo of 2478 KG. 328 KG of this cargo consists of experiments and equipment to be used by the French spacionaute Claudie Andre-Deshays during her Cassiopeia mission to Mir this month. The cargo further consists of water, food, fuel, oxygen, letters, equipment, software, spare parts etc.

    Progress-M31: This freighter is still docked at the forward (-X axis) port of the Mir-station and this port has to be free for the arrival of Progress-M31's successor Progress-M32. For that reason Progress-M31 will separate from Mir on 1.08.1996 at 1642 UTC and after a short autonomous flight this freighter will be put on a destruction course and burn up in the atmosphere over a designated area of the Pacific East of New-Zealand.

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


1996 August 3 - .
  • Mir News 320: Progress-M32 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Docking at Mir:

    Progress-M32 docked at the Mir-station (-X axis, forward port transition section) on 2.08.1996 at 22.03.44 UTC. So 6 minutes later than planned. Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode by the use of the system Kurs.

    Radio traffic: As always during such operations the radio traffic was very interesting. During the pass in orb. 59727, 2149-2156 UTC , the approach was still going on. The crew just accomplished a test of the TORU-system (for eventual manual guidance by the Mir-crew). They did not use this system. At 215520 UTC the distance between Progress-M32 and Mir was 180 M. The cosmonauts monitored the images made from Progress-M32 of the station on their displays. They also observed the approaching Progress-M32 via illuminators. The traffic revealed that, though somewhat slower than planned, the operation was proceeding well. During the next pass in orb. 59728, 2327-2333 UTC, radio traffic revealed that Progress-M32 had docked at Mir. The preparations for the opening of the hatches were going on, i.e. airseal checks, the equalisation of the pressures in Progress-M32 and Mir, deployment of an air hose, and so on. During the pass in orb. 59729, on 3.08.1996 from 0057-0107 UTC, the hatches were open and de cosmonauts already had entered the freighter to remove things which had to be transferred to the complex as soon as possible. After checks of the systems of Progress-M32 and the work to be sure that Progress-M32 was fixed at the station tight and safely the crew could go asleep. And so did, tired but satisfied, your 'observer'.

    The Progress-M32, will -relatively- remain a part of the Mir-complex for a short period: If the operations with Soyuz-TM24 (relief crew) will proceed according to plan (of this moment) Progress-M32 has to depart on 20.08.1996 to free the forward docking port for the Soyuz-TM24, which has to be launched on 19.08.1996. Progress-M31: This old freighter separated from Mir on 1.08.1996 at 16.44.54 UTC. and burnt up in the atmosphere. (Further details in a next Mir-report.)

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


1996 August 13 - .
  • Mir News 321: 22d Main Expedition to Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Due to serious hearth rhythm problems Manakov, the commander of the main crew, had to be hospitalised. So the core crew has been replaced by the stand ins. The French spacionaute Claudie Andre-Deshays will stay in the main crew. The crew of the 22d ME will consist of: Valeriy Grigoryevich Korzun (Commander), Aleksandr Yuryevich Kaleri (board engineer) and Claudie Andre-Deshays, (cosmonaut-researcher, guest cosmonaut CNES. ) Vinogradov and Leopold Eyharts remain available for the eventual replacement of respectively Kaleri and/or Andre-Deshays. There is no reserve commander available.

    Launch of Soyuz-TM24: The launch of this ship with the above mentioned crew members has been put forward and will now take place from Baykonur on 17.08.1996 at abt 1317 UTC.

    The service call sign of the crew is FREGAT, so resp. Fregat-1. -2 and -3).

    The names of the new crew and the earlier launch date had been given by a recorded message of Shannon Lucid transmitted from Mir on 437.925 mc.

    Progress-M31: As already has been reported this freighter ceased her existence on 1.08.1996. The exact times of this operation were: Separation from Mir: 16.44.45 UTC, start reentry burn: 19.44.30 UTC and burning up over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand: 2033 UTC.

    Progress-M32: This freighter is still docked at Mir. If the launch and first part of the flight of Soyuz-TM24 will proceed as planned Progress-32 will undock from Mir on 18.08.1996 and burn up in the atmosphere.

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


1996 August 16 - .
  • Mir News 322: Soyuz-TM24 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. The most recent information from Moscow confirms that the launch of this ship with the relief-crew for the 22d Main Expedition to Mir is still planned for 17.08.1996 at 1317 UTC. If all goes according to plan Soyuz-TM24 will dock at Mir on 19.08.1996 at 1449 UTC.

    Progress-M32: This freighter will separate from Mir on 18.08.1996 at 0931 UTC. In contradiction to the supposition in MirNEWS.321 Progress-M32 will not be brought on a destruction course, but stay in orbit in an autonomous flight. The Progress-M32 will redock to Mir after the departure of Soyuz-TM23 with the relieved crew. The redocking has to take place on 3.09.1996. Progress-M32 will be used to reboost the Mir-complex in the original somewhat higher orbit after the return to earth of Atlantis (STS-79) in September.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


1996 September 16 - . 08:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-79.
  • STS-79 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Blaha; Readdy; Wilcutt; Akers; Apt; Walz. Payload: Atlantis F17 / External Airlock/ODS. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha; Readdy; Wilcutt; Akers; Apt; Walz. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-79; Mir NASA-2; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.14 days. Decay Date: 1996-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24324 . COSPAR: 1996-057A. Apogee: 386 km (239 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. On September 19 Atlantis docked with the Russian Mir space station. Aboard Atlantis in the payload bay were the Orbiter Docking System, the modified Long Tunnel, and the Spacehab Double Module, containing supplies for the Mir. Astronaut John Blaha relieved Shannon Lucid as NASA resident on the complex. Atlantis undocked from the Mir complex on September 23 at 23:33 GMT. Valeriy Korzun, Aleksandr Kaleri and John Blaha remain on Mir. On September 26 Atlantis closed its payload bay doors, and at 11:06 GMT fired its OMS engines for a three minute long deorbit burn. After entry interface at 11:42 GMT the spaceship flew across Canada and the US for a landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15 at 12:13 GMT.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Payload: Spacehab FU2/STA. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1996-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24324 . COSPAR: 1996-057xx. Apogee: 386 km (239 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. Summary: Remained attached to OV-104.
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: Orbiter Docking System. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1996-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24324 . COSPAR: 1996-057xx. Apogee: 386 km (239 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.10 min.

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

    Rendezvous and docking operations:

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

    First EVA:

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

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

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


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

    Radio-amateur traffic:

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

    Radio communications during this EVA:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


1997 January 12 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-81.
  • STS-81 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Baker, Mike; Jett; Wisoff; Grunsfeld; Ivins; Linenger. Payload: Atlantis F18 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker, Mike; Jett; Wisoff; Grunsfeld; Ivins; Linenger. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22; STS-81; Mir NASA-3. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.20 days. Decay Date: 1997-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 24711 . COSPAR: 1997-001A. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape).
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1997-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 24711 . COSPAR: 1997-001xx. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.80 min.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1997-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 24711 . COSPAR: 1997-001xx. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.80 min.

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

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

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


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

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


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

    Atlantis separated from the Mir:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


1997 March 2 - .
1997 March 4 - .
  • Mir News 349: Set-backs - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Two serious disadvantages vex Russian spaceflight:

    1. Progress-M33:

    The redocking of this freighter at the Mir complex planned for 4.03.1997 at 0750 UTC did not take place. During the first pass of both objects here in Mir's orb. 63065, 0733-0739UT, radio traffic revealed that the docking was not possible. Tsibliyev reported that the Progress-M33 did not do what she had to do and that he did not have a continuous image on his screen of the approaching ship. So he was unable to aim her with the system TORU. He was able to give some commands, for instance to reduce the speed of Progress-M33. Progress-M33 passed Mir in a distance of appr. 220 - 230 Meters. The cosmonauts now and then had visual observations of the Progress-M33, but not continuously and it was difficult to determine the distances via the portholes as there were no reference points. Radio traffic during following passes confirmed the failure. Progress-M33 was flying near Mir in a distance of appr. 1 KM. A commission headed by V. Solovyov is trying to find the cause of the failure and to find a solution. Tomorrow they hope to announce if and, if so, when the second attempt will take place.

    2. Geostationary communications for the Mir-space station:

    At the moment Mir does not have the possibilities to communicate via Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054) and Altair-2 (Luch-1). Altair- 1 came in a so called sun-pointing attitude and is no longer under control. This happened once in the past and then the satellite restored the normal attitude itself. Whether this will be possible this time or not is not sure. Mir also cannot use the 2d geostationary satellite over 96 degrees East. The Antares transceiver for Mir's uplink to the geostationary satellites is unserviceable and has to be replaced. The Russians hope to send a new Antares to Mir by Progress-M34. So the communication situation is very poor at the moment: in fact even worse than before the deployment of Luches for Mir. In the past tracking ships filled up the gaps, but these ships are not operational now. The possibility to use American tracking stations (Wallops, White Sands and Dryden) does not give enough solace.

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


1997 March 7 - .
  • Mir News 350: SITUATION ON BOARD Mir REMAINS PRECARIOUS - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. After the loss of one Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator in the night from 23 to 24.02 the crew has been struggling along to keep the mini-atmosphere on board of the space station suitable for the needs of human beings. On 5.03 one of the Elektrons (possibly the 2d Elektron is out of order and has to be repaired with spare parts to be delivered by the next supply ship) showed a malfunction and so the crew had to use a part of the oxygen reserved for spacewalks to bridge the period until the repair of that Electron. They managed to get this Elektron operational again in the afternoon. The crew is very busy to secure the working of the life systems and this fact can be derived from radio traffic during every possible pass. Among the additional measures to maintain a liveable situation on board a lot of air hoses have been deployed to enhance the air circulation through the whole complex.

    Communications: As it is not possible to communicate via the geostationary satellites every possible VHF-pass via tracking stations in Russia and the United States is fully utilised. In this way I can obtain a lot of information, but in fact this is rather poor in comparison to that what can be derived during the long sessions via Altair-1. For TV-sessions the Russians now use the direct links on lower frequencies via tracking stations. These sessions are shorter and have a rather poor quality, mostly black/white and often the accompanying speech goes via the normal VHF-downlink.

    Progress-M33: It has been decided not to try a second attempt to redock Progress-M33 at Mir. The Progress-M33 will be put on a destruction course on 11 or 12.03.1997 and burn up in the atmosphere over a designated area in the Pacific East of New-Zealand.

    Progress-M34: The Russians are still waiting for the disposal of a rocket for this launch. This certainly will not be earlier than 25.03.1997. They hope to launch the Progress-M34 on 6.04.1997. Among a lot of other supplies this Progress has to deliver a replacement for the Antares transceiver (uplink to Luches) and spare parts and materials for the repairs of the defective life support systems.

    Spacewalk (EVA): The Russians still hope that Tsibliyev and Linenger will be able to do an EVA. For the time being 17.04.1997 is on schedule.

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


1997 March 21 - .
  • Mir News 351: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Gradually the passes of Mir for our area shifted to the night hours, but nevertheless a lot of radio traffic could be monitored since the last Mir-report. This traffic revealed that the only system for the production of oxygen is the solid fuel oxygen generator. The crew co-ordinates the use of the so called 'shashki' (disks) with TsUP and daily abt 3 of those 'cartridges' are 'burnt'. In the beginning they still tried to activate the only operational Elektron to generate oxygen from 'technical' water, but possibly the gas-analysers reported that the quality of the production did not reach the desired standards and they had to stop these attempts. They seem to have enough 'shashki' until the arrival of new supplies but they cannot use all available cartridges. They got orders to refrain from the use of those produced in the years after the decay of the Soviet Union.

    Progress-M34: The launch of this badly needed freighter is on schedule for 6.04.1997. It is not sure whether or not spare parts (filters a.s.o.) are ready before that launch. The Progress-M34 will also have to deliver a new Antares transmitter for communications via the now only available Altair (nr. 2) satellite.

    Communications: The present position of Altair-2 is over 94 degrees East. For docking operations of Soyuz-TM ships and shuttles, but also for the communications during EVA-s and the morale of the crew a position more to West, for instance in the slot of Altair-1 (Cosmos-2054) would be more suitable.

    Movements control: On 19.03.1997 during the pass in orbit 63298, Tsibliyev reported a malfunction of an Omega angular rate sensor. At 0448 UTC the SUD (movements control system) showed a failure and the complex came in an inexplicable rotation. Apart from one the gyrodynes were still working, but obviously unable to correct the stations attitude. During the next pass (in orb. 63300, 0856-0906 UTC) the crew got orders to shut down the gyrodynes. The station came in a so called free drift and from there the attitude had to be corrected by steering jets. These events caused a decrease of electrical power due to bad orientation of the solar batteries towards the sun. So for some hours the crew had to restrain power consumption. Next day's radio traffic revealed that the situation was almost under control. The crew worked hard to make another Omega sensor operational and doing so they met a lot of problems with the deployment of cables.

    Jerry Linnenger: In contradiction to the beginning of his mission contacts of Jerry with the American consultative group at TsUP Moscow could not be monitored for some weeks.

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


1997 April 3 - .
  • Mir News 352: Progress-M34 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. The launch of this freighter from Baykonur is on schedule for 6.04.1997 at 1904 UTC. If this start will take place and the flight to the Mir complex will be successful docking can be expected on 8.04.1997 at abt. 1730 UTC. Progress-M34 has to deliver new supplies of fuel, oxygen, water, food and repair materials. Progress-M34 will also bring 2 spacesuits for spacewalks (EVA's) of a new type. Originally the Russians planned to have a new Antares transmitter (for communications via the geostationary satellite) ready for the flight with Progress-M34, but possibly they cannot make that and that means that this transmitter will be delivered at Mir by the shuttle Atlantis in May.

    Mir-routine: Mir's passes for our position take place during the night hours and in this period all communications are handled by the tracking stations in the USA Dryden and Wallops and the OKIK's in the East of Siberia. For the oxygen production the crew is fully dependent on the so called 'shashki', the lithium perchlorate cartridges. Daily they 'consume' 2 or 3 cartridges. The 2 Elektron systems could not be repaired and so the crew has to wait for new Elektrons to be delivered by Atlantis.

    Altair-2 (23426 - 94082A): This geostationary satellite recently still over a sub-satellite point over 95 degrees East has been brought in a somewhat higher orbit. Now the period is more than 1436 minutes. This means that the sub-satellite point is slowly moving to the West. if all goes according to plan Altair-2 will reach a position over 16 degrees West in the 26 week of May.

    1st Spacewalk (EVA) Tsibliyev and Linenger: This EVA is on schedule for 29.04.1997.

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


1997 April 6 - . 16:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-34 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 234. Mass: 7,156 kg (15,776 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 86.60 days. Completed Operations Date: 1997-07-02 06:31:45 . Decay Date: 1997-07-02 06:31:45 . USAF Sat Cat: 24757 . COSPAR: 1997-014A. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 375 km (233 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. It carried supplies for the Mir station and repair equipment for Mir's oxygen generators, replacement oxygen-generating 'candles' and a pair of new spacesuits. Docked with Mir at the rear Kvant module port on 8 Apr 1997 17:30:03 GMT. The Mir complex raised its orbit by 5 km on 15 Apr 1997 at 12:00 GMT, using Progress M-34's engine. Undocked on 24 Jun 1997 10:22:50 GMT. It was then used to perform a redocking test using newly developed remote-control procedures which were to replace the automatic system that Russia could no longer afford to buy from Ukraine. At 25 Jun 1997 09:18 GMT Mir commander Tsibliev was remotely commanding the approach of Progress to the Kvant module. This involved guiding the Progress via a television monitor. The Progress was difficult to see against the cloudy earth background at the time of the attempted docking. It went off course and collided with a solar array on the Spektr module and then the module itself. A large hole was made in a solar panel, one of the radiators was buckled, a hole was punched into Spektr's hull, and the module began to depressurize. This was not a slow leak - the crew heard a hissing sound and felt their ears pop. They disconnected the power cables leading from Mir to the main station and closed the hatch on the core module transfer section that led to Spektr. The Spektr module became fully depressurized, remaining docked to Mir with its docking hatch open. The loss of electrical connection between Spektr's solar panels and the main station cut the available power supply to the station, crippling its operations until later repairs reconnected the electrical lines. Tsibliev was also the pilot on a previous orbital collision, when he banged Soyuz TM-17 into Mir in Jan 1994. After the return of the crew to earth he was found to be to blame for the incident, although the fines assessed were later dismissed. The Progress M-34 cargo ship was backed to a safe distance from the station and was destroyed in reentry on 2 Jul 1997 06:31:50 GMT. Total free-flight time 9.90 days. Total docked time 76.70 days.

1997 April 7 - .
  • Mir News 353: Launch Progress-M34 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. The Progress-M34 was launched from Baykonur on 6.04.97 at 16.04.05 UTC. This was according to plan. Until now (morning of 7.04.97 UTC) the flight of Progress-M34 is proceeding well. During the 4th and 5th orbit the necessary orbit corrections have been executed. If all will go as planned the Progress-M34 will dock to the aft (Kvant-1) docking port (+X axis) on 8.04.1997 at abt. 1729 UTC.

    Radio traffic Progress-M34: In the evening of 6.04.1997 the transmitters of Progress-M34 could be monitored in the 166, 165 and 922 mc bands between 2039-2042 UTC and 2209-2213 UTC. Radio traffic Mir: During the last nights there has been a lot of radio traffic. The windows during hours in which the crew normally is sleeping were needed badly to co-ordinate with TsUP matters regarding a lot of technical problems.

    Significance of the freighter Progress-M34: These days the Mir-space station goes through a very critical phase. A lot of failures harass the Mir-complex during the last weeks and in particular the problems regarding the maintenance of an acceptable atmosphere on board in fact passed admissible limits. The only way to produce oxygen is the use of the lithium perchlorate cartridges. The crew cannot use the whole available supply of these so called 'shashki' 2 or 3 of which they consume daily. The series of cartridges to which the 'naughty' one belonged and that caused a fire some weeks ago cannot be used. That means that there is only a supply for a few days. Progress-M34 has to deliver the necessary cartridges to ensure the oxygen supply until the docking of Atlantis in her mission STS-84 in May. Atlantis can also bring to Mir a replacement for the Elektron system. By electrolysis the Elektron can generate oxygen from waste water, for instance water distilled from urine. Possibly the Atlantis will also deliver a new Vozdukh, the system to absorb carbonic acid (CO2) from the air on board. This Vozdukh broke down in the night from 3 to 4 April 1997 and could not be repaired. The failure of that Vozdukh was the last one in a long sequence of set-backs. Fate of the Mir-station as a manned complex is hanging by a thread. If the docking of Progress-M34 to the complex fails the crew will have to return to Earth by Soyuz-TM25 within a few days.

    Docking procedure: This time there is still the possibility to execute the approach and docking in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. If the first attempt to dock in this way fails Tsibliyev has to take over and dock Progress-M34 manually by the system TORU. In 1994 the cosmonaut Malenchenko secured the continuation of the manned flights on Mir with the TORU-docking of Progress-M24. Perhaps Tsibliyev will have to take the same responsibility tomorrow. Radio traffic in the evening of 6.04 revealed that among the activities for 7.04 there would be the checking and training with TORU. Altair-2 (23426 - 94082A): During the 'snail-paced' move of this geostationary satellite from East to West she is not operational and will not be used for Mir-TsUP communications. It might be possible that Altair-2 equal to her predecessor Altair-1 has a service beacon on 11.380 GHz. If so we might be able to catch up a sign of life of this satellite before she reaches the position over 16 dgs West. .

    C.M. v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 April 9 - .
  • Mir News 354: Progress-M34 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Without problems the freighter Progress-M34 linked up with the Mir-complex. The soft docking, the so called 'kasaniye' (touch) took place on 8.04.97 at 17.30.01 UTC. The approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the use of the system Kurs. The Progress-M34 docked at the aft (Kvant-1 +X axis) docking port. During the 1st pass of Mir and Progress-M34 (orbits 63618/34) between 1721-1726 UTC it was obvious that the approach was going on. The crew did not report many details of the approach apart from the distance: 150 M. Tsibliyev was on the alert to take over manually by the system TORU, but he met problems with the image on the screen, which he needed for that operation. In co-ordination with TsUP he even consulted the on board documentation to resolve that problem if necessary. So that what I could derive from radio traffic did not convince me that the approach was successful. Moreover LOS for my position was 4 minutes before the actual docking. During the next orbit (63619 - 1856-1903 UTC) it was obvious that the docking had been successfully accomplished: of the 2 hatches between the Kvant-1 and Progress-M34 the crew already had opened the hatch on the side of Mir. They had to wait with the opening of the Progress-M34 hatch until the airseal checks had been completed. The next orbit everything had been opened and the crew already had deployed an air hose between the 2 objects. The mix of the oxygen coming from Progress-M34 with that of Mir did not give any problems.

    Mir-routine: So for the time being the exploitation of the Mir-space station as a manned complex has been secured. Now there are sufficient lithium perchlorate cartridges to ensure the oxygen production until the arrival of Atlantis in May. Progress-M34 delivered a lot of spare parts and reparation material , but whether these are sufficient to do something on the defective Elektron oxygen machines is not sure. Let us hope that there is now enough material to do something on other defective and faltering systems. The failure of the CO2 absorption filter Vozdukh emerged less than a week ago so it is unlikely that the Russians were able to deliver with Progress-M34 anything for the reparation. Apart from the lithium perchlorate cartridges Progress-M34 brought a tank with 50 KG pure oxygen.

    Compliments: The Russians deserve our serious compliments for the fact that they again solved a lot of almost hopeless problems and thus made the continuation of the co-operation with NASA in the IRS Alpha precursor program possible. The history of the Russian people that suffered so much ("mnogostradal'nogo Russkogo naroda") gave the Russians the instinct to survive during the most inclement circumstances and in spaceflight they regularly proved that they know how to use that quality.

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


1997 April 19 - .
  • Mir News 355: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Immediately after the opening of the hatches to Progress-M34 the crew began to unload the most important stuff for direct use. They used a part of the new arrived pure oxygen supply and new lithium perchlorate 'disks' for oxygen production. Radio traffic revealed that the cosmonauts without delay had started the repair of the Elektron system in Module-D (Kvant- 2). On 11.04 this Elektron was activated, but after a few minutes during which oxygen was produced it switched itself off. On the days to follow the crew regularly worked on this system and to undo the last failure they even used a part of the unserviceable Elektron in Module-E (Kvant-1).

    The urgent work on the Elektron caused a considerable work overload of the crew. These days the astronaut Linenger is often deployed to assist in this repair work for which he has to refrain from a part of his American experiments. A few times the work on the Elektron had to be suspended for the execution of repair work with a higher priority. This had to do with a lot of leakage in the heating- and cooling circuits in the Base Block and Kvant-1.

    The leaks in the cooling loops in Kvant-1 caused the outflow of cooling liquid (ethylene glycol) and the decrease of the pressure within that circuit. A sufficient cooling is also needed for the functioning of the carbon dioxide (CO2) absorber Vozdukh. For the neutralisation of CO2 in Mir's atmosphere there is another alternative. Progress-M34 delivered for that purpose canisters lithium hydroxide. Meanwhile the Elektron in Module-D and the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber are functioning. The problems with the life support systems on board caused a high humidity and consequently a lot of condensation. Twice a day Tsibliyev can be heard reporting pulse rates, blood pressures, skin temperatures and blood oxygen saturation of all crew members.

    Orbit correction: Using the engines of the Pr-M34 the orbit of the Mir-station had been corrected on 15.04.19997 at 12.46.01 UTC. Apogee and Perigee changed from 397.16/381.63 KM to 402.54/389.51 KM.

    Solar orbit: Within a few days Mir will enter a so called solar orbit. During this period Mir will continuously remain in sunlight. Then it will be more difficult to control the on board temperatures. Tsibliyev said that physically the crew is able to sustain this inconvenience, but that he has some concerns about the equipment of the complex.

    1st Spacewalk (EVA) Mir Main Expedition 23/ NASA 4: This EVA is (or possibly meanwhile: was) on schedule for 29.04.1997. The EVA will be executed if the repair work can be accomplished before a determined deadline.

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


1997 April 25 - .
  • Mir News 356: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) Mir 23/NASA 4 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Vo chto by to ni stalo. This is the Russian analogue for 'At any cost'. Monitoring radio traffic during the last days I realised that those responsible for this Mir/NASA expedition decided to stick to the EVA on 29.04.97 and this made me use this expression as a sub-title for my report about that EVA. In fact I expected that the long sequence of serious technical problems and consequently the enormous strain for the crew justified the cancellation or at least a suspension of that EVA. Officially has been announced that the situation on board is almost back to normal and that the health condition of Tsibliyev and Linenger is such that they can do that EVA. The EVA is on schedule for 29.04.1997 at 0450 UTC (opening of the hatch) and will last 5 hours and 30 minutes. Using spacesuits of a new design delivered to Mir by the freighter Progress-M34, Tsibliyev and Linenger will install American experiments at the outer surface of Kvant-2 (Module-D) and the SO (the docking compartment at the Kristall (Module-T). They also will retrieve similar experiments which had been installed there in the past. Today the 'spacewalkers' trained for that EVA. In the past the preparations for EVA's started a long time before the planned date en during the last few days crews always fully concentrated on the oncoming EVA. They always got 1 or 2 days off to enable them to start the EVA as fit as possible. This time the preparations started only a few days ago and they had to use a part of the time for maintenance and repair activities. The cosmonauts are very tired and they yearn for a day off. Another problem during this EVA is the communications infrastructure. There is no Luch available. Altair-2 is still moving to the West and not operational at the moment. In the very beginning when there were no geostationary satellites available for Mir-TsUP (or: Salyut - Zarya) communications Russia had a fleet of tracking ships all over the world. Of this fleet only 4 ships are left, 2 of which are operational, but they have to remain in St Petersburg until there are means for exploitation. It is true that TsUP has the possibility to use Dryden and Wallops in the USA and Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany, but that is not enough to fill up all the gaps in the infrastructure. Telemetry monitoring during EVA's is essential. If all goes well Tsibliyev and Linenger can be heard while they are on their way back to the airlock of Module-D during Mir's orbit 63941 between 1000 and 1030 UTC on 29.04.

    During a short interview with an American radio station Linenger on 23.04.1997 told, that they had a rough time, but that they succeeded in restoring the situation almost back to normal and that they all were doing fine. About the leakage of the cooling system in Kvant-1 and the eventual influence of ethylene glycol on the health of the crew he said that the effects in the long run are still unknown.

    Solar orbit: In my MirNEWS.355 I suggested that the next period in which the Mir- complex would remain permanently in the sun was to begin in a 'few' days. This was an error. The next solar-orbit period will be in the first week of June.

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


1997 April 29 - .
  • Mir News 357: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) Mir 23/NASA 4 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. This EVA passed of successfully and without problems. Tsibliyev and Linenger opened the hatch of the airlock of Kvant-2 on 29.04.1997 at 0510 UTC and closed this after the EVA at 10.08.30 UTC. Duration: 4 hrs 57 mins and 10 secs. The cause of the slight delay is still unknown. The fact that the EVA lasted much shorter than the planned 5 hrs 30 mins was no indication that they had been forced to return earlier but they just accomplished their tasks well within the duration which had been foreseen. These tasks consisted of the installation of the OPM (Optical Properties Monitor) at the outer surface of the SO (docking compartment at the Kristall module). Having this done they moved by the crane Strela to the Kvant-2 where they retrieved the American experiments PIE (Partial Impact Experiment) and the MSE (Mir Sample Experiment). These experiments will be brought back to earth by the Atlantis in May this year. The last task was the installation on Kvant-2 of the Benton Radiation Dosimeter. This instrument will measure the intensity of the radiation between 51.6 dgs North and 51.6 dgs South. The areas between these latitudes will be covered by the IRS, which will orbit in the same inclination (51.6 dgs) as Mir. During the first pass for our location in orbit 63941 (0958- 1010 UTC) the EVA was in its final phase. The both 'space-walkers' already were in the airlock, which they had entered at 0930 UTC. During radio windows they worked with tranquillising music in the background. Radio traffic revealed that Tsibliyev and Linenger had a lot of fun and acted fully relaxed. The EVA was successful and they did not meet any problems. The new type of the Orlan DMA spacesuit was used for the first time and during the pass in orbit 63942 (1133-1145 UTC) Tsibliyev reported his satisfaction about the improvements. He told that his good experience with this spacesuit during training in the hydrolab now has been proven in practice. The suit is very flexible, and especially the gloves are very good: it is much easier to use your fingers. And Tsibliyev has the right to judge this for he did 5 EVA's during his mission in 1993. During the EVA Lazutkin remained on board where he watched the systems, made films of his colleagues, helped them with advice and communications. If the present good luck of the Mir exploration will not vanish Lazutkin will do 2 EVA's together with Tsibliyev during this Mir 23d Main expedition.

    Admiration: All those responsible for the achievements of today: the crew, but also the flight control and consultative groups in Korolyov and Houston deserve our admiration for the way in which they showed their skill and this example of excellent international co-operation. They had the courage to execute this difficult operation just a week after a long period in which the operational life of the Mir space station was hanging by a thread. Let us entrust the work on future space flight projects in their hands!

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


1997 April 29 - . 05:10 GMT - .
1997 May 11 - .
  • Mir News 358: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. The successful spacewalk (EVA) gave the crew the elixir they badly needed. In the period after the EVA the lion's share of the activities had to consist of the preparations for the arrival of Atlantis on mission STS-84 on 17.05 (wind and weather permitting). Of course they do a lot in this respect, but repairs and the struggle to restore failing systems almost overtax the cosmonauts.

    They had to replace a number of essential parts of the SRV-U (the system for regenerating water from urine). Also the system SRV-K, to make water from condensation had to be mended. A few days they had to spend a lot of time on the 2 KOB-systems. One of those systems showed a repeatedly pressure decrease. They needed a pressure hose for the repair and tried out some hoses they found. At last they connected one that fitted and solved the problem by the separation of both systems. They postponed the search for the leaks in the KOB-1 and 2 and the cooling loop in Kvant-1 until after the departure of Atlantis.

    For the co-ordination of all activities and to get the necessary advice from TsUP all VHF-windows are needed and used. They also communicate via Dryden and Wallops in the USA and Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany, even during holidays. Sometimes a failure emerges spontaneously during VHF-conversations. For instance 11.05 during the pass in orbit 64127 at 0639 UTC TsUP ordered Tsibliyev to switch off the cycling of the solar panels and when he did so the SOI (possibly the system for orientation and stabilisation) stopped. The reserve system (SOI-2) immediately took over. During the last days special attention had to be paid to the movements- (attitude-) control systems. The external thruster in the Sofora mast (VDU) has been used, possibly to take care for the stabilisation during a reset procedure for the gyrodynes.

    Preparations for the arrival of Atlantis: Especially Jerry Linenger is very busy with the selection and the arrangement of that what he has to deliver on Earth. The Russians also do so with the help of checklists. The main bulk of cargo for return consists of samples and software of experiments, but there is also a lot of defective and used equipment and parts of systems.

    Altair-2: This geostationary satellite (23426 - 94082A) accomplished its walk from 96 dgs East to 17 dgs West, but did not make a stand. To stabilise the satellite over the calculated sub-satellite point (between 16 and 17 dgs West) the VKS (Russian Space Forces) have to correct the orbit such that the period will become 1436 minutes ) on day 128 the period was still 1438 minutes.

    Mission STS-84 Atlantis: The main purpose of this mission is the delivery of Mike Foale and the relief of Jerry Linenger for return to Earth. As soon as Mike Foale's 'seat liner' has been transferred to Mir (in fact via Mir to Soyuz-TM25) Mir mission will get the designation Mir23/NASA5. If, wind and weather permitting, Atlantis will blast off on 15.05 the following schedule can be used: Launch 15.05 at 0808 UTC, opening hatches 17.05 0428 UTC. Undocking 22.05 at 0405 UTC Landing 24.05 at 1153 UTC.

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


1997 May 15 - . 08:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-84.
  • STS-84 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Precourt; Collins, Eileen; Clervoy; Lu; Noriega; Kondakova; Foale. Backup Crew: Titov, Vladimir. Payload: Atlantis F19 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Precourt; Collins, Eileen; Clervoy; Lu; Noriega; Kondakova; Foale; Titov, Vladimir. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-84; Mir NASA-4; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.22 days. Decay Date: 1997-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 24804 . COSPAR: 1997-023A. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Atlantis blasted off on a night launch to Mir, docking with the station on May 17 at 02:33 GMT. Jerry Linenger, who had begun his stay on Mir in mid-January aboard STS-81, would return aboard STS-84. Michael Foale would be left at the station for his stint as the American crew member of Mir. The crew transfered to Mir 466 kg of water, 383 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,251 kg of Russian equipment and supplies, and 178 kg of miscellaneous material. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 406 kg of U.S. science material, 531 kg of Russian logistics material, 14 kg of ESA material and 171 kg of miscellaneous material. Atlantis undocked from Mir at 01:04 GMT on May 22. After passing up its first landing opportunity due to clouds over the landing site, the Shuttle fired its OMS engines on the deorbit burn at 12:33 GMT on May 24. Atlantis landed at 13:27 GMT at Kennedy Space Center's runway 33.
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1997-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 24804 . COSPAR: 1997-023xx. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1997-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 24804 . COSPAR: 1997-023xx. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min.

1997 May 24 - .
1997 May 25 - .
  • Mir News 359: Chronicle - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-84; Mir NASA-4; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Just before the beginning of Atlantis mission STS-84 I left my 'station' for a badly needed vacation. For those who use my 'MirNEWS-series' as a chronicle I decided to draft a short summary of that mission. The information therein I derived from different sources.

    Atlantis STS-84 mission largely accomplished successfully: Launch Atlantis on 15.05.97; flawless docking with Mir on 17.05.97. Michael Foale relieved his colleague Jerry Linenger. Mir's mission will be named : Mir 23 / NASA 5. Both crews succeeded in transferring mutually all what had to be transferred within the 5-day period. Adding a 6th 'docking day' was not needed.

    Mir was plentifully provided with an extra supply of water and oxygen en the replacement equipment and spare parts to postpone for a very long time the definitive termination of the ageing space station. The most important equipment for that purpose was the new oxygen machine Elektron, which had to be installed in the Module-D (Kvant-2). The old Elektron which had been repaired some weeks ago and has been operational in Module-D has been reinstalled in the former spot in Kvant-1 to be used as a reserve. The delivered supply of oxygen enables the crew to refrain for a long period from the use of the Elektrons. Defective equipment, for instance the old Elektron, which could not be repaired, has been brought back to earth for analysis.

    Originally there has been a plan to deliver a new Antares transmitter for communications via the geostationary Altair-2 (now in position over 16 degrees West). Information about this plan is still unclear and even sometimes contradictory. Communications: During the combined flight the communications also to and from Mir had been handled to a large extent via the American TDRS-facilities. Mir communicated directly with tracking stations on Russian territory using VHF frequencies.

    After the launch of Atlantis on 15.05 Eileen Collins could be heard on 259.7 mc between 0826 and 0829 UTC when she via a tracking station in Spain reported the 'power down of the APU'. Shortly after the stabilisation of Altair-2 over 16 degrees West there has been word that the satellite had a transmitter failure and that the Russians would do all what was possible to reactivate this transmitter. Due to my absence I was not able to monitor 10.830 Ghz.

    During my stay in Budapest I met a 'colleague' and he told me that he received somewhat like a 'wide band' signal on that frequency, probably a test signal by the VKS (Russian space forces). This was on 19.05. Later on and until the afternoon of 21.05 the transponder transmitted a continuous carrier without modulation. Another colleague in Western Europe monitored the wideband signal and recorded this. Meanwhile there came some information about the Antares transmitter on board Mir.

    The installation of a new Antares has been put back until the arrival of a needed part which has to be delivered by Progress-M35 (launch 22.06, docking 24.06). Conclusion: Altair-2 is operational. The problem is still on board Mir. Mir-routine: The 3 crew members on board Mir again have to do the job alone. Just before the arrival of Atlantis they repaired the defective water regeneration systems (SRV-K condensation and SRV-U urine) .

    Before a profound analysis on Earth of the quality of the water regenerated by the SRV-K they are not allowed to drink this water. They are satisfied about the new supply of oxygen and the relative high pressure of the atmosphere on board: 780 mm. One of the first priorities is the search and elimination of a leakage in the cooling loop VGK.

    The passes of the Mir-station for our position take place during the night hours. So for a short period there will be not much radio traffic via VHF unless something special happens during these night hours. I will remain on the alert!

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


1997 June 12 - .
  • Mir News 360: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. This freighter is on schedule for late this month. If launch and flight will go as planned Progress-M34 will have to leave the aft docking port (+X-axis) the day before the arrival of Progress-M35. Apart from the normal cargo a badly needed component for the Antares-transmitter on board Mir has to be delivered by Progress-M35. Until the restoration of Mir's satellite relay system audio and video downlinks will be limited to ground station passes.

    Progress-M34: It might be possible that before the departure for decay in the Earth's atmosphere the Russians will execute an autonomous flight with the old freighter to test the TORU system. Thus far no confirmation about this operation. Radio-amateurism: The fact that the Mir-crew is active again on the radio-amateur-frequencies confirms that the situation on board though not fully back to normal, improved to such a degree that they got more time to relax.

    During almost every pass within our range the amateur station in the 145 mc band is active, mostly in Packet Radio, but also in Phone. Mike Foale (call KB5UAC) or the Russians (R0Mir) can be heard on Mir's downlink 145.800 mc. (uplink 145.200 mc). The crew transmitted a P/R message in which they said that they planned to increase P/R traffic. In another P/R message they reported that the Safex-2 transponder in the Priroda Module is operational again. Downlink is 437.950 mc, uplink 435.750 mc. To open the transponder a CTCSS tone of 141.3 hertz is needed. During docking operations with Soyuz-TM- and Progress-M ships and Shuttles Safex-2 will be OFF to avoid interference on crucial systems.

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


1997 June 16 - .
  • Mir News 361: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. If all goes according to plan this freighter will be launched on 27.06.1997 at 0630 UTC. If launch and flight will be successful Progress-M35 will dock at Mir's aft docking port (X-axis) on 29.06.1997 at abt 0748 UTC.

    Progress-M34:

    There are no plans for an autonomous flight with Progress-M34. If during the first day of the flight of Progress-M35 all goes well Progress-M34 will separate from Mir on 28.06.1997 and brought on a destruction course for decay over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand.

    Radio-amateur traffic:

    As requested by radio-amateurs in the USA the 'downlink frequency' of the VHF station in Mir's base block has been changed from 145.800 to 145.985 mc. This change took place on 15.06.97. Almost during every pass within our range traffic, mainly Packet Radio, can be monitored. During the last days Foale could be heard in Phone. Foale is a skilled radio-amateur with a very good memory. During a QSO with the Belgian amateur ON6GP he remarked that during mission STS-45 ON6GP spoke with Foale's crew mate the Belgian astronaut Frimaut.

    Communications:

    Tsibliyev and Lazutkin during every pass discuss their reparation activities. They meet a lot of problems with cables and contacts which they cannot find or do not fit. Undoubtedly the present mission, teased by a lot of problems and set-backs, is leaving its traces on the psychological stamina of Tsibliyev and Lazutkin. Especially for Tsibliyev it is not always easy to maintain his normal flexibility.

    In a long conversation with his father Foale told that he just flew over England. The British isles were fully overcast and the cloud layer had the same shape as the country itself. He also told that Tsibliyev and Lazutkin badly hope that the relief crew will be launched at abt. 8.08.97. The Russians will be relieved by Solovyov and Vinogradov. After the departure of the present crew Foale will remain on board Mir. So he will be a member of Mir's Main Expedition nr. 24 (Solovyov and Vinogradov) for a period of appr. 7 weeks. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 June 25 - .
  • Mir News 362: Progress-M34 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. In contradiction to the information given in my MirNEWS.361 the Russians decided to execute manoeuvres with this old freighter for tests of the TORU system (system for remote controlled

    guidance from inside Mir). The fact that departing Progress-M-ships could be used for that purpose had been announced, but I could not get confirmation about the possible use of Progress-M34. Radio traffic during the last days revealed that Tsibliyev had got orders to check the TORU-system during an autonomous flight of Progress-M34. He and Lazutkin repaired electronics of the TORU and TsUP told Tsibliyev what he had to do. The manoeuvres should be executed during those periods in which Mir would be in range of ground stations.

    Progress-M34

    undocked from Mir on 24.06.97 at 10.22.50 UTC. Just after undocking Progress-M34 flew above the Mir-complex and a few hours later Tsibliyev reported that Progress-M34 flew behind Mir in a distance of appr. 2 KM. Progress-M34 had to be redocked at Mir with the use of the system TORU on 25.06.1997 between 0920 and 0925 UTC. THIS DOCKING ATTEMPT FAILED. When this report 'went to press' specialists at TsUP were analysing the situation and whether or not -and if so when- a second attempt would be made had not been decided yet.

    Progress-M35:

    The launch of this freighter is on schedule for 27.06.1997 at 0721 UTC. If this launch will take place (in view of the situation with Progress-M34 might this been changed) and if all goes according to plan this freighter will have to dock at Mir aft (+X-axis) port on 29.06.1997 at 0848 UTC. (In my MirNEWS.361 the estimated times were incorrect. I mixed up DMV time (TsUP time) with Moscow summer time.)

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


1997 June 26 - .
  • Mir News 363: The following message received from VideoCosmos - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. Co redistributed by Chris v.d.Berg under MirNEWS.363 and MirNWS.363 (no Dutch translation available yet due to lack of time)

    Subject: Emergency on Mir

    Novosti Kosmonavtiki June 25, 1997 -- Moscow, Russia -- Progress M-34 cargo vehicle collided With the Spektr module of Mir space station earlier today but the crew survived. The collision occurred before 09:18 UTC during Progress' fly around in remote control mode before scheduled re-docking. The crew haven't had communications with Russian ground stations at the time. The cargo spacecraft sheared a half of Spektr solar panel and made damage to the module itself. Depressurization of the station had begun but the crew succeeded in fast closing the hatch to Spektr. The rest of the station is being re-pressurised. Also, thermal control radiators on Spektr were damaged. There is no immediate danger to the crew but emergency landing is a possible decision. This report is not copyrighted. If you plan to use or publish the report please keep reference to VideoCosmos Co. of Moscow, Russia, and Novosti Kosmonavtiki Magazine.

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


1997 June 27 - .
  • Mir News 364: Progress-M34 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. The Russians abandoned the plan to finish the existence of this freighter today. Progress-M34 is still needed for Telemetry analyses, necessary for the investigations on the cause of the 'mini-catastrophe. For the time being it is extremely difficult to get a reliable picture of that what happened due to the huge amount of versions and rumours about the failed docking attempt. When Progress-M34 will enter the earth's atmosphere and decay has been not decided, it might take place on 28 or 29.07.97.

    Inquiries: An extensive commission under the chairmanship of the Head of the RKA (Russian Space Agency), Yuriy Koptev, discussed the situation on 26.07.97 and decided to delegate the investigations to one or more working groups. These specialists will pay extensive attention to the Telemetry from Progress-M34 after the undocking until the collision. Already before the session of the commission Koptev gave a statement in which he emphasised that the operations with Mir will not be interrupted, that the crew will not be evacuated and that Russia will perform her obligations in the framework of the international co-operation. (How far political intentions will conflict with technical imperfections and even impossibilities certainly will turn out in due course.)

    Intentions and options known up to now (27.06.1997 1200 UTC): A lot of press-releases speak about the necessity to make a spacewalk (EVA) for the inspection and eventual repair of the little gap or crack in the hull of Module Spektr. Such an EVA will certainly be executed, but this will take place not before the arrival of the next cargo ship Progress-M35. The first EVA will be a so called 'internal EVA' using the transition section (P.Kh.O.) as an airlock via which the cosmonauts can enter the Spektr.

    Module Spektr: For a long time this module was the 'base and home' of the American astronauts. In this module Foale disposed about a lot of equipment and experiments. The crew has to determine what still is available and can be saved and what is lost. For the time being a lot of experiments cannot be executed and in fact the experimental program for this expedition is almost fully suspended. One of the 4 solar panels of Spektr has been severely damaged, possibly beyond repair. The other 3 might be able to deliver power, but due the disconnection of cables, some of those cables had even to be cut in two, they are out of order. The damaged one and one of the other 3 are badly needed for power supply for the whole complex. The event caused a power reduction of appr. 50% . Before I spoke about a little gap or crack and not as generally is done in publications about this damage, about a gap, or even big hole. If it would be a real gap the crew would be dead. Depressurization would have been a matter of seconds not only or the Spektr but also for the whole complex. This depressurization was in fact a process which passed off slowly. The crew felt the decrease of the pressure in their ears and they had still enough time to close one of the hatches to Spektr and -possibly we will hear about this later- do a lot of things before closing that hatch.

    Situation on board of Mir : A summary about the developments after the collision as derived from the enormous amount of radio traffic will be published in NEWS.365.

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


1997 June 28 - .
  • Mir News 365: Radio traffic after collision Progress-M34 with MIR. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. On 25.06.1997 during the first pass of the daily sequence (orb. 64831, 1049-1054 UTC) it was obvious that something went terribly wrong. If the redocking would have been a success this should have been obvious during this traffic. No word about the Progress-M34. The only subjects about which the crew spoke with TsUP were the systems on board Mir. In the first place they had problems with the SUD (attitude control) and something had happened with a module. TsUP transmitted a long series of 4-digit groups and the crew got orders to record and to collate them ('kvitantsiya').

    In the next pass (orb. 64832, 1223-1232 UTC) reports about serious problems indicating that the complex had suffered from a heavy blow. An emergency signal warned that the power supply was too low (tension too low), that storage accumulators could not be charged and that the attitude of the complex had been changed and flew on its side. One or more of the 5 still available solar arrays could not be adjusted for a good angle towards the sun.. Tsibliyev reported that they were unable to change this and that the complex had a movement along the X-axis.

    The crew got orders to activate the direct TV-link (commands Anna-72 and Anna-86) and to send images. Mike Foale made this images with a camera. (These images could be seen all over the world during the rest of the day). Very alarming was that what the crew reported during the 3d pass (orbit 64833, 1359-1409 UTC). Those solar panels which were still available could not be adjusted via computer commands, but this had to be done manually by the cosmonauts.

    The gyrodynes did not work any more , the electrical tension was too low and the Ts.V.M.-1 (the main computer) ceased to function. The SUD failed and this was also the case with such a system in Module-D. After reporting all these calamities Tsibliyev stated that the situation was very bad. A number of ventilators did not work and the crew was grateful about the fact that the ventilators in Module-D functioned normally.

    The fact that the gyrodynes stopped and did not consume power anymore decreased the burden on the power supply. After a long discussion about the power problems the crew got permission to adjust the solar panels of Module-D manually for a better angle towards the sun. In the background the voice of the veteran cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyov, Head of Flight Control, could be heard. As much as necessary the crew could use the Soyuz-TM25 and in case of a failure of the communications from the Base block they could use the transceiver of that ship.

    The traffic during the 4th pass (orb. 68434, 1535-1546 UTC) began with the cheerful voice of Foale asking Tsibliyev how he felt himself. Tsibliyev said that he was very tired and suffered from strain caused by the event. Before LOS TsUP gave the windows for communications via the ground facilities of Oberpfaffenhofen, Dryden en Wallops in the coming night.

    There was also good news: Foale reported that the amount of CO2 in the air was so low that the CO2 scrubber Vozdukh was not needed. An inconvenience was the fact that the alarm light : 'Depressurization of the complex' was burning continuously and that reset was impossible while the mano-vacuummeters indicated that the pressure remained stable (692 mm). During a following pass Tsibliyev said that he understood that the launch of the Progress-M35 had been put back. TsUP confirmed this. (to be continued)

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


1997 July 1 - .
  • Mir News 366: Radio traffic in the period 26.6 - 1.7.1997 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. During this period it was for me a relief when I during the first pass of the daily sequence heard the voices of the crew. Every conversation between the crew and TsUP referred to the difficult situation and their 'struggle for life'. 26.06: Just like on 'collision day' they again had to do everything to adjust those solar-arrays which still were operational to the best angle towards the sun.

    The absence of the gyrodynes for the movements control and the absence of the possibility to have commands executed by computer programs means that the crew has to adjust the solar arrays manually. One of the complaints was that the solar arrays on Module D moved very slowly. Nevertheless the angles towards the sun gradually improved leading to an increase of power supply. The crew did all what was possible to determine the damage by observations and making images via several portholes, but it was impossible to get a full picture.

    For the reception of radiograms the RTTY system was in use again. The attitude control of the complex was executed by thruster jets, also with those of the transport vehicle Soyuz-TM25. They did not do any experiments for which electrical energy was needed and all radio-amateur activities had been suspended. For the filtering of the air from CO2 now and then the Vozdukh scrubber was activated.

    27.06: This day there was word about a gyro-stabilised orientation, possibly with the attitude control of the Soyuz-TM25. For the neutralisation of CO2 TsUP wished the use of lithium hydroxide canisters. Tsibliyev asked permission to do this with Vozdukh. At first they had to do this with those canisters, but later on they got permission to switch on Vozdukh for a while. The crew also worked on the Elektron, but this oxygen producer had to remain switched off to economise energy. During the pass in orb. 64863 there has been a TV-link (Anna-72 and Anna-86) and possibly they used for the phone during these communications the VHF-2 130.165 mc.

    During the pass in orb. 64865 the crew answered questions of a lady on earth. The crew said that only a few experiments ('sleep' and the 'orangery') can be executed. During this interview the possibility of a spacewalk (EVA) was mentioned. Tsibliyev spoke about an 'internal' EVA. Tsibliyev hoped that their spacesuits will enable them to enter the Spektr. He stated that the present situation is far from hopeless. Problem is that 1 solar array has been severely damaged. The other 3 solar arrays on Spektr are still in good order, but it is a 'bloody shame' that they cannot deliver electrical power. One of those 3 is badly needed for the power supply.

    The lady asked how things are looking inside the Spektr. Tsibliyev said, that they do not know this for they have not been inside. In his opinion a space station can be compared with a 'test firing range' where everything is possible. They are very proud of their Mir. Cosmonauts are prepared to undergo normal and emergency situations, even those which have not been foreseen. But together with the experts on earth they always will 'twist themselves out'.

    28.06: Today again attitude corrections with the thrusters of Soyuz-TM25. Also a few times TV-links. The work on the Elektron has been postponed until next Monday, probably due to a valve that cannot be opened. Later on they spoke about the functioning of the Elektron in Kvant. (37KE). Today the transfer of radiograms with Packet Radio could be monitored. A lot conversations about the 'internal' EVA. The equipment needed for this EVA has to be transferred from the Sh.S.O. (airlock of Module-D) to the P.Kh.O. (transition section, which again has to function as airlock). They spoke about the spacesuits, POV, BSS and so on.

    29.06: During passes they almost exclusively spoke about the next EVA and also mentioned the spacesuits which have to be used: Orlan-M or Orlan-DMA. Foale is also involved in the solution of these problems. It was also obvious that a part of the available gyrodynes is functioning normally. Now and then they speak about the switching off of one gyrodyne or the use of a reserve.

    30.06: Again a lot about the EVA. There was also work to do on the cooling loops VGK and K.Okh-B in Kvant (37KE).

    1.07: Foale spoke with Wendy Lawrence, his successor. He says that his 'little room is in vacuum now'. Meanwhile the radio-amateur Packet Radio transmissions on 145.985 mc have been resumed. (this means that the power supply situation really improved) During the pass in Orb. 64925 Tsibliyev reports: 'At about 1100 UTC we heard some dull claps or knocks. It was not clear what it was. When we at 1103 UTC entered the light from the shadow we saw a big cloud of very little white flakes near the Module-O (Spektr). Obviously there is fuel leaking away from somewhere'. He asked TsUP to check the fuel tanks by Telemetry.

    That's all for now folks.

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


1997 July 2 - .
  • Mir News 367: Progress-M34 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. This naughty boy (or is it girl?) ceased its existence on 2.07.97 at 06.32.00 UTC. Progress-M34 burnt up over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zeeland. During the autonomous flight until decay specialists used Progress-M34 for tests in the framework of the investigations in the cause of the fatal event on 25.06.1997.

    Progress-M35:

    The launch of this new freighter with a partly replaced cargo is on schedule for 5.07.1997 at 04.11.54 UTC. If all goes according to plan the Progress-M35 has to link up with Mir's aft (+X) docking port on 7.07.1997 at 05.58.15 UTC.

    Cargo of Progress-M35:

    The original cargo has been partly replaced by equipment needed for the activities in relation to the Module Spektr during an internal spacewalk . With Progress-M35 an Antares transceiver for communications between Mir and TsUP via the geostationary satellite Altair-2 over 16 dgs West will be brought to Mir.

    The mysterious white flakes:

    After MirNEWS.366 went to the 'press' there was still a pass of Mir in orb. 64927 in which Lazutkin reported that they did not see those flakes after their first observation.

    Morale on board Mir:

    The morale is excellent. Tsibliyev regained his old flexibility and he is very busy with the very complicated preparations for the internal EVA (so in fact an IVA) which possibly will be executed in the night from 11 to 12.07.1997.

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


1997 July 5 - . 04:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-35 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 235. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 82.50 days. Decay Date: 1997-10-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 24851 . COSPAR: 1997-033A. Apogee: 391 km (242 mi). Perigee: 383 km (237 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 7 Jul 1997 05:59:24 GMT. Undocked on 6 Aug 1997 11:46:45 GMT. Redocked with Mir on 18 Aug 1997 12:52:48 GMT. Final undocking on 7 Oct 1997 12:03:49 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 7 Oct 1997 17:23:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 80.21 days.

1997 July 7 - .
  • Mir News 368: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. The start of this cargo ship from Baykonur took place on 5.07.97 at 04.11.54 UTC. During the pass in orb. 2, 0847-850 UTC, the Telemetry transmissions in the 166 and 165 mc could be heard and during the pass in the next orbit these transmissions, but also those of the beacon in the 922.755mc could be monitored. On 6.07.1997 during the passes in the orbits 18, 19 and 20 good signals on all frequencies and with the doppler shift on 922.755 mc 2 times TCA's could be determined: 071751 and 085100 UTC.

    Progress-M35, approach and docking: Again all went of old: a stable and reliable execution of this operation by the automatic system Kurs. The docking took place on 7.07.1997 at 05.59.24 UTC. During Mir's orbit 65015 from 0549-0554 UTC the approach was going on. At AOS the Progress-M35 was in a distance of 147 M. Tsibliyev reported very little deviations in the course and attitude of Progress-M35. There was a stable GSO (gyrostabilised orientation) and all went so successful that Tsibliyev could load some date, given him by TsUP, in a computer. Just before LOS the distance was still 120 M and the approach was continued with a speed of 30 cm\sec.

    During the next passes they did not speak about the opening of the hatches to Progress-M35. The main subject was the good functioning of the gyrodynes, the good attitude of the complex and the fact that the solar arrays had been turned to a good angle in relation to the sun. The accumulators could be fully charged. The crew has to remove temporarily the spacesuits from the P.Kh.O. (transition section) to get more room for the transfer of goods from Progress-M35 to the rest of the complex.

    The Russians deserve a heartfelt 'Molodtsy' (well done fine fellows). But please let those responsible for Russian manned spaceflight as soon as possible make a deal with the Ukrainian factory Khartron for the restoration of the delivery of the system Kurs. In that way docking-operations can be executed with a 99.99% reliability!! Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 July 11 - .
  • Mir News 369: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. In contrast with the normal practice after dockings this time the crew had to wait with the opening of the hatches until the next day to conserve power and to enable the crew to have a good night's rest. The subjects discussed during radio communications in the passes in the first 3 orbits after the docking had nothing to do with the arrival of the Progress-M. They spoke about the replacement of water tanks, the switching on and off of the Elektron for oxygen production and the work on the accumulators.

    They had problems with the BKV-3 (air conditioning) and something was wrong with the Vozdukh, the CO2 scrubber. The next day the crew got permission to open the hatches and to start the unloading and loading of the freighter. They immediately began to pump water into the tanks of the complex. Foale had seen his 'goodies' for which he had been anxiously waiting, but due to the congestion of goods he could not yet reach them.

    This week radio traffic revealed circumstances which did not get much attention in the press and status reports. Everybody is aware of the fact that the module Spektr is as dead as a doornail, but the power shortage also paralysed another 2 huge modules, i.e. Kristall and Priroda.

    Greatest anxieties causes the module Kristall. Near the docking device for the Space shuttle (the SO, docking compartment is attached at the Kristall) the high humidity causes a lot of condensation and there but also in other places Foale and Lazutkin try to absorb this water as much as possible using towels. Foale reported that the temperature in Kristall is abt 4 a 5 degrees Celsius. Tsibliyev told TsUP that he blew air into Kristall for warming up.

    The most important subject remained the preparations for the coming spacewalk (IVA). The lion's share of this work is in the hands of Tsibliyev. When this report went to press there was not yet a complete scenario for the IVA. This meant that Tsibliyev regularly has been confronted with changes. This also in relation to the equipment and tools which they must have at hand during the IVA. Tsibliyev asked for a definitive list of all what has to be put in the IVA bag. Thus far he several times had to replace things. He also urged TsUP to avoid unnecessary delays.

    Now and then TsUP and the crew discuss the collision. Foale and Tsibliyev repeat much what they have told earlier. TsUP is still trying to trace the spot where Spektr's hull has been perforated. TsUP asked Lazutkin to give his opinion based on that what he heard during the collision. He told where he heard the hissing (or: sizzling, Russian word 'shipeniye'). When you should enter the module this must be in the wall on the left hand side. At first the blow was at the radiator, which is installed between the 2d and 3d plane. In the nearest (seen from the place where Lazutkin was) 'quarter'. If that is the place of the fixation at the suspension obviously the puncture must be there.

    Radio-amateurism:

    The Packet Radio 'circular saw rattles' can be heard again on 145.985 mc. Now and then Foale (KB5UAC) publishes by P/R small status reports. For instance: On docking day: 'Progress docked normally this morning. We are waiting 3 orbits before we start to unload it, checking the integrity of the hatch seals. (In fact they had to put this back until the next morning) The station attitude controls system is working well, using the gyrodynes, and the power STH (?) the base block and module Kvant 2 powered (airlock and toilet) with modules Kristall and Priroda unpowered. Greenhouse experiment is continuing, using power from the base block, to dry the seed pods that have formed quite nicely.' After collision day: Our packet pwr supply failed, and we had to rewire the equipment to a newer one. All previous msgs here were lost. TNC Paccomm no longer holds its parameters, if pwr is turned off, since the Progress collision. Mike, KB5UAC.'

    And today:

    'The crew is now extremely busy, trying to crawl through all the bags unloaded from Progress, which are now stored in dark, wet modules, which have no power. We are trying to inventory and assemble the 30 or so cables and adapt, required to install the hatch umbilical. A training run will be done on the 15th and the real EVA sometime after that. I will get some refresher training on preparing the Soyuz for evacuation, and will be in a spacesuit, b, in the Soyuz during the EVA itself.'

    Foale:

    During the period just after the collision Foale had his quarters in the P.Kh.O. (transition section). This P.Kh.O. will serve as airlock during the IVA and so Foale had to remove. He is now living in the module Kvant-2 (Module-D), which certainly will be more comfortable than the P.Kh.O.

    Attitude control:

    During this week the gyrodynes did not function continuously: sometimes all of them of just 1 were spun down for power conservation and in these periods for attitude control the small thruster jets of Mir and (now) the Progress-M35 are used. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 July 15 - .
  • Mir News 370: Spacewalk (IVA) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. The preparations for the internal EVA were still going on successfully (as far as this can be ascertained by monitoring) when Tsibliyev reported that he had hearth rhythm problems. Initially he discussed this with a doctor, first name Irina, who was not able to diagnose the case and so she did not prescribe medicine. Later on Tsibliyev asked for permission to swallow a pill and for an answer on his question whether he would be able to do the difficult IVA or not. The problem emerged yesterday and now it is known that higher 'doctors' are trying to find a solution. During radio conversations in the passes of orb. 65141 and 65142 it was obvious that the complaints of Tsibliyev will effect further plans.

    The exercise which was on schedule for today (using Kvant-2 to imitate the IVA into Spektr) had been put back and that this was also the case with the IVA itself. Today Tsibliyev declared that if he could have a week to recover and nothing special would occur he wished to do the IVA himself. From the beginning, for instance during the collision , he was so involved in this all that he considers this as his duty. TsUP obviously had other ideas and asked Foale to take the microphone. Foale stated that he had no objections and that he would be very pleased to accomplish this task. He was sure that Tsibliyev would give him the right instructions. Tsibliyev possibly agreed with the possibility that Foale would replace him.

    Foale added that he already knows how to handle the spacesuit Orlan-DMA. Tsibliyev said that the spacesuits were ready for the operation. A few orbits later Mir communicated with TsUP via Altair-2 in phone, but they also exchanged images. For a long time the cosmonauts were in the P.Kh.O (transition section) involved in technical preparations for the IVA. Tsibliyev was the most active crew member during these preparations and did not show signs that he had health- or stress problems. Probably he wants to recapture his place as spacewalker nr. 1. Whether Tsibliyev or Foale will do the IVA is not yet known. The IVA has been put back abt 10 days. Foale did not participate in the discussions from the P.Kh.O. Now and then, but not often, Lazutkin could be heard.

    Altair-2:

    The crew succeeded in restoring the communications from and to Mir via this geostationary satellite. Initially they had problems with their phone during the transmission of TV-images. On Sunday (13.07) they showed little papers with that what they wanted to tell their relatives and friends. On 14.07 they adjusted the installation in which Foale substantially participated. Today, 15.07, the so called Ku-band was fully in use during some passes. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 July 20 - .
  • Mir News 371: Cable trouble - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. By accident one member of the Mir crew disconnected a cable connection between a rate-sensor in Module Kristall and the SUD (attitude control computer), which caused a troublesome chain reaction of system failures. Among the systems which did not work anymore were also transmitters in the base block, the UKW-1 transceiver and Telemetry transceivers. So for communications, but also for an alternative attitude control the crew had to use the systems of the fully autonomous Soyuz-TM25.

    During the night hours I use to record transmissions using a time switch. In the morning I did not find anything on my tape and during the pass in orbit 65171, 0548-0559 UTC, the 143.625, 145.985 and the 166/165 mc telemetry transmitters did not show any sign of life. I checked whether they used Altair-2 or not: again negative. A few minutes after the pass Geoff Perry told me that he had heard them on 121.750 mc.

    During the next pass they still used the 121.750 mc during which Geoff Perry heard them laughing in reaction on that what TsUP had said. The first pass in which the 143.625 mc was in use again was during orbit 65173 at 0900 UTC. Tsibliyev reported that there has been some recharging of the accumulators again and consequently they had switched on some systems, i.e. the UKW-1 transmitter and Telemetry transceivers.

    In the early morning of 18.07 I was on duty during the nightly passes. During 2 of them (in orb. 65184 and 65185) all service frequencies remained silent, but I had a hope that conditions had improved for on 145.985 mc there were Packet Radio bursts again. During the pass in orb. 65186 Tsibliyev kept watch in the Base Block and he confirmed that the situation was better than the day before. His 2 colleagues still slept which they badly needed because of the fact, as Tsibliyev stated, they had to endure so much during the last days. During the passes still to follow he also slept and the only sign of life was the continuous rattle of Packet Radio. My oscilloscope did not give any indication that Altair-2's downlink was active.

    VHF:

    The first windows in which VHF-traffic could be monitored here before the early morning hours of 19.07 and as my body was longing for a good night's rest I adjusted my time switch so that during all windows a recorder was active. And of course this time not only for the 143.625 , but also for the 121.750 mc. After a night in which I slept like a log I found a recording of the transmissions on 143.625 mc during the first pass in orb. 65199 (0045 UTC). Lazutkin had the middle watch in the Base Block and he reported good results of the recharging of accumulators and the fact that there was GSO-1 (gyro stabilised orientation), a very slow rotation and the complex flew on one side. Later on Lazutkin was in his couch and only the Packet Radio and Telemetry transmitters were active.

    Altair-2:

    During orbit 65203 Altair-2 showed up again. A signal on 10.825 GHz and on the monitor images of floating cosmonauts, the interior of the Base Block and now and then a glimpse of the damaged Spektr. Also phone in which Foale told that he has to use a list with things he needs for the IVA and components for the Orlan-DMA suit. This list in Russian and he asks for an English translation to make it easier for him in contacts with American experts during training for the IVA and the IVA itself. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 July 22 - .
  • Mir News 372: Decisions taken - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. The present crew has been relieved from the task to do the IVA. The announcement was published on 21.07, but contacts between Mir and Earth, for instance in a conversation between Foale and Frank Culbertson made this clear. Another indication was the fact that the preparations for the IVA had been suspended. Foale said that he was a little disappointed for he personally was hoping to do that work, but he thinks it is the right decision politically but also for this crew. Solovyov and Vinogradov will be launched on 5.08 and dock on 7.8.97. Then the present crew has just a week for the transfer of the station. They will return on 14.08.97 in their Soyuz-TM25. At first Foale did not know what to do with himself when he heard of the postponement, but they have been so very busy in the last 2 months that it is good to have some rest and the possibility to get back to the routines.

    Science:

    Foale's opinion is that his role is changed, for he is there no longer for science, but to help them and to learn and whatever. He values the recent experience. Without the power on the modules you cannot say you are doing active science. If you under these circumstances are saying you are doing the science you would not be telling the truth. He will do all what is possible, for instance with the greenhouse and he will be very busy with towels to absorb condensation water from the walls in the modules.

    Eyharts:

    This French spacionaute will not join the crew of M.E. 24. It would have been senseless, but also irresponsible. He will get the opportunity to fly with a later expedition.

    IVA:

    This operation will take place not before 20.08. Before the IVA Solovyov, Vinogradov and Foale will make an autonomous flight with the Soyuz-TM26 to redock this ship from the aft port (+X-axis) to the P.Kh.O. port (-X-axis). During the IVA Foale will be in the Descent Module of Soyuz-TM26 to activate the BO (life compartment) of that ship as an airlock if Solovyov and Vinogradov cannot get airseal in the P.Kh.O. for instance if the new hatch to Spektr is not airtight.

    Altair-2:

    After the restoration of the power situation of the day before the accident with a computer contact. Altair-2 has been used for TV-contacts, phone, data transmissions and the exchange of service radiograms with Packet Radio.

    Radio-amateur activities:

    Foale has now time to speak with radio-amateurs via 145.985 mc. He made also contacts with some European amateurs. Via Packet Radio he issued the following status report: Subject: Status: I am having frequent power problems with tnc, and loosing all msgs. Sorry. No supply store is near at hand. I would do anything for a 9 pin serial adapter. Getting ready for next crew, August 7th Mike, KB5UAC. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 July 28 - .
  • Mir News 373: Routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. After the announcement of the postponement of the IVA the whole crew showed a great disappointment that they would not do that. But immediately it was obvious that the mood on board was much better. Though 10 days ago they energetically and skilfully worked on the IVA preparations they possibly shrank from the task itself. Many Americans expressed concern about the question what the crew would have to do during the period until their relief. Apparently they thought there on would be an idling bunch of cosmonauts on board.

    This is not true at all: Foale immediately started to fulfil that part of the experimental program for which he does not need the Spektr module: the greenhouse, the study of crystal structures, the beetle experiment and earth observations. And he himself is there: he can continue medical and psychological experiments. He told his American colleagues that the cooled modules Kristall and Priroda attract moisture from the rest of the complex and that the greatest condensation appears in these modules.

    Tsibliyev and Lazutkin are now able to concentrate on the preparations for their return and to continue in a more relaxed way maintenance- and repair work of the life support systems.

    Using air ducts and ventilators Lazutkin blew warm air into the Priroda module and dried this module as much as possible. In a conversation with Mark at TsUP Foale praised Lazutkin for that what he had achieved. The drying of the Priroda made it possible to use it to stow away the hard- and software for the French Pegase expedition and for material and spare parts for the life systems of the complex. Tsibliyev is again fully in command and presents himself in the way I still remember from his flight in 1993/94.

    Altair-2:

    This geostationary satellite is in use regularly , more than Altair-1 in the past, but in view of the fact that 16 windows a day might be possible, they use this possibility relatively seldom. Altair-2 enables the crew to have longer conversations with controllers and experts on Earth. Especially Foale extensively uses this opportunity. The satellite is also in use for the exchange of video images and data to Earth. Obviously the use of the transceiver on board for these communications is limited due to cooling demands. The transceiver and the Elektron have the same cooling loop. Not always the full window for communications via Altair-2 is used. This was the case on 27 and 28.07.

    Cable disconnection:

    It is still unknown who is to blame for this incident. The incident took place during a training for the IVA. During the real IVA this cable has to be disconnected to make it possible to close the hatch between Kristall and the P.Kh.O. So this disconnection must have been mentioned in the timetable for the IVA. I wonder whether or not there was anybody in TsUP who had to monitor the activities of the crew and to warn them not to disconnect that cable, because this was an exercise and not the real thing. Head of Flight Control Solovyov shouted: 'This is not a kindergarten'. Whom did he cry to: the crew or the people with him on Earth? Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 July 31 - .
  • Mir News 374: Soyuz-TM26 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. The launch of this ship with on board a crew of 2 for Mir's Main Expedition 24 is still planned for 5.08.1997 at 1535 UTC and if launch and flight go according to plan the docking will take place on 7.08.1997 at 1723 UTC. This time deviates from the normal routine to dock only a few minutes after LOS for the first pass for our position. This time the docking will take place almost 20 minutes later possibly to enable Solovyov and Vinogradov to make a video and/or photo survey of the module Spektr for damage assessment and to see whether Spektr is not the only module that suffered from the blow on 25.06.97. Recently there have been suggestions that there might be more damage than had been supposed initially.

    On 6.08.1997, so 1 day after launch of Soyuz-TM26 the freighter Progress-M35, meanwhile fully loaded with trash , will leave the aft (Kvant +X axis) docking port for a 10 days lasting autonomous flight. On 7.08 Soyuz-TM26 has to dock at that port, but after the departure of Soyuz-TM25 with the relieved crew on 14.08.97, Soyuz-TM26 with on board Solovyov, Vinogradov and Foale have to redock at the forward (P.Kh.O. = -X axis) port as soon as possible. This is scheduled for 15.08.97. They can fly around, but also wait until the Mir complex has made a turn of 180 degrees around the Z-axis.

    After redocking the Russians have to accept another challenge for already on 16.08.97 Progress-M35 has to redock at the aft (+ X axis) port. This time again in the automatic mode with the reliable system Kurs. There will be no time to recover from the sustained strain for the crew will have to deal with the preparations for the IVA on 20.08.97. If this IVA will be awarded by success TsUP can give green light for an EVA (so a real external one) on 3.09.97 for an inspection of the outer surface of Spektr.

    Radio-amateur traffic:

    On 145.985 mc Packet Radio could be monitored in which Foale gave the following Mir-status report: TNC frozen again, this time the PMS. Waiting for a replacement with Mir 24, Anatoliy and Pavel, docking on the 7th. Crew is preparing for their arrival, getting Progress loaded with trash, to be undocked before next crew. Greenhousing, but not yet showing cotyledons. Mike. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 August 5 - . 15:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz TM-26 - . Call Sign: Rodnik. Crew: Solovyov; Vinogradov. Backup Crew: Padalka; Avdeyev. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 75. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Vinogradov; Padalka; Avdeyev. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-24; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 197.73 days. Decay Date: 1998-02-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 24886 . COSPAR: 1997-038A. Apogee: 385 km (239 mi). Perigee: 378 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Mir Expedition EO-24. The Soyuz docked manually at 17:02 GMT August 7. Over the next six months the crew undertook seven internal and external spacewalks to repair the crippled space station..

1997 August 6 - .
  • Mir News 375: Soyuz-TM26 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-24; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. The perfect launch took place on 5.08.1997 at 15.35.59 UTC. On board the crew for the 24th Main Exp. to Mir, Anatoliy Solovyov and Pavel Vinogradov . Call sign: Rodniki, so Rodnik-1 and Rodnik-2. During the first pass in orb. 2 (1838-1841 UTC) very weak signals on beacon- and telephony frequencies. During the pass in orb. 3 (2007-2011 UTC) very good reception on all frequencies. Solovyov could be heard in a conversation with TsUP. He reported a technical anomaly in the BO (life compartment): a hose (or: tube) was not connected to an air purification unit, which caused an increased amount of CO2 in the mini-atmosphere on board. He told TsUP that he had connected that hose immediately and that the system was functioning normally. Again good signals in the window in orb. 4 (2138-2147 UTC) during which Solovyev repeated his report about that hose.

    Mir:

    During the passes in the evening of 4.08.1997 the crew reported that they were working on the malfunctioning Elektron oxygen generator in Kvant-1. (The Elektron in Kvant-2 is not operational due to power shortages). During a long communication session via Altair-2 in the morning of 5.08.1997 the crew was still co-ordinating the repair work on the Elektron. After the departure of Progress-M35 for a 10 day lasting autonomous flight lithium perchlorate cartridges have to be used for the production of oxygen. This will be not very convenient during the period in which 5 men are on board (7-14.08.97).

    An eventual delay of the Soyuz-TM26 launch due to the problems with the Elektrons has not been taken into consideration.

    In MirNEWS.374 I gave an estimated time for the docking of Soyuz-TM26 on 7.08.97 as 1723 UTC. In that report I remarked that this time considerably deviated from the normal routine: dockings a few minutes after LOS of the first pass of both objects for our position. Inquiries in the Ballistic Section of the Keldysh institute of the R.A.N. learned that there had been a misprint in a Russian message about the estimated docking time. The estimated docking time is: 07.08.97 at 1703 UTC, so in accordance with the normal routine.

    The supply ship Progress-M35 has to free the docking port (+X-axis) for the arrival of the Soyuz-TM26 and will do this on 6.08.97 at 1144 UTC. The autonomous flight of Progress-M35 will last until 16.08.97. On that day Progress-M35 will dock (in the automatic regime with the system Kurs) at the same docking port after the redocking of Soyuz-TM26 to the forward (-X-axis) the day before. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 August 8 - .
  • Mir News 376: Soyuz-TM26 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23; Mir EO-24. This transport ship docked at the aft port of Mir on 7.08.1997 at 17.02.08 UTC. During the docking operation communications took place via Altair-2. The approach was in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. When Mir and Soyuz-TM26 came within my VHF-range Solovyov could be heard reporting distances, approach speeds and deviations in course. Everything went perfect until appr. 1700 UTC when a slight upward deviation forced Solovyov to take over manually. The 'Kurs' failure did not get much attention due to the euphoria after the 'successful' docking.

    Opening of the hatches:

    The hatches swung open during the pass in orb. 65507 at 1832 UTC. Normally this is a smooth and orderly procedure but this time there were some problems with the TV-link. Cheerfully both crews met each other. During the pass in orb. 65508, 2006-2013 UTC, TsUP and Solovyov discussed the conservation of the Soyuz-TM26 and some technical items. The session was concluded by the transfer of radiograms from Earth to Mir by Packet Radio.

    Communications during the 2d flight day of Soyuz-TM26:

    In all passes good reception on all frequencies. In a conversation with someone on Earth Vinogradov told that he somewhat suffered from space sickness during the first flight day and in the morning of the 2d one, but after eating somewhat substantial he recovered and was now feeling well.

    Progress-M35: This supply ship undocked from Mir on 6.08 at 11.46.45 UTC.

    Mir:

    Thus far Tsibliyev and Lazutkin did not succeed in repairing the Elektron oxygen generator in Kvant-1. There are some options to solve the problem: 1. With a spare part to be delivered by Atlantis in September, or 2. to try to find a way to deliver power to the Elektron in the now curtailed module Kvant-2. For the time being oxygen has to be generated by the heating of lithium perchlorate cartridges. Not so convenient with 5 men on board.

    Plans:

    (as far as known at deadline for this report) : Return of Tsibliyev and Lazutkin with their Soyuz-TM25 on 14.08.1997. (In my opinion a return of the relieved crew as soon as possible due to the oxygen problems would be a logical decision).

    The redocking of Soyuz-TM26 with on board Solovyov, Vinogradov and Foale from aft to forward docking port (P.Kh.O.) on 15.08. 1997.

    The return and docking in the automatic mode (Kurs) of Progress-M35 at the aft docking port on 16.08.1997. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 August 14 - .
  • Mir News 377: Soyuz-TM25 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23; Mir EO-24. This ship separated from on 14.08.97 at 08.55.58 UTC and flew away at 09.01.57 UTC.

    The return capsule (S.A.) of Soyuz-TM25 made a safe landing on 14.08.97 at 12.17.10 UTC at a distance of appr. 160 KM S.E. of Dzjeskazgan in Kazakhstan. The landing took place later than estimated and CNN did not bring the landing as 'live event'. For a long time TsUP could not give the exact spot where the S.A. came down. The radio traffic in which the farewell ceremony took place, and in which the relieved crew went on board Soyuz-TM25 and closed the hatches took place via the facilities of White Sands and Wallops in the U.S.A. and the tracking stations in the East of Russia.

    When Mir and Soyuz-TM25 entered daylight at abt. 1118 UTC communications with TsUP were established via Altair-2 in which Mir relayed traffic from and to Soyuz-TM25 via Altair-2 to TsUP. At abt. 1122 UTC Tsibliyev reported the beginning of the de-orbit burn. He reported continuously the results of the impulses in meters/sec and at 1126 UTC he said that the de-orbit burn had stopped. He went on reporting details of the descent process and at 1145 UTC he announced the separation of the BO (life compartment) and the instrument/motor module from the SA (descent module) in 3 minutes. This took place at 1148 UTC just before the 3 objects entered the dense layers of the atmosphere.

    The BO and Instrument/motor block burnt up and the SA came in the plasma wave. Radio contact ceased and contrary to previous return flights did not come back via Altair. The voices of the men on board Mir could be heard. Foale said that he had seen the Soyuz-TM25 disappearing below them. Altair-2 was switched off at 1201 UTC.

    Plans for tomorrow (15.08): Redocking of Soyuz-TM26 with on board the 3 crew members of Mir from the aft to the forward docking port. After undocking from Mir Soyuz-TM26 will hover and wait until Mir turned 180 dgs so that the forward (P.Kh.O.) port will be in front of Soyuz-TM26. During this operation lasting from abt. 1322-1410 UTC the crew will carry out an extensive photo- and video observation for damage assessment.

    Progress-M35: As far as known at deadline for this report Progress-M35 will redock at Mir's aft docking port on 17.08.97 at abt 1330 UTC. (So not as suggested in previous reports on 16.08.1997).

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


1997 August 14 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz TM-25 - . Return Crew: Tsibliyev; Lazutkin. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tsibliyev; Lazutkin. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-24; Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-23. Following a mission that seemed to consist of an endless series of collisions, breakdowns, fires, and other emergencies, the EO-23 crew handed over the station to EO-24 and on August 14 entered Soyuz TM-25 landed in Kazakstan at 12:17 UTC, 170 km SE of Dzezkazgan. The Soyuz landing rockets failed to fire on touchdown, giving one of the roughest landings experienced by a returning Mir crew.

1997 August 17 - .
  • Mir News 378: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. The redocking of this 'old' supply ship at the Mir complex did not take place on 17.08. During the first 3 passes of both objects it was obvious that Progress-M35 was continuing her autonomous flight. During the second pass the deputy head of mission control, Viktor Blagov, told the crew about changes in the work schedule for the next 2 days. The IVA would remain on schedule for 20.08.97.

    Reason postponement: The data for the approach of Progress-M35 today transmitted by TsUP to the Progress-M35 turned out to be wrong and Progress-M35's OBC shut itself off. At deadline for this report the docking of Progress-M35 at Mir was (still) planned for 18.08 at 1257 UTC.

    Soyuz-TM26: The redocking of this transport ship from the aft to the forward docking port took place on 15.08.97 between 13.29.20 and 14.13.04 UTC. At 1327 UTC, so just before separation, radio traffic from Soyuz-TM26 via Altair-2 could be heard. The safety clamps of the docking mechanism had been loosened and the program was proceeding according to plan. At 13.29.20 UTC Solovyov reported the separation and the fact that Soyuz-TM26 was slowly moving away from Mir. S. steered Soyuz-TM26 in the manual mode to be able to adjust the attitude of the ship in such a way that Vinogradov and Foale could make good images of the 'damage areas'.

    At 13.29.51 UTC Altair-2 transmitted an image of the whole complex seen by a camera of the ship. At 13.35.59 UTC S. reported the proceedings of the flight. He asked Foale whether he already was doing his photo- and video work and asked him for instructions to adjust the ship's attitude for the best images. Communications via Altair-2 ceased at 13.42.58 UTC, but a few minutes later S. could be heard via 121.750 mc (1401-1409 UTC). 4 minutes later S. accomplished a perfect docking at the forward (P.Kh.O. - transition section) port of the complex.

    Back on board Mir S. told TsUP that the images they had made were very good and certainly useful for analyses. In a conversation with Earth Foale told that they intended to transmit these images to TsUP on 18.08 and he was sure that TV stations all over the world would retransmit these. (The TV shots which already had been shown by TV stations came from short direct links with Russian tracking stations.)

    Elektron: Already on the day of the return of the relieved crew Vinogradov succeeded in restoring the Elektron oxygen generator in Kvant-1. It was very difficult to reach the spot where he had to clean Elektron. A white-brown jelly-like substance had stopped up a pipe inside Elektron and had to be cleaned. After purging this pipe he was able to restart Elektron and after 1 orbit Solovyov reported that Elektron was working normally. As far as could be derived from radio traffic Elektron still does thus far.

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


1997 August 19 - .
  • Mir News 379: Mir video transmissions - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. In the morning of Monday 18.08 Mir transmitted to Earth video films and images made during the redocking of Soyuz-TM26 on 15.08. These transmissions took place during a Mir-Altair-2 window between 0542-0628 UTC. At 0601 UTC the crew stopped transmitting images and switched over to the co-ordination of IVA preparations with TsUP. During these activities the IVA was still scheduled for 20.08. This day Progress-M35 returned to the complex and docked at the aft docking port at 12.52.47 UTC. 10 Seconds later both objects disappeared behind the eastern horizon.

    Radio traffic during the beginning of the final phase of the docking operation went via Altair-2. Progress-M35 was at a distance of 800 M from Mir and the approach speed was 11.31 cm/sec. The crew of Mir observed the approaching supply-ship on a display of the LIV camera. A few minutes before the objects came in my range Altair-2 had been switched off and at 1246 UTC traffic went on via 143.625mc. S. reported distances and approach speeds. At 125045 UTC the distance was 12 M. At a distance of appr. 4 M. at 125156 UTC Kurs did not work. (Later on it turned out that Kurs had switched itself off at a distance of 20 M due to an irregularity in the attitude of Mir).

    After the docking of Progress-M35 I did not get time to relax for Geoff Perry told me that TsUP just had informed the press about a failure of the main OBC of Mir, the Ts.V.M.-1. Very often such failures happened before and it always causes a breakdown of the SUD (attitude control). The SUD is responsible for the good functioning of the gyrodynes and consequently these gyroscopes cry off. Commander Solovyov experienced a Ts.V.M.-1 failure in 1995 when he and Budarin made an autonomous flight with Soyuz-TM21 during the departure of Atlantis from Mir. S. immediately docked his ship, went aboard Mir and restored the Ts.V.M.-1.

    During all available passes in the evening Mir and TsUP discussed the problems. A specialist on Earth uttered the possibility that there was something wrong with the Ts.M.O. (central exchange module), an interface of the Ts.V.M.-1. He told the crew how to find that module and he gave them instructions for the repair. Foale told one of his countrymen in Moscow about his experiences during the final approach of Progress-M35. Through the viewer of his video camera he saw the Progress-M35 coming in very fast and he realised that something was wrong. He said: oh, no not again.. At that moment Progress-M35 slowed down and stopped and Solovyov took over manually.

    Foale emphasised that Progress-M35's computer had switched off Kurs due to divergence in the attitude of Mir. This was for Solovyov the signal to switch over to manual control. S. performed a perfect docking: in fact the Kurs system as well as the TORU remote control worked well. Situation in the evening of 19.08.97: The crew used the Soyuz-TM26 for the stabilisation of Mir's attitude and in the course of 19.08 the solar panels delivered twice as much energy as they did on 18.08. Meanwhile the Ts.V.M.-1 has been repaired and was ready for tests. At this point it was not known whether attitude control of the complex was provided by gyrodynes. .

    The crew resumed preparations for the IVA now planned for Friday 22.08.97 or Saturday 23.08.97. ECG's of the 'spacewalkers' have been transmitted to Earth and Solovyov as well as Vinogradov had already put on their spacesuits and checked the communication facilities and the electrical contacts of these suits.

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


1997 August 22 - . 11:14 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-24-1 - . Crew: Solovyov; Vinogradov. EVA Type: Internal Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.14 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Vinogradov. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Connected Spektr power cables. Surveyed interior of depressurised Spektr module. Retrieved equipment and belongings from module..

1997 August 25 - .
  • Mir News 380: Internal Spacewalk (IVA) - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Internal Spacewalk (IVA) accomplished on 22.08.97 from 1114-1430 UTC. Some minor technical irregularities caused a delay of more than 2 hours. The crew worked according to a checklist (cyclogram). This checklist contained hundreds of items. The activities according to this checklist continued when the Mir was out of range of tracking stations or the geostationary Altair-2. This time Altair-2 was in use for phone conversations only. Altair-2 was active long before the IVA began, for instance during orbit 65734 from 0640-0732 UTC. The crew donned their spacesuits and Foale went on board Soyuz-TM26.

    According to plan the preparations for the IVA had to be concluded and the hatch to Spektr had to be opened during the window in orb. 65735, 0826-0910 UTC. A valve (KVD) between the P.Kh.O. and one of the modules (possibly module-T) could not be closed which caused a delay of about 1 hour.

    In orbit 65736 (0958-1043 UTC) all went well and at 1015 UTC the pressure in P.Kh.O. (serving as airlock for this IVA) was 50 mm. At that moment the pressure in the space suit of Vinogradov decreased due to a leak in his left glove. The crew immediately repressurised the P.Kh.O. They did this before the end of the window and Vinogradov could put on a spare glove. At 1114 UTC when the Mir was out of range the hatch to Spektr had been opened.

    Orbit 65737, 1135-1216 UTC.:

    IVA going on. All went well. Solovyov had joined Vinogradov inside the module. Vinogradov had already connected cables at the connectors of the new hatch and except for a single cable he did not met problems. During this window and the following one (orb. 65738/39, 1310-1400 UTC) V. and S. inspected the interior of Spektr and retrieved a lot of thus far not specified items from there. During these activities they consulted Foale. Vinogradov reported that he saw ventilators and pumps which were still working. He and S. did not find traces of exploded monitors or test-tubes. They did not succeed in finding places where the hull of Spektr had been penetrated. At last V. and S. left the Spektr to prepare the closure of the hatch. Foale , keeping a log book, reported that the hatch had been closed at 1430 UTC.

    After repressurising the P.Kh.O. in orb. 65740 (1448-1528 UTC), Foale joined his colleagues over there. In a short statement he expressed his admiration for the achievements of his crew mates and those on Earth who had been working on this operation. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 September 3 - .
  • Mir News 381: Power supply - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Vinogradov worked hard on the deployment of cables from the Spektr hatch to other modules and gradually he succeeded in restoring a part of the power supply for the modules Kvant-2 and Kristall. The 3 undamaged solar panels of Spektr delivered power, but rotation to achieve maximum solar illumination is not yet possible. Solovyov struggled along to keep Elektron in Kvant-1 operational and he also used power for the restoration of the Elektron in Kvant-2. On 25.08 Elektron in Kvant-1 shut itself off and the TGK (the solid fuel oxygen generator) did not work due to a defective firing pin. Before the outbreak of the usual press panic the cosmonauts had already repaired the TGK and Elektron in Kvant-1. The power supply is partly restored in Kvant-2 and Kristall: the lights are burning, the heating functions again and the drying process is going on.

    EVA preparations:

    Solovyov and Foale were convinced that they would get green light for the EVA on 6.09 and they started the preparations. Several times they donned their Orlan-M suits, checked all systems and took a stock of all the equipment needed for the EVA. Foale saw a film of his EVA training with Budarin in TsPK. He and S. also reviewed the so called 'cyclogram' of the EVA. The training of Foale during which Solovyov was instructor served also as a test to determine whether Foale will be able to do the EVA or not.

    Communications:

    The Altair-2 is regularly in use for communications between Mir and TsUP. They use this satellite for phone as well as for TV. On 1, 2 and 3.09 they showed images of their training, also with their space suits on, but also now and then video films of the interior and the outer surface of the complex. If on 4.09.1997 a positive decision will be taken the EVA will be made on 6.09.97. Opening of the hatch: 0055 UTC; planned duration 5 hrs 40 mins. Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1997 September 6 - .
  • Mir News 382: Spacewalk. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Spacewalk (EVA):

    The EVA began on 6.09 at 0107 UTC (hatch open) and ended at 0707 UTC (hatch closed). Everything went well. Directed by the old hand Solovyov (this was his 10th EVA!) Foale did all what he was supposed to do. His main job was the operation of the Strela , the crane to transport Solovyov to Spektr. Regularly instructed by Solovyov he did this in a perfect way. Vinogradov observed the 'spacewalkers' from inside Mir, helped them with advice and made images using video- and other camera's. After 0230 UTC the Russians used every 'window' of Altair-2, but mainly for phone only. Towards the end of the first window there was a short video transmission in which images made by Vinogradov could be monitored. The inspection of the outer surface of Spektr lasted longer than planned.

    Solovyov reported about the damages suffered by Spektr. One solar panel and some radiators were severely damaged. Support struts were broken or buckled. Solovyov did not find holes or punctures. The planned installation of a cap for the outlet valve for a Vozdukh CO2 scrubber in the Base Block has been put back until another EVA.

    During the EVA everybody was in a good mood. Although Solovyov had a difficult task to perform , even now and then his gasping could be heard, he was fully in control of the situation. Before entering the air-lock Foale had dismantled an American radiation dosimeter for retrieval.

    At abt. 0702 UTC both 'spacewalkers' entered the air-lock and at 0704 UTC Foale got orders to close the hatch. Initially the hatch could not be closed, but after using some extra effort Foale could report at 0707 UTC that he had succeeded. Solovyov confirmed this after seeing an indicator showing the sign 'hatch closed'.

    This time for the Russians MOLODTSY and for Foale: WELL DONE.

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


1997 September 6 - . 01:07 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-24-2 - . Crew: Solovyov; Foale. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.25 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyov; Foale. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir EO-24; Mir NASA-4. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Inspected exterior of Spektr. Moved solar arrays..

1997 September 10 - .
  • Mir News 383: Progress-M35 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. This old supply-ship has been keeping watch at the aft (Kvant-1) docking port as of 18.08, the day of the redocking. Due to the well-known priorities the crew has not paid any attention to this ship until 8.09.97. One of the first tasks of the this day was the opening of the hatch and the inspection of Progress-M35's interior. The main function of the Progress-M35 was the protection of the docking mechanism of Kvant-1 against the sun. The freighter has still room in which garbage and other no longer needed material can be stowed. During the first pass for our position in orb. 65998 (0522 UTC) preparations for the opening of the hatch were going on. The crew got permission to open the hatch after the air seal checks. During the next pass in orb. 65999 ( the Russians consider this orbit to be number 66000) the hatch had already been opened but Solovyov had set this ajar for the smell which came out of the Progress-M35 was far from a 'kurort smell'. The crew however had to cease all activities with the Progress-M35 due to other concerns.

    Main Computer failure:

    In the pass in orb. 65999 TsUP wants to discuss the air seal check with Vinogradov. V. interrupts TsUP with the statement that a few minutes ago (exactly 0700 UTC) the Ts.V.M.-1 had shut itself down. After this report followed the usual chain reaction: the SUD (system for movements- or attitude control) stopped and Foale reported that this was also the case with the SUD in Module-D (Kvant-2). Systems like SRV-U (regeneration of water from urine) and Elektron had to be switched off. TsUP gave orders to burn 3 lithium perchlorate cartridges for oxygen generation. (Solovyov stated repeatedly that the delivery of a new supply of those cartridges during mission STS-86 is badly needed.) Foale reported that the angle of the solar panels to the sun was unfavourable, but that the complex though inclining a little bit on one side, was stable. In passing TsUP stated that they have a jubilee: the 66000th orbit of Mir's Base Block. This statement did not evoke joyful reactions or congratulations.

    In spite of the complicated situation on board there was some excitement: the 'scapegoats of the space era' ,Tsibliyev and Lazutkin, visited TsUP and had a short conversation with their colleagues in space. Foale, the crewman with a great sense of humour, told Tsibliyev that his 'darling' the SUD, again chucked the thing. After a short conversation with these 2 poor guys on earth about the fact that they would depart for a vacation, the crew set back to work.

    About the computer:

    The crew restarted the computer, but failed to find the cause of the failure. So they switched the computer off. A specialist told Vinogradov that there must be a spare Ts.M.O. on board which eventually could be used to replace the present Ts.M.O. (Central Module for Data exchange). The failure of the Ts.V.M.-1 during the redocking operation of the Progress-M35 had probably been caused by a defective Ts.M.O. In the course of the day it was obvious that the crew had everything under control and that the repair of the computer was successfully proceeding. During the night Solovyov was on duty to keep his eye on the situation and to assist TsUP during the reloading of the repaired computer. In the morning of 9.09 Solovyov was still on duty during the first pass over here in orbit 66013, 0427 UTC.

    Depending on the state of the SEP (Power supply system) they would power up the rest of the gyrodyne's this day. During the next pass Vinogradov was on duty and Solovyov tried to get some rest in his sleeping bag. Already 6 gyrodyne's were spinning, the Elektron had been switched on, lights were burning and ventilators were buzzing again. Vinogradov reported about the problems he had met while powering up the computer. He had met the same problems like Lazutkin a few weeks ago.

    Stabilisation:

    At the beginning of the next day (10.09) it was obvious that the situation had been stabilising gradually. All available gyrodyne's were functioning and the crew could eventually restart experiments. The main activity consisted of the reanimation of the Module Priroda. The interior of this module will be dried with hot air. To blow this hot air into the module air-hoses are used.

    Next spacewalk (EVA):

    After the arrival of Progress-M36 in the beginning of October.

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


1997 September 16 - .
  • Mir News 384: Priroda - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. Drying out of this module lasted longer than expected. In the evening of 11.09 Vinogradov collected 8 litres of condense water.

    Kristall:

    This module is dry. This is not the case with the SO (docking compartment) attached at Kristall. The crew supposed that they have to dry out this SO in the same way as they do with Priroda.

    On 14.09 TsUP asks Vinogradov whether the crew already used condensation for drinking water. Analyses of water samples delivered on earth on 14.08 should justify the potable use of water from condensation. Vinogradov said that they did not thus far, but that they have used this water for the refilling of the Elektron.

    On 14.09 at 1028 UTC the crew got orders to switch off the Ts.V.M.-1 (Main OBC). Telemetry indicated that 2 of the 3 channels (possibly interfaces) of that computer produced incorrect data. Due to the better charged accumulators this time the usual 'chain-reaction' was not as abrupt as during Ts.V.M.-1 failures in the past. Nevertheless the SUD, the attitude control, switched itself off and the gyrodynes slowed down and stopped. The Elektron, which consumes 1 kW was switched off. The complex came in the so called 'free drift'.

    When on 15.09 the station passed over here for the 3d time in orb. 66107 (0509 UTC) the cosmonauts had switched on the Ts.V.M.-1 as well as the SUD. This was only for a short period. Later on both systems were 'off'. The cosmonauts got permission to dismantle the computer and to replace some parts and/or accessories. At TsUP considerations were going on about the replacement of this computer by a reserve which has been in stock for a long time if the repairs might fail. At last the decision was taken to have the whole computer replaced and so the crew did. In the evening the cosmonauts rebooted the 'new' computer. In the night from 15 to 16.09 Solovyov was on duty while experts at TsUP loaded data in the computer. As soon as the computer was operational the attitude of the complex could be stabilised.

    On 16.09 at 02.15.03 UTC the orientation was restored in such a manner that recharging of the accumulators could begin. Radio traffic revealed that the situation was normalising. A number of systems, among which the Elektron, remained off. For oxygen production the cosmonauts continued to use 'disks' (lithium perchlorate cartridges). The pressure of Mir's atmosphere was 618 mm mercury.

    More computer news:

    Progress-M36 has to deliver a brand-new computer in October this year.

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


1997 September 22 - .
  • Mir News 385: MAIN COMPUTER FAILURE - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-4; Mir EO-24. On 22.09 at 0123 UTC the crew was waked up by the alarm signal: Check the SUD (attitude control). When they did they saw that the Ts.V.M.-1, the main computer had switched itself off. Solovyov reported this to TsUP during the pass over here in orbit 66214, 0130-0140 UTC. The first system to be switched was again the oxygen generator Elektron.

    During the pass in orb. 66215, 0305-0316 UTC, S. reported that initially the attitude of the complex was not so good. The complex is flying the so called free drift. The supply from the solar panels decreased to a level of 200 Amperes.

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


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.

  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1997-10-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 24964 . COSPAR: 1997-055xx. Apogee: 381 km (236 mi). Perigee: 354 km (219 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.90 min.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1997-10-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 24964 . COSPAR: 1997-055xx. Apogee: 381 km (236 mi). Perigee: 354 km (219 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Summary: Remained attached to OV-104.

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.

  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1998-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 25143 . COSPAR: 1998-003xx. Apogee: 382 km (237 mi). Perigee: 359 km (223 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.00 min.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. COSPAR: 1998-003xx.

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.


1998 February 9 - .
  • Mir News 406: Failure attitude control system - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Pegase; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-24; Mir EO-25. On 4.02.1998 during Mir's pass in orbit 68334, 1848-1856 UTC, Solovyov reported that at 1831 UTC he had got the warning: Check the SUD and that the complex was now in the so called 'Indikatornyy Rezhim' meaning that Mir was flying in the 'free drift'. Due to the fact that time was running out he asked for advice from TsUP. TsUP asked for 'format' and 'regime'. S. gave Format 1, Indicated regime, operation rotation. The gyrodynes were still spinning and the Ts.V.M.-1 (Main computer) remained operational.

    They shifted to the regime of 'reduced power consumption' and among the systems which had to be switched off were both Elektron oxygen generators. During the radio traffic about this SUD failure Solovyov also mentioned the VDU. The VDU is the external thruster in the Sofora boom. Possibly the failure had been caused by a wrong command in which the VDU was involved. For the last time the VDU was used to control attitude during the beginning of the combined flight of Mir and Endeavour. The VDU almost ran out of fuel and will be replaced in the near future.

    Due to the fact that the Ts.V.M.-1 remained operational and the gyrodynes did not stop spinning the problem with the SUD could be solved already in the evening of 4.02.98 and did not have a negative effect on the present mission. On 5.02.1998 Altair-2 could be used for communications. Normally a serious attitude problem makes the use of that facility impossible. Leopold Eyharts gave a long TV-interview in which he reported with enthusiasm about his mission. Also the following days Altair-2 was regularly in use for communications and TV-sessions, for instance with the press, family and friends.

    In one of the sessions Vinogradov showed a lot of systems and explained their functions. The mood among the 4 cosmonauts, 1 astronaut and 1 spationaute is excellent. There is a lot of joy and they do not complain about their modest housing. A good example of international co-operation. Thus far Solovyov is still in command and he and Vinogradov are responsible for a number of repairs and for a good functioning of the life support systems. Now and then Andy Thomas can be heard when he is in contact with his lead at TsUP in English. I did not yet hear him speaking Russian.

    Soyuz-TM26:

    The return of this ship with the crew of the 24th Main Expedition (Solovyov and Vinogradov) and the CNES spationaute is scheduled for 19.02.1998. That day the hatch between the departing men will be closed between 0240 and 0252 UTC. Soyuz-TM26 will separate from Mir between 0553 and 0604 UTC. The landing is planned for 0917 UTC. Data and times of the operations with Soyuz-TM27 (redocking) and the Progress-M37 (return to the complex after the autonomous flight and docking at the aft port) still have to be determined.

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


1998 February 19 - .
  • Mir News 407: Soyuz-TM26 made safe landing - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir Pegase; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-24; Mir EO-25. The Soyuz-TM26 with on board the relieved crew of the 24th Main Expedition to Mir (Solovyov and Vinogradov) and the CNES astronaut Leopold Eyharts made a soft landing not far from the city Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 19.02.98 at 0910 UTC. The weather in the landing area was bad, though there was a slight improvement in the hour before the landing they had to land in a blizzard. So the search- and rescue operation lasted relatively long and to avoid collision only one helicopter had been directed to the landing position.

    Return operation:

    Soyuz-TM26 separated from the complex at 05.52.50 UTC. During the autonomous flight all went well. In the night hours Soyuz-TM26 communicated via the eastern tracking stations in Russia. From 0805 UTC until the re-entry in the atmosphere at approx. 0847 UTC the communications could be monitored via Altair-2. The signals from and to Soyuz-TM26 were relayed via the satellite transceiver on board Mir and from there via the Altair-2 geostationary satellite. The engine which had to slow down the velocity of Soyuz-TM26 to achieve re-entry was switched on at 08.16.20 UTC. Solovyov reported the data about the impulses in meters per second and the fuel consumption (SIRT) in kilograms.

    The engine was shut off after approx. 260 seconds. At 08.41.35 UTC the program for the separation of the motor compartment and the life compartment was started. The mood of the men on board the descending landing compartment was very good, they could be heard laughing. The last signal from Soyuz-TM26 which could be monitored via Altair-2 was the well known ANAN beacon. Altair-2 remained active for Mir-traffic until 0855 UTC. Musabayev is now in command of the 25th Main Expedition. Budarin reported his attempts to observe and film the descending Soyuz-TM26.

    Soyuz-TM27:

    On 20.02.1998 the crew of Mir will enter the Soyuz-TM27 for the redocking flight. Between 0845 and 0930 UTC Soyuz-TM27 will make an autonomous flight from the aft (Kvant-1, +X axis) port to the forward one (-X axis, P.Kh.O. -transition section).

    Progress-M37:

    The return of this freighter to the Mir complex (to aft docking port) is scheduled for 23.02.1998.

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


1998 February 19 - .
1998 February 21 - .
  • Mir News 408: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. On 19.02.1998, just after the return of the relieved crew and Eyharts to earth the new crew reported a malfunction of the separation system of the SRV-U (the system to regenerate water out of urine). In co-ordination with an expert on earth Budarin coped with this unpleasant repair job.

    Redocking of Soyuz-TM27 from aft to forward port:

    This operation took place on 20.02.1998 between 0847 and 0932 UTC during a window in which the Soyuz-TM27 via Mir could communicate with TsUP via Altair-2. Musabayev steered the Soyuz-TM27. In fact this was not a flight around the Mir-complex but after the undocking of Soyuz-TM27 at 08.47.45 UTC Musabayev brought his ship in a safe station keeping distance from the complex. He reported the distances in meters. The maximum distance was reported approx. 60 meters. As soon as Soyuz-TM27 was far enough from Mir the complex executed a rotation of 180 degrees in the horizontal plane (Z-axis).

    In this way the aft docking port turned away and Soyuz-TM27 came in a position right in front of the forward (-X-axis, transition section) port. This meant just a minimal fuel consumption for Soyuz-TM27. Regretfully something went wrong with the communications. From the outset there was a very stable link via Altair-2, but this ceased at 09.06.10 UTC. At that moment Mir and Soyuz-TM27 were not yet in range of Russian tracking stations and so the crew and TsUP were unable to contact each other. The window for the use of Altair-2 was open until 0933 UTC. The communications via Altair-2 were not restored before 0933 UTC and so later on they had to use 121.750 mc for direct contact with Russian tracking stations.

    Here they also encountered problems. For the crew an unpleasant experience. The official statement spoke about the fact that there had been something wrong with the relay between Mir and Altair-2. Probably wrong commands for the transmitter selection played a role. At 0932 UTC Musabayev manually accomplished the soft touch. This touch was so smooth that a surprised Andy Thomas was still waiting for the 'bump' when the docking had already taken place. After returning on board Mir they met other problems: the crew had to work on the life support systems. They switched on the Elektron oxygen generators in Module D as well as in Module-E (Kvant-1). There were problems with a Vozdukh CO2 scrubber, a pressure meter in the Kvant-1 and an air pressure equalisation valve in the transition section (P.Kh.O.).

    Progress-M37 (fingers crossed please!):

    The redocking of this freighter at the aft docking port is scheduled for 23.02.1998 at about 0930 UTC. On 21.02.1998 the crew started tests of the TORU, the system to guide Progress-M37 manually from inside Mir. It is not clear yet with the TORU system or that TORU will only be standing by in case the automatic KURS-system fails . Budarin spoke about a number of 'insignificant anomalies'. He asked for better instructions for the camerawork during the planned operation. In his opinion good video recordings are essential and he referred to the problems Tsibliyev and Lazutkin had. Due to the insufficient recordings it had been easier to blame them for that what happened last June.

    Whatever the method for the approach will be: the automatic or manual mode it will be an exciting event. During the estimated docking time Mir and Progress-M37 are in my range and there is also a window via Altair-2. And believe me: I will be alert!!

    Progress-M37 23 February 1998

    Progress-M37 flawlessly docked at the aft docking port (+X axis Kvant-1) at 09.43.27 UTC. Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. Before the final phase of the approach Musabayev extensively tested the TORU system. At 09.04.30 UTC he reported that he switched off the TORU system and that the result of the test was positive. Opening of the hatch is scheduled for 1020 - 1030 UTC. More details in my next MirNEWS-report.

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


1998 February 23 - .
  • Mir News 409: Progress-M37 redocked at Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. The docking took place on 23.02.1998 at 09.42.27 UTC (in my Progress-M37 message I wrote 09.43.27, sorry, slip of the finger!). Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. During the final phase of the operation Musabayev was ready to take over the control manually with the system TORU. The window for traffic via Altair-2 was in use from 0857 UTC until the docking. Musabayev reported about what they did in relation to the approach operation. At 0858 UTC Musabayev reported that he could see the lights of the Progress-M37. Later on he reported what he could see via monitors of the Kurs and TORU systems. At 0859 UTC M. started a test of TORU. The system worked well and reacted faultlessly on all commands. When he switched off TORU at 0905 UTC he reported that the test results were positive. Hereafter he continued to follow the movements of Progress-M37 and he reported the distances and approach speeds.

    At 0910 UTC audio communications via Altair-2 stopped and from that moment Altair-2 transmitted images of the Mir-complex seen via a camera in the Progress. At that moment the distance was 220 meters and the approach speed 0.8 M/sec. At 0930 UTC, Mir still could be seen via Altair-2, communications continued via VHF. Also the transmitters of Progress-M37 on 922.755 and in the 166 and 165 mc bands could be heard. TCA for my position was 09.30.40 UTC. During this VHF-window the crew got permission for the docking and at LOS at 0937 UTC the distance between Mir and Progress-M37 was 162 meters with an approach speed of 0.94 M/sec. Fortunately it was reported that the docking had been successful.

    During the next window of Altair-2 the transponders were switched on at 1023 UTC and Musabayev tried to get in touch with TsUP. He repeatedly called TsUP, but did not get any reaction. Just before Altair-2 switched off there was a short link at 1047 UTC.

    Smell: After the opening of the hatch of Progress-M37 some orbits later a strong terrible smell came out the freighter. Possibly a bag or container with garbage had gone open. The crew decided to set the hatch to the Progress ajar.

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


1998 March 2 - .
  • Mir News 410: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) 25th Main expedition Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. This EVA will be made on 3.03.1998. Opening hatch: 0130 UTC; closure hatch: 0720 UTC. Musabayev and Budarin will go to the outer surface of Module Spektr to install a handrail necessary for future repair work over there.

    Communication schedule for the EVA:

    (times in UTC) VHF (out of range Western Europe) 0139-0203, Altair-2: 0231-0246, VHF (out of range Western Europe): 0313-0336, Altair-2: 0408-0423, VHF (out of range Western Europe): 0447-0511, Altair-2: 0544-0557, VHF (via Munich, Germany): 0617-0627 and another VHF facility, with range of Western in the period from 0621-0627, Altair-2: 0720-0756. So just after the estimated closure of the hatch Mir will communicate via Altair-2. Hereafter the normal VHF-windows, so not via Altair-2. &but from 1049-1059 via Wallops in the USA.

    Soyuz-TM26:

    The exact landing time of Soyuz-TM26 on 19.02.1998 was: 09.09.30 UTC.

    Progress-M38:

    At deadline for this report the launch of this freighter from Baykonur was scheduled for 14.03.1998 at 2240 UTC. (15.03.1998 at 0140DMV, Moscow Decree Time = Msc Winter Time)

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


1998 March 3 - .
  • Mir News 411: Spacewalk (EVA) cancelled - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. After the EVA preparations in the P.N.O. (Instrument- and Scientific Compartment) the cosmonauts entered the Sh.S.O. (the unserviceable airlock) and tried to open the locks of the outer hatch. The opening of the hatch, so the beginning of the EVA, was planned for 0130 UTC. At this moment Mir was out of my range. Traffic via Altair-2 began at 0232 and lasted until 0246 UTC, so not the full window for Mir-Altair-2 was used. At 0232 UTC Musabayev and Budarin (M. and B.) were still in the Sh.S.O. as their attempts to open the airlock had failed. To open the hatch they had to unlock 10 locks. They unlocked 9 of them, but the last one had been fixed so tightly that B. had to use extreme strength to do that.

    Doing this he broke all 3 available spanners. Immediately after getting in touch with TsUP M. reported that they last of the 10 locks hampered the continuation of the operation and that B. had broken all 3 spanners. The heads of the spanners broke off and floated away. M. told that the started repressurising the P.N.O. to enable them to take off their spacesuits. He added that this day was not a festive day at all. During the next communication session M. and B. were in the P.N.O. and had taken off their spacesuits. They did not immediately react on calls from TsUP and so Andy Thomas spoke with TsUP. He did this in reasonable and certainly comprehensible Russian.

    A few minutes later M. and B. were back in the Base Block and they asked when they could make the next EVA. They said that it was possible to do that successfully if they had the right tools. If necessary they were prepared to do this immediately. TsUP did not give permission to do that and stated that the next EVA could be made after the delivery of new spanners with the Progress-M38, the start of which is scheduled for 15 March ( UTC 14.03.98 at 2240 UTC).

    TsUP ordered M. to prepare a video session during the next window via Altair-2. M. asked whether TsUP wished to see the hatch and that this was difficult to perform. TsUP wished to see the broken spanners. During the session in orbit 68748 (0545-0557 UTC) Budarin showed the broken spanners and explained what happened. During this TV session the crew congratulated the TV-organisation of Kazakhstan with the 40th anniversary. Due the limited use of the Altair-2 windows during vacuuming I was not able to determine the period during which the cosmonauts were in vacuum.

    Mir-routine:

    On 26.02.1998 during a pass in which Mir used the tracking station Wallops they reported a smoke incident. More about this incident Musabayev reported after coming in range off the first Russian tracking station. There was not an emergency situation for the smoke was not caused by a fire. It was just an overheated ventilator in the BMP, a detector and/or scrubber for "noxious micro particles in the Mir-atmosphere";. The instrument or device had been switched off and a purification process had been started.

    Officially the incident was evaluated as a "non issue" for there had been no danger for the crew and it did not harm the health of the crew. Later on there have been reports about a slightly higher percentage of carbon monoxide in Mir's air. During the next day TsUP told Musabayev that they had got information that Andy Thomas did not feel well. Musabayev stated that Andy said that he felt well. Nevertheless TsUP ordered M. to look for a so called &"oxygen prophylactic mask"; which Andy had to put on for a certain period.

    When the smoke started Andy was training on the treadmill in the module Kristall. He went from there to the Priroda and could see the smoke in the Base Block.

    Preparations EVA:

    The working hours on 27 and 28.02.1998 were used for checking EVA equipment and spacesuits and for the training for the EVA itself.

    Future spacewalks:

    The EVA's for this month and for next April have been put back until further notice. It is clear that the present situation is very problematic: it is not possible to do EVA's even if this, in case of calamities outside the complex, might be necessary. All ports of the old airlock (the P.Kh.O., or transition section) are occupied (4 modules and the Soyuz-TM27).

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


1998 March 3 - .
  • EVA Mir EO-25-1 - . Crew: Musabayev; Budarin. EVA Type: Internal Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0658 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Inner and outer airlocks of Kvant-2 module were depressurised for EVA. However the crew could not open the outer hatch, repaired on 2 January 1998 by Solovyov and Vinogradov. The planned EVA was cancelled..

1998 March 14 - . 22:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-38 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 240. Mass: 7,007 kg (15,447 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 61.05 days. Decay Date: 1998-05-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 25256 . COSPAR: 1998-015A. Apogee: 379 km (235 mi). Perigee: 372 km (231 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. Progress M-38 was specially modified to carry the second VDU (Vynosnaya Dvigatel'naya Ustanovka, External Engine Unit) propulsion unit. The VDU was mounted externally on a special structure between the cargo module and the service module, replacing the OKD fuel section present on normal Progress vehicles. The crew spacewalks to extract the VDU from Progress and place it on the end of the Sofora boom extending from the Kvant module. The VDU was used to provide attitude control capability for the station. By 03:20 GMT on March 15 1998 Progress M-38 had successfully completed its first two orbital manoeuvres. It replaced Progress M-37 at the docking port on the Kvant module, with a successful docking on March 16 1998 at 22:45 GMT. Undocked May 15 at 1844 UTC, freeing up the docking port on the Kvant module for Progress M-39. Deorbited over Pacific May 15, 1998.

1998 March 15 - .
  • Mir News 412: Progress-M38 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. The launch of this freighter from Baykonur took place on 14.03.1998 at 22.45.55 UTC (for Moscow already 15.03.1998 01.45.55 DMV -Moscow Decree Time). During the pass in the 3rd orbit I monitored the Telemetry transmitters of this ship between 0321-0324 UTC. During the pass in the 4th orbit the Telemetry transmitters (166 and 165 mc) and the beacon on 922.755mc could be heard between 0450 and 0458 UTC. TCA for me was at 0453 UTC.

    The most important cargo is the VDU. This is the external thruster which has to be installed in the Sofora mast on Kvant-1 during one of the EVA's in the future. The new VDU will replace the old one which almost run out of fuel. Under the cargo is a new lock for the EVA hatch of Module-D, the necessary tools for the repair of that hatch and of course the normal cargo: food, post and some other convenient items for the crew. Progress-M38 has to dock at the Kvant-1 aft docking port (+X-axis) on 17.03.1998 at about 0027 UTC. In principle approach and docking will be executed in the automatic mode with the system Kurs.

    Progress-M37:

    Today (15.03) Progress-M37 will separate from Mir to be put on a destruction course for burning up in the atmosphere over a designated area East of New-Zealand.

    Mir-routine:

    Last week the cosmonauts worked on the installation of the new BKV-3, the a.c. From 10.03 the BKV-3 is regularly operational and this resulted in decreasing of the almost unbearable high temperatures in the Base Block. The temperature of approx. 35 dgs C. decreased to 28 dgs C. The good functioning of the a.c. makes it possible to use this installation for the filtering of the surplus of condensation secreted by the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber. Thus this condensation can be used for water regeneration purposes and has no longer to be blown into open space.

    To make this possible the Vozdukh in the Base Block had to be modified by a so called 'dehumidifier'. This device is now installed in the neighbourhood of the Vozdukh but it was difficult to find a place for it. Meanwhile something went wrong with he thermal control in the module Priroda, which had a negative effect on some experiments of Andy. After the repair or replacement of a pump the temperatures in Priroda could be controlled again.

    The work was far from easy and they could not always find the necessary parts and equipment for the mounting. This often debauched into discussions with experts on earth. Musabayev normally being in a good mood now and then got upset. He stated that already from the first week the burden of work was too high. There was a great difference between planning and the reality of time schedules for their work in space. On 4.03.1998 he stated that this was the first day they got enough sleep. He emphasised that if you force the crew too much there will be a risk of fatal mistakes. (And indeed during this mission a number of mistakes have been reported. )

    Not only the Russians, but also Andy Thomas complained about matters he did not appreciate. He had no problems with his direct 'leads', but with some organisations. Regularly Andy repeated his complaint that he did not receive his personal E-mails. Last week this resulted in the despatch of a stream E-mails, reaching him by uplink Packet Radio transmissions, also via Altair-2.

    Andy reported problems with the American experiment COCULT. The flow of liquids to feed cells of this experiment was full of air-bubbles. He tried to solve this problem but did not succeed. In conversations with his consultative group he emphasised that he does all what is possible to fulfil the American experimental program, but that he attaches great value to the execution of his physical exercises.

    The forthcoming launch of Progress-M38 and the departure on 15.03.1998 of the old Progress-M37 were mentioned now and then. The crew tried to load as much as possible waste and equipment which was no longer needed in the Progress-M37. Musabayev reported that it was not possible to load the old BKV-3 in that freighter. He gave a higher priority to the dismissal of waste containers, lots of old rags, biological- and domestic garbage.

    More or less the lot of work on the life support systems superseded the attention for the forthcoming departure of the Progress-M38. Only yesterday (14.03) they spoke about the TORU (remote controlled steering of Progress-M from inside Mir), which has to be operational in case the automatic system Kurs should fail.

    On 9.03.1998 a planned communication session of Mir with TsUP via Altair-2 did not take place. Something went wrong with the uplink from Russia to Altair-2. Musabayev who was calling continuously was almost desperate. He needed an urgent advice about immunisation. For me it was interesting to hear how a cosmonaut feels when he thinks that he has been abandoned by earth. During the first communication session via VHF he said that they almost 'suffered an infarct'.

    .

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


1998 March 17 - .
  • Mir News 413: Progress-M38 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Successful docking at Mir; The docking took place on 17.03.1998 at 00.31.17 UTC. The last 20 Meters and the docking itself were manually executed by Musabayev with the system TORU. From 0000 UTC the operation could be monitored via Altair-2. Musabayev observed the manoeuvres of the Progress-M38. All went according to calculations. The system Kurs was in use, but Musabayev and Budarin were at the control panel of the TORU system ready to take over if necessary. The crew followed the operation via several systems: the monitor of the TORU, the LIV-camera, via a camera on board of the Progress-M38 and also visually.

    Andy Thomas made images with a video-camera. Musabayev reported all distances, approach speeds, deviations along the 3-axes and also that there were no 'emergency instructions' so Kurs was STILL functioning well. At 0015 UTC the link via Altair-2 ceased and a few minutes later the VHF window opened. At 0024 UTC just before LOS for my position the distance to Mir was still 150 Meters with an approach speed of 4 CM/sec. All went well until the distance of 40 Meters. Then Kurs showed fluctuations which might be an indication that the Kurs system was no longer reliable.

    Musabayev decided to switch over to the manual guidance by TORU and from 20 Meters he steered Progress-M38 to the aft docking port (+X-axis) and accomplished a perfect docking. During the pass in the next orbit the air seal checks were still going on. Via VHF-2 (130.165 mc) Andy Thomas spoke with his leads and he said that there had been no surprises. When Progress-M38 was docking he had felt a slight bump. At 0206 UTC the crew was opening the hatch.

    Progress-M37:

    This old freighter separated from Mir on 15.03.1998 at 19.16.01 UTC and burned up in the atmosphere east of New-Zealand at 23.03.46 UTC. 1st Spacewalk (EVA) crew 25th Main Expedition. For the time being on schedule for 1.04.1998. A final decision will be made soon.

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


1998 March 27 - .
  • Mir News 414: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Progress-M38 has been regularly used to support the attitude control of the Mir-complex. The crew had to cope with problems with the a.c. (BKV-3) and a cooling loop. The Elektron oxygen generator in the Kvant-1 module could not be used continuously due to a power supply problem. The crew accomplished the repair of the BMP (trace contaminants removal unit).

    The crew asked TsUP to reduce the number of communication sessions via VHF channels, for instance those via the tracking stations in the USA. They regularly had to interrupt their activities in other modules and had to go to the Central Post. They preferred to have not more than 1 session every 3 hours. The head of TsUP, Solovyov, who was about to go on leave, had another opinion. Possibly there is a compromise: the facilities in the USA (Wallops, White Sands and Dryden) might mainly be used by Andy Thomas.

    During a lot of long TV-sessions via Altair-2 much attention was dedicated to the 2nd anniversary of the permanent presence of an American astronaut on board Mir. There also was a session with Spain in which the crew congratulated BMW. Musabayev said that he would be very pleased to take a seat behind the steering wheel of one of their new models.

    There have been a lot of extensive medical checks, for instance E.C.G.-s during physical exercises. Musabayev told TsUP where he and Budarin use to sleep: Budarin near the porthole at the end of module Priroda, which also was the sleeping place of Vinogradov. M. himself sleeps in his cabin in the Base Block, but when it is too hot over there he moves to the SO (docking compartment) of module Kristall.

    Musabayev now and then presses TsUP to review the work planning. In a conversation with TsUP Budarin said the complex is used below its value. This is irritating for the crew: things have not been completed in time.

    Forthcoming spacewalks (EVA's):

    The first EVA will take place on 1.04.1998 between 1320 and 1910 UTC. To be sure that the hatch can be opened without problems Musabayev and Budarin will have to accomplish repair works on the locks of the hatch. If all went according to plan they did this today (Friday, 27.03.1998). The 2nd and 3rd EVA are provisionally planned for 6 and 11.04.1998.

    Some remarks:

    1. The present bad health of my wife might have a negative effect on my monitoring and reporting of Mir-operations in the near future.

    2. A number of my E-mail relations still use my old E-mail address. Thus far E-mails with the old address seem to reach me, but this will not last for ever. So please, if you still use that old address correct this in: cmvdberg@wxs.nl

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


1998 April 1 - . 13:35 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-25-2 - . Crew: Musabayev; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: The Kvant-2 hatch had been fixed from within and was used for the EVA. Objective was to repair the damaged Spektr solar panel. Handrails were installed near the panel but the crew could not complete the work before the scheduled time ran out..

1998 April 2 - .
  • Mir News 415: 1st Spacewalk (EVA) 25th Main Expedition to Mir - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. The EVA started (hatch opening between airlock Sh.S.O. and open space) 15 minutes later than planned at 1335 UTC. Budarin needed more time to open the locks of the hatch. Also considerably later than planned, the hatch closed behind Musabayev and Budarin at 2015 UTC. So a duration of 6 hrs and 40 mins. There have been reports about a duration of 4 hrs: a mistake or April 1 prank. All available windows via the geostationary Altair-2 were used for radiotelephony.

    The information about the opening and closure of the hatch, taking place outside those windows, was reported by Musabayev afterwards. The cosmonauts worked energetically. Musabayev observed Budarin, instructed him what to do and warned him if he moved to fast or came too close to obstacles. He also now and then spoke with Andy Thomas to tell him how and from where to make photographs and video. Andy regularly reported temperatures inside Mir varying between 32 and 37 degrees Celsius. (Unclear what kind of temperatures)

    Meanwhile the spacewalkers enjoyed the cool temperatures in their spacesuits. For their transport M. and B. used the Strela crane. The package with the handrails which they had to install at the outside of the Spektr module had been placed outside Mir during one of the EVA's of Solovyov. They spoke about the 'Solovyov package'. Unpacking, deploying and installing of these handrails lasted much longer than was expected and so there was no time left for the reinforcement of the damaged solar panel of Spektr by a beam. They also had to install 2 foot restraints for future work at Spektr. They succeeded in stalling just one of those restraints.

    At approx. 1912 UTC there was a gruesome event: Budarin called Musabayev, but he did not get a reaction. After a few minutes the voice of M. showed up again. He reported that he had switched off the power supply of his spacesuit by accident. Thus he lost all functions: cooling, communication, ventilation, distillation, etc.

    After restoring the power supply he reported sequentially the good functioning of his systems. (Whether this has been a April 1 prank or not, I do not know, but it made my flesh creep). 7 Minutes after the closure of the hatch which took place at 2015 UTC the window for Altair-2 communications opened again. M. reported the time of the closure. From that moment on the long sequence of repressurising, airseal checks and post EVA activities could be monitored. Towards the end of this window the cosmonauts were back in the Base Block and they managed to transmit some video images made by Andy Thomas during the EVA.

    When the EVA and the repressurisation were still going on, there were some VHF-windows. (As always during EVA's lower in the band, 143.618 mc) I could monitor these signals simultaneously with those via Altair-2. Due to the longer path of the signals via Altair-2 there was a very clear echo-effect. And again there was the well-known interference (a kind of cross-modulation) from an air traffic control centre. These signals also were relayed via Altair-2. Sometimes this traffic bothered the cosmonauts. When the cosmonauts came back in the PGO (Instrument and cargo compartment) from the PNO (Instrument and scientific compartment) the applause from the people at TsUP could be heard in the background.

    2nd EVA of the 25th Main expedition to Mir:

    This EVA is scheduled for 6.04.1998 from 1155 UTC for a duration of approx. 6 hrs.

    Main task:

    Splinting the damaged solar panel on the Spektr module.

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


1998 April 6 - . 13:35 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-25-3 - . Crew: Musabayev; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.18 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Mir. The crew succeeded in completing repair of the damaged Spektr solar panel. However the EVA was cut short when Mission Control in error commanded the Mir to drift. This was then misdiagnosed as a depletion of fuel of the VDU orientation engine, and the crew was ordered back into the station.

1998 April 7 - .
  • Mir News 416: 2nd Spacewalk (EVA) 25th Main Expedition Mir. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. The EVA took place on 6.04.1998 between 1127 and 1550 UTC (duration 4 hrs 23 mins.) The crew accomplished the main task: the strengthening of the lateral structure of the damaged solar panel on Module Spektr. They succeeded in fastening the 1.5 meters long splint. The cosmonauts had to use every effort and the work lasted longer than planned.

    They had to work under very unfavourable circumstances. Due to a malfunction of a ground facility for the Altair-2 satellite they did not have this satellite at their disposal and the quality of the communications via tracking stations was bad. So in fact two reasons to cut short the EVA: tired cosmonauts and unwarranted communication gaps. But the cosmonauts did not want to stop and the authorities on earth badly needed an EVA which was 100% successful.

    And then there emerged a 3rd reason to stop: the roll (movement along the X-axis) of the station had to be adjusted to align the complex with the sun. This had to be done with the VDU (the external thruster in the Sofora mast). The experts still expected to have some drops of fuel, but there was nothing left. It was impossible to use an alternative: the thrusters of the module Priroda, as the only person who could give the command for that operation, Andy Thomas, was not trained to do so.

    The unfavourable angle of the complex towards the sun was risky for a lack of power supply might influence the functioning of the gyrodynes and cause other imponderabilia.

    So the spacewalkers got orders to return to the air-lock and do that quickly, because they had to be on board to be able to take measures to take care of the attitude correction.

    During the first direct pass over my position (orbit 69286, 1556-1603 UTC) the cosmonauts were in the air-lock and had already started the pressurising process. It was clear that the cosmonauts were very tired: they were breathing heavily and they could hardly speak.

    The cosmonauts had to go to the Base Block as soon as possible for the attitude correction.

    The original plan foresaw in work at the Rapana girder and the old VDU. They had to postpone that work until the 3rd EVA.

    The geostationary Altair-2 is operational again. On 7.04.1998 during orbit 69300 there was a long TV-session in which the 3 cosmonauts could be seen while a cheerful Musabayev was reading out good wishes and congratulations. Possibly the international participants in the excursion by the Bauman institute were able to attend this session during their visit at TsUP.

    3rd EVA:

    This EVA is on schedule for 11.04.1998 from 1005 UTC. Planned duration: approx. 6 hours.

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


1998 April 11 - . 09:55 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-25-4 - . Crew: Musabayev; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.27 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: The cosmonauts began a series of three EVA's to install the new VDU station orientation engine (delivered by Progress M-38) into the Sofora boom. On this first spacewalk they disconnected the old engine (in use for six years) and pushed it into space..

1998 April 12 - .
  • Mir News 417: 3rd Spacewalk (EVA) crew 25th Main Expedition Mir. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. This EVA took place on 11.04.1998 from 0955-1620 UTC, so with a duration of 6 hrs and 25 mins. Everything went according to plan. A piece of good luck on the eve of the celebration of the Day of Manned Spaceflight. The cosmonauts started the EVA with the utmost confidence and favourable circumstances. They could rely on the use of Altair-2 for communications. If it would be necessary to reset the gyrodynes, thrusters of the Priroda module could be used for attitude control.

    During orbit 69360 the cosmonauts were in the air-lock preparing the opening of the hatch. At 0918 UTC the pressure was 9 mm and Budarin was loosening the locks of the exit hatch. The communications window closed at 0927 UTC. At 0955 UTC, so out of range of Altair-2, the cosmonauts opened the hatch and started the successful operation. When the Altair-2 window opened at 1015 UTC they already had covered a considerable distance and reached positions not far from the Sofora girder.

    Musabayev continuously advised Budarin about his movements and how he had to steer the Strela boom, but also warned him for obstacles, for instance solar panels. Musabayev did not forget Andy Thomas who was on duty inside Mir. He asked him whether he was seeing them or not and told him to make videos and photos. A minor glitch was the bad performance of Budarins receiver, but he solved this problem by using his back-up system. Sometimes the cosmonauts had to unwrap safety lines and cables, but this did not hamper the progress of the EVA. Their mood was excellent and they even had time to enjoy the good sight of the Sahara and other territories on earth.

    At 1225 UTC (in orbit 69362) it was clear that they almost achieved the main goal of the EVA: dismantling and pushing away the old VDU (the external thruster in the top of the Sofora boom). At 1227 UTC Musabayev told Andy that he had to be ready to observe and film a very special event: the launch into open space of the VDU. Don't go away during the next 5 minutes. It lasted somewhat longer before TsUP gave permission for the actual push as they had to be sure that all cables and safety lines were disconnected. Exactly at 1235 UTC this permission came and Musabayev told Andy at 12.35.20 UTC: we push him away, 1, 2, 3, 4 Do you see him moving away? For a while Andy could see the jettisoned VDU, but was not able to keep the leaving VDU in sight somewhat longer. Musabayev did not like this and did not hide that verbally. Let us hope that Andy neither heard nor understood this.

    The plan for this EVA foresaw in a second launch. After removing for retrieval of an experiment (an indicator) from the Rapana structure they had to dismantle this structure and dispatch it into open space. I did not hear anything of this second launch during communication windows. Later on it became clear that this plan had been cancelled . The cosmonauts also repaired an outlet valve of the Elektron oxygen generator in Module E (Kvant-1).

    The old VDU is in orbit as an autonomous satellite and will decay, possibly in a year or so.

    Now and then TsUP recommended the cosmonauts to return in time and finally they got an order to return to the air-lock. This part of the operation, again with the instructions of Musabayev for Budarin and the repressurisation of the air-lock took place relatively quickly and without problems.

    Not long after their return inside Mir the cosmonauts transmitted a part of the videos made by Andy during the EVA and also the launch of the VDU.

    As long as the new VDU is not operational the control of the roll will be done by steering rockets of the Priroda module.

    The next 2 EVA's are scheduled for 17 and 22.04.1998. Times will be published on 14.04.1998.

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


1998 April 17 - .
  • Mir News 418: 4th Spacewalk (EVA) crew 25th Main Expedition - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. This arduous, but successful EVA was made on 17.04.1998 between 07.40.22 UTC (opening hatch) and 14.12.30 UTC (closing hatch) so 6 hrs 32 minutes. The schedule foresaw in opening at 0725 UTC. A few minutes after this moment Budarin accomplished opening of the locks of the exit hatch, but then something went wrong with the transceivers in Budarins spacesuit. Musabayev could see the moving lips of Budarin and even tried to determine what B. was saying, but this is not the way to communicate during an EVA, so if they would not be able to resolve this problem the EVA had to be cancelled. But all went well: by switching from the main to the reserve radio set and back and by switching off and on the contact with Budarin was fully restored.

    From this moment on the operation proceeded according to plan. Musabayev used a new spacesuit and he had to accustom himself to the other gloves and sleeves. The transfer of Musabayev and the packages with equipment was done with the use of the Strela boom steered by Budarin. The operation started with the dismantling of 2 truss structures: the Rapana and the so called 3rd truss . The 3rd truss was folded up and installed on the outer surface of the Kvant-1 module. The original plan to jettison the Rapana into open space was abandoned and this truss also was parked horizontally on the outer surface. (Obviously they refrained from this launch to keep the Rapana available for future use.)

    Then the cosmonauts went to the Progress-M38 and unlocked the bolts which had been prevented the new VDU from autonomous adventures. Further the VDU was raised by telecommands from earth. The VDU had to be inclined from the Progress-M38 to an angle of 35 degrees. The cosmonauts had to help the VDU to reach that angle for the automatic regime did not function during the last few degrees. When the inclination reached 35 degrees the cosmonauts secured the VDU in that starting point for their work during the 5th EVA.

    Andy Thomas documented the whole EVA from inside Mir regularly advised by Musabayev.

    Communications: The main part of the communications took place via Altair-2. There was only phone, so no images of the EVA were relayed (at least not via Altair-2) during the EVA itself. Sometimes the transmissions were interrupted for technical reasons. After one interruption the signal was very poor. During later sessions the quality was excellent. When Mir came within VHF range the transmissions could be monitored simultaneously via the direct way and via the long way through Altair-2 as well. After the EVA everybody was satisfied. The spacewalkers were tired. Musabayev said that their hands and wrists were very tired, but he added that this was quite normal and within the acceptable limits.

    5th EVA: This EVA is still scheduled for 22.04.1998. The cosmonauts are determined to accomplish the installation of the VDU during that EVA.

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


1998 April 17 - . 07:40 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-25-5 - . Crew: Musabayev; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.27 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Installation of the new VDU station orientation engine assembly was completed at the end of the Sofora boom..

1998 April 22 - .
  • Mir News 419: 5th Spacewalk (EVA) Mir-crew 25th Main expedition - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Very quickly the spacewalkers accomplished the procedures before the EVA: checks of the spacesuits and all systems and pressurising of the suits and vacuuming of the air-lock (Sh.S.O.). As usual Budarin started with the opening of the locks of the exit hatch. On 22.04.1998 at 0534 UTC, so 6 minutes earlier than planned the crew opened the hatch.

    At 0546 UTC both spacewalkers and their instrument package were in open space. They closed the hatch again behind them at 1155 UTC, so a duration of 6 hrs 21 mins, somewhat longer than scheduled. All went extremely smooth without set-backs. It was clear that the men enjoyed their work. Now and then Musabayev asked Andy to make video images. Andy stated that he felt himself like a real cameraman.

    Budarin even instructed Andy how to change a water tank of the Elektron oxygen generator. The crew installed the new VDU in the top of the Sofora boom and connected the cables. Between 1028 and 1046 UTC Musabayev reported the numbers of the cables he had connected. At 1048 UTC he told TsUP that they had accomplished their tasks. There had been an order or request to do something else, but TsUP told them to do this during a next EVA (so possibly there will be a 6th one, for instance for the retrieval of experiments from outside.) Still in the air-lock Musabayev asked Andy to rewind the videotape to the beginning to be ready to transmit images of the EVA to earth as soon as possible. They did so somewhat later and probably these images will reach us via a number of television stations.

    The success of the EVA has been confirmed by the very praising words of the Head of TsUP , V.A. Solovyov, who is normally rather scarce with compliments.

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


1998 April 22 - . 05:34 GMT - .
  • EVA Mir EO-25-6 - . Crew: Musabayev; Budarin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.27 days. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Musabayev; Budarin. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Two truss structures on the Kvant module and the new Sofora VDU station orientation engine assembly was unlatched from Progress M-38..

1998 April 28 - .
  • Mir News 420: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. After the last of the 5 EVA-s the Russians restarted their own experiment programs, which did not get much attention during the busy EVA period. This caused a lot of work for Musabayev and Budarin who got many radiograms with instructions and requests. M. told TsUP to send them clear and accurate instructions.

    Meanwhile experts of DLR and ESA in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich (Germany) were ready to continue the experiments with the BDD (Betriebstechnik Deutschland Direkt). These experiments started during the mission Mir-97 and had to be discontinued due to the failure of Altair-1. The team in Oberpfaffenhofen was ready for the operation. On board Mir the crew still had to work on cables and systems. The former DDR cosmonaut Sigmund Jaehn had heard rumours saying that M. and B. were reluctant to execute the BDD experiments. Musabayev emphatically denied this: on the contrary, he and his colleague liked to do this very much and he promised to do all what was necessary to be ready in the benefit of the good friendship with their German partners. He immediately started his cable work.

    The first communication session in the BDD framework took place on 24.04.98 at 1649 UTC. The first attempts resulted in phone and images with a very good quality. All what could be heard and seen was very interesting.

    In those transmissions from Mir via Altair-2 the TV-uplink images could be seen with the equipment and team in Oberpfaffenhofen including Hans Schlegel. It was a demonstration of an excellent international co-operation: a Kazak, a Russian, an Australian American, and on earth a number of Germans, among them a former D.D.R. cosmonaut . 3 languages could be heard: Russian, German and English.

    In excellent German Andy Thomas spoke with Hans Schlegel. And it was clear that Musabayev had picked up a lot of the German language from the community of former Volga-Germans in his native country: he easily uses phrases like Gott sei Dank, Wie geht es Ihnen and Auf Wiedersehen.

    There had been plans to continue the experimental BDD operation on Monday, 27.04, but that had to be cancelled: the TV screen on board Mir remained dark!.

    During the communication window, which had been intended for BDD contact Altair-2 was operational and stand-by.

    So everybody was satisfied on Tuesday, 28.04.1998 when at 1402 UTC Altair-2 was transmitting loud and clear. The operators in the Russian tracking station for Altair-2 (Medvezhje Ozero -Bears Lake- near Moscow) aimed one of the antennae of the satellite in the direction of Munich and immediately a very good communication session could be established. The colour(!) images from Mir, but also via Mir from Oberpfaffenhofen were excellent. Between the team on earth and the crew there was some confusion about which floppy disk with the BDD program had to be used. Was it BDD nr. 1 or 3? They showed each other the disks they had and the texts on these disks were clearly readable. The people behind the keyboards and screen in Oberpfaffenhofen also could be seen. Musabayev showed the screen of a laptop, with data of the BDD program.

    The Altair-2 window for BDD use was open until 1440 UTC and exactly at that moment the Bears lake people aimed the antennae again in their own direction and the signal became weaker and for some minutes it was difficult to understand what Musabayev said. After a while Musabayev switched over to the phone mode and all was as before. So the antenna manoeuvre did not harm the satellite. (Thus far I do not know the cause of the failure of Altair-1 in 1997. During the Mir-97 period Altair-1 came in a so called sun-pointing attitude. Whether this had something to with the antenna manoeuvres or with the age of the satellite is still a question for me.)

    During the rest of this week more BDD operations are planned. (Experiments executed by experts on earth without interfering by the crew, for instance with the Titus furnace, and data-transmission activities.)

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


1998 May 11 - .
  • Mir News 421: BDD - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. On 30.04.1998 Altair-2 was used for the last time for experiments in the framework of the BDD (Betriebstechnik Deutschland Direkt). The participants (the Mir crew and the team in Oberpfaffenhofen) obviously struggled with some software problems and the system is not ready yet. Fortunately the manoeuvres with the Altair-2 antennae (towards Oberpfaffenhofen and back to Moscow) had no consequences for the performance of Altair-2. Afterwards Altair-2 often has been used for phone- and TV-communications.

    VDU:

    This new external thruster has been fully implemented in the attitude control of the Mir-complex. When the gyrodynes have to be reset to their initial settings, the VDU takes over the control of the roll (movements around the X-axis). The fact that the VDU has been used could be derived from radio traffic. When the cosmonauts load a quaternion command the VDU will be used. (Quaternion is the coefficient of 2 vectors)

    BKV-3:

    This a.c. is not always obedient. Many times the cosmonauts had to switch off the BVK-3 after switching on.

    Mir-routine:

    Apart from dealing with technical problems of the life support systems, for instance the overheating of a heat circuit, causing the melting down of pieces of pipes and small leakage in the SRVK (system for water regeneration from condensation), the crew was able to go on with some experiments.

    During a TV-session for a Russian radio program on 7.02.1998, the cosmonauts demonstrated their work on a Russian-American metal melting experiment with the Optizon furnace and how carefully they had to handle the loading of experimental ampoules into that furnace. During this session they put 9 of those ampoules into the furnace.

    Answering questions about spacewalks (EVA-s) Musabayev confirms something which I reported in my MirNEWS.415. (Thus far I did not find any official confirmation or reference on this matter). He acknowledges that during his 1st EVA he had switched off by accident the power supply of this spacesuit resulting in the malfunction of all systems in that suit: no cooling or heating, no circulation, no communications.. This unpleasant situation lasted no more than 20 seconds but for him and those observing his activities this seemed to last ages.

    During a TV-session with family and friends on 3.05.1998 Musabayev asked them to tell the management that all is well on board and that they could skip all the nonsense reported by amateurs about bad situations on board.

    On 7.05.1998 during a session for a Russian radio program Musabayev gave his personal opinion about the significance of the Denj Pobedy. (Victory Day). He presented himself as commander of the Russian space station Mir, emphasising that his nationality was Kazakh so coming from one of the countries which in the past belonged to the Soviet Union, a country now being one of the nearby abroad. Nevertheless he was proud of that what his former countrymen achieved in World War 2 and he even memorised the famous Panfilov division.

    In an admirable way he associated some facts: by this victory the Soviet people paved the way for the launches of the first Sputnik and the Russian Yuriy Gagarin. In fact this victory was completed by the meeting of Soviet and American troops at the river Elbe. In this respect he remarks the present co-operation between Russians and Americans on board of space station Mir, emphasising that co-operation in such a way between peoples is a condition for a safe and everlasting peace. He, with his Kazakh nationality, is commander of the Russian space station Mir in a good and fruitful co-operation with a Russian on board engineer and an American astronaut. So this mission is in the benefit of mankind and so the work on board of the future International Space Station will be.

    Forest fires:

    For us on Earth astronauts and cosmonauts regularly observe how badly mankind treats our blue planet. They often express their disturbance and alarm about what they see. These observations cannot be compared with findings via unmanned satellites. On 8.05.1998 Andrew Thomas asks his lead in TsUP Moscow to pass a report to the appropriate people in the United States about heavy fires all over Yucatan and Honduras. This peninsular area is so covered up by smoke that it is impossible to distinguish the coast lines and contours of the countries over there. He underlines that he never in his life had seen smoke with such an intensity and that it is amazing that the people over there are fully burning down their countries.

    Progress-M38:

    In preparation for the departure and decay of the Progress-M38 in the evening of 16.05.1998 the cosmonauts stow as much garbage and useless goods and equipment in this old freighter. In fact this freighter is not fully suited for that purpose due to the modification necessary for the delivery of the new VDU thruster. Tsup has sent a list with instructions for the stowage, but the cosmonauts want to add a lot more: bags with used underwear and rags, containers with human waste, empty oxygen balloons of spacesuits, they even still have to get rid of remnants from previous expeditions. The man at TsUP is not authorised to give permission to do that, for there are plans to do some manoeuvres with Progress-M38 after undocking and before decay. In fact the crew has to observe these manoeuvres visually. The cosmonauts say that this is always difficult, such slight movements of some degrees are difficult to observe and often the freighter quickly disappears over the horizon.

    Progress-M39:

    The launch from Baykonur is scheduled for 14.05.1998 at 2212 UTC. If all goes according to plan Progress-M39 has to dock at Mir on 16.05.1998 at about 2350 UTC, so approx. 6 minutes after our LOS (Loss of signal) behind the eastern horizon for both objects.

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


1998 May 14 - . 22:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-39 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 238. Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 167.08 days. Decay Date: 1998-10-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 25340 . COSPAR: 1998-031A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 360 km (220 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Summary: Docked with Mir at the Kvant port at 23:51 GMT on May 16 1998, bringing supplies and scientific experiments to the station. Undocked 09:28 GMT on August 12 1998 in order to clear the port for Soyuz TM-28. Deorbited over Pacific Ocean on October 29, 1998..

1998 May 17 - .
  • Mir News 422: Progress-M39 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. This launch took place from Baykonur on 14.05.1998 at 22.12.59 UTC (for Moscow already 15.05.1998). During the 3rd pass of Progress-M39 for our position it was clear that all went well. The Telemetry transmitters in the 166 and 165 mc bands could be monitored here between 0248 and 0251 UTC. During the 4th pass the signals in the 166 and 165 mc bands were very strong, those of the 922.755 mc beacon weaker than normal between 04.16.55 and 04.22.00 UTC. TCA (Time Closest Approach) was at 04.19.52 UTC. During flight day 2 the passes still took place during the night hours. I preferred to sleep that night. One of my English Kettering group friends monitored the Progress-M39 transmissions thus convincing us that the bird was still alive. In the course of Progress-M39-s flight day 1 the crew of Mir were involved in the following activities: 1st: Checking the TORU remote control system and performing some training with this system. 2nd: Observations of the departing Progress-M38.

    Progress-M38:

    This old freighter was separated from Mir-s aft docking port on 15.05.1998 at 1844 UTC. As of 1914 UTC TsUP executed some manoeuvres with the autonomously flying Progress-M38. The cosmonauts had to observe and film 4 impulses of the engines of Progress-M38. This happened during a window via Altair-2 and Musabayev reported his findings to a Georgiy at TsUP. In the beginning Progress-M38 flew in front of Mir with a gradually increasing distance. Now and then the cosmonauts lost sight of the freighter, but between 1944 and 1952 UTC a number of observations were possible. At 19.51.03 UTC, just before one of the impulses they again lost sight of Progress-M38. At the moment of the burn at 19.51.38 UTC Progress-M39 was exactly below Mir and the crew were able to see the fan-shaped flames coming out of the Progress-M38. Further plans foresaw in the despatching of Progress-M38 on a destruction course after the safe docking of Progress-M39 at the Mir-complex.

    Approach and docking of Progress-M39:

    On 16.05.98 at 23.50.34 UTC Progress-M39 docked at the aft (Kvant-1) docking port. Approach and docking took place in the automatic mode by the system Kurs. The communications via Altair-2 started at 2310 UTC. At that moment the distance was 4400 Meters, closing speed 12.8 M/sec. Only problem was that one of the displays did not work. Musabayev reported all movements, distances and closing rates. At 23.16.10 UTC the distance was 1980 Meters, closing rate 5.7 M/s. From that moment on M. started testing TORU. He reported the response of TORU on his commands and at 23.18.52 UTC he stated that the test had been accomplished and that the results were positive. At 23.22.30 UTC phone communications via Altair-2 stopped and a kind of test image emerged on my screen without any images of the station or ship. The phone channel parallel to the TV-channel was open, but not in use. At 2342 UTC the VHF downlink came in. M. was still reporting the data of the operation. Earlier he had said that he would continue reporting and recording this even if there should be an interruption of communications. The approach was still under the control of Kurs, but M. was ready to take over by TORU. He regularly stated: all is going well, no panic, no emergency, no instructions. The VHF window closed at 23.42.50 UTC at a distance of 148 Meters. At 23.46.45 UTC Phone was back via Altair-2, but the report of the 'kasaniye' (first contact) reached TsUP via VHF out of my range. Just before Altair-2 was switched off Musabayev reported that the recorder had been turned off. I waited for the next VHF window. Altair-2 communications were not resumed. During the window in orbit 69918 , 0114-0123 UTC, M. reported that all was well and that they continued the post docking operation according to schedule (cyclogram) and Board Documentation. Then I went to bed, I was too tired to wait longer and used my time switch for the passes still to come. During the pass in orb. 69919, 0247-0257 UTC M. reported that the air-seal checks did not give problems and that they already had opened the hatches to Progress-M39. There came a very strong airstream out of the freighter with the nice smell of apples. All was clean and the first object they had seen in the Progress-M39 was a huge guitar. No radio traffic during the following passes.

    Misunderstanding in MirNEWS.421:

    I mistakenly took the planned melting of an Optizon sample as something to do with one of the station's KOB loops. Please forget the sentence with this subject. My apologies for the caused confusion and thanks to those American friends who have put me back on the right track.

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


1998 May 31 - .
  • Mir News 423: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. After the docking of Progress-M39 at Mir the cosmonauts started the unloading of that freighter while Andy Thomas already started the packing of approx. 30 bags with things which will go to Earth with the Discovery. Andy also tried to accomplish some of his experiments. Passes for our position took place during the night hours. The crew also used the Altair-2 geostationary satellite for phone- and TV-communications in which interviews and private conversations, for instance Andy with his relatives and Musabayev with the Kazakh ambassador in Moscow. On 19.05.1998 Altair-2 was used for a so called tele-bridge between Mir and the communications centre Burum (in the Dutch province Fryslan) with pupils from a grammar school in the city of Groningen. Communications started long after the scheduled time, but the cosmonauts and the children very much enjoyed the happening. The crew continued medical, and other experiments. Andy had to undergo an extensive test of his cardio-vascular system in relation to his oncoming return into earth-gravity conditions. Musabayev took care for the proper connections of sensors and the right commands in co-ordination with a lady-specialist on earth. Now and then minor technical problems with the life-support systems and power supply (a malfunctioning accumulator in Module-D) emerged during radio-conversations. The crew solved all problems and nothing seemed to hamper the STS-91 mission so far. Regularly there were problems with the exchange of radiograms by Packet Radio and often the crew had to fall back on the old RTTY (radio-teletype system), even via Altair-2. Obviously not all Russian tracking stations can handle Packet Radio. Often the crew relies on the tracking facility Petropavlovsk Kamchatka for Packet Radio links.

    Now and then the crew speaks about the BDD (Betriebstechnik Deutschland Direkt). This system enables European scientists to execute experiments directly via Altair-2 without interference of the Russians. This is possible via the DLR tracking station Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich (Germany). Possibly the experiments with this system have been suspended or concluded. Sigmund Jaehn, the former DDR cosmonaut and now a DLR employee so far acted as co-ordinator of that system. During one of the sessions via Altair-2 Musabayev asked TsUP to forward a request to Houston. The guitar, which was delivered to Mir by Progress-M39 was a present for him from his fellow-countrymen. He would like to take the guitar back to earth, but that is impossible with the Soyuz-TM27. So he hopes to get late permission to send the guitar to earth with the Discovery. Whether he got this permission or not is not known yet. The room for cargo in Discovery this time is also very limited (single instead of a double Spacehab module).

    Failure of attitude control computer:

    After a very long time this problem again disturbed the Russians. On Saturday, 30.05.98, this computer failed, causing the well-known chain reaction, i.e. deterioration of the proper angles of sunlight on the solar panels, the reduction of power-supply, and so on. The crew had to use the attitude control possibilities of the Soyuz-TM27 to correct the station's attitude as efficient as possible to regain a part of the needed power-supply. This happened during my absence and when I came home late Saturday night I heard that something was wrong during a nightly pass. Regretfully I missed the previous passes for using my time-switch had been impossible: the meteo-office had predicted heavy thunderstorms. After all my precautions had been superfluous for the bad weather did not reach my position.

    On 31.05.1998 the crew replaced the attitude control computer and started tests.

    At deadline for this report I had no further information.

    Expected launch time Discovery for Mission STS-91: Still scheduled for 2.06.1998 at about 2210 UTC. At deadline for this report there was still 'go' for this launch. If so it is worthwhile for listeners in Western-Europe to listen between 2225 and 2235 UTC on the air traffic control frequency 259.700 mc (AM-wide). At this moment the shuttle does not have the possibility to use the TDRS and traffic with Houston is possible via a tracking station in Spain.

    Here some old news for the statistics:

    Progress-M38: This old freighter separated from Mir on 15.05.1998 at 1841 UTC. (So 3 minutes earlier than reported in MirNEWS.422). The original plan to maintain Progress-M38 in orbit until the safe docking of Progress-M39 had been abandoned. Progress-M38 entered the dense layers of the atmosphere on 16.05.98 at 2220 UTC and decayed over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand.

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


1998 June 2 - . 22:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-91.
  • STS-91 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Precourt; Gorie; Lawrence; Chang-Diaz; Kavandi; Ryumin. Payload: Discovery F24 / Spacehab. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Precourt; Gorie; Lawrence; Chang-Diaz; Kavandi; Ryumin. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-91; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 9.83 days. Decay Date: 1998-06-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 25356 . COSPAR: 1998-034A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. The final shuttle-Mir mission, STS-91 recovered NASA astronaut Andy Thomas from the Mir station and took Russian space chief and ex-cosmonaut Valeri Ryumin to Mir for an inspection tour of the ageing station. This was the first test of the super lightweight Aluminium-Lithium alloy external tank, designed to increase shuttle payload to the Mir / International Space Station orbit by 4,000 kg. At 22:15 GMT Discovery entered an initial 74 x 324 km x 51.6 deg orbit, with the OMS-2 burn three quarters of an hour later circulising the chase orbit. Discovery docked with the SO module on Mir at 17:00 GMT on June 4. NASA equipment was retrieved from the station, and Discovery undocked at 16:01 GMT on June 8, and landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 18:00 GMT on June 12.
  • Spacehab - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1998-06-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 25356 . COSPAR: 1998-034xx. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min.
  • External Airlock/ODS - . Payload: EAL/ODS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Decay Date: 1998-06-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 25356 . COSPAR: 1998-034xx. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min.
  • Spacehab - . Payload: Spacehab FU1. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft: Spacehab. COSPAR: 1998-034xx.
  • Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer - . Payload: AMS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. COSPAR: 1998-034xx.

1998 June 3 - .
  • Mir News 425: Communications - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-91; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Just a few minutes after logging in and sending away my MirNEWS.424 my spectrometer showed the well-known 'peak' on 10.830GHz indicating that Altair-2 was in use for Mir-TsUP communications. For me the final confirmation that Mir's gyrodynes were maintaining the station's orientation. So Altair-2 can be used during the approach of Discovery, the combined operations and during the separation and fly around on 8.06.1998. Possibly the Altair-2 is the only way for the transmission of TV-images during the STS-91 mission for Discovery has problems with the transmission of images due to a failure of the Ku-band antenna. This antenna is not able to transmit data and reports, but has no receiving problems.

    The crew of Discovery uses the S-band possibilities for phone- and other communications. It might be possible that, as soon as this message reaches the users the Ku-band problem in Discovery has been solved, but if this is not the case let us hope that the Russians will extend the use of Altair-2 for communications.

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


1998 June 3 - .
  • Mir News 424: STS-91; Discovery. Start 2.06.1998 2206 UTC. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-91; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Planned docking time at Mir: 4.06.1998 at 1659 UTC. (For Western Europe): During the final stage of the approach of Discovery to Mir both objects will be in our range during Mir's orbit 70210, 1649-1657 UTC. Then radio traffic might be possible on the following channels: 143.625 mc (Mir-TsUP Moscow), 130.165 mc (Mir-Discovery) and 121.750 mc (not likely). Traffic from Mir via Altair-2 with TV-images of the approaching Shuttle are also possible during that orbit between 1613 and 1707 UTC if this satellite will be used for that purpose. And there is a chance that images from the Shuttle of the Mir complex via a TDRS and relayed by CNN reach us if the editors do not attach a higher priority to other subjects.

    Attitude control problems solved:

    During the period in which the Mir crew was solving these problems the attitude control was done by small thrusters of the Mir complex itself and Soyuz-TM27. The replacement of the attitude control computer by a new or by an old spare one did not help. TsUP transmitted to Mir the needed software. After loading this into the computer the word 'error' appeared on the screen. After the replacement of the Omega star tracker in the Kristall module or switching over to a reserve one the attitude control was activated again and worked well.

    In the morning of 2.06.1998 the Russians successfully concluded the necessary tests and they started to activate the 11 gyrodynes. In the course of 2.06.1998 all gyrodynes spun at their maximum speed thus securing the accurate attitude control badly needed for the approach and docking of Discovery on 4.06.1998. Moreover Russian experts had stated that approach and docking also were possible when the attitude control was done by thrusters, but thus far this had not been necessary during previous Shuttle operations and consequently this has never been tried out.

    During the period in which the crew was repairing and testing the attitude control systems radio traffic could be monitored far into the night. During these communications Musabayev got commands from TsUP and loaded these into the systems Svet and Simvol.

    Altair-2:

    A considerable time there were no communications via this geostationary satellite. This is quite normal in periods in which the attitude cannot be maintained by the gyrodynes.

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


1998 June 5 - .
  • Mir News 426: Discovery docked at Mir on 4.06.1998 at 1658 UTC. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-91; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. P>Communications during the final stage of the approach and the docking itself went via Altair-2. The traffic started at 1628 UTC with phone between Mir and TsUP. The TV-transmissions started at 1633 UTC. Discovery could be seen through a camera on board Mir, but it was difficult to determine the progress of the approach. The image of the shuttle was partly covered by one of Mir's solar panels. The 2 portholes of Discovery's flight deck could be seen. The Ku-band antenna of Discovery was still out of order, so CNN could only give us the images which came from Mir. The VHF window was open between 1649 and 1657 UTC. The transmitters were switched on, but not in use for phone.

    During the pass in the next orbit (70211, 1823-1835 UTC) the airseal checks had been done. Communications went via 143.625 as well as 130.165 mc. Musabayev was sitting near the hatch to Discovery and he and Budarin tried to establish a TV-link with TsUP. Altair-2 was not active and from the commands (for instance Anna-86) could be derived that the TV-link went via a UHF-channel and a tracking station in Russia. It lasted a long time before the TV-link was ready and TsUP received images. At 1828 UTC the hatches were open and Musabayev and Precourt could meet each other. Andy Thomas tried to meet his Discovery colleagues as soon as possible and Musabayev warned him to be careful. Just before LOS a lot of enthusiasm and laughter could be heard. During the pass in orb. 70212/213, 1959-2010 UTC, there was only Telemetry and Packet. Phone and images could be monitored via Altair-2 during the next pass (70214, 2113 UTC). Both crews were having diner together. Musabayev had said that he and his crew did not eat for 15 hours. The Discovery crew did not have a meal for 12 hours.

    Radio-amateur traffic:

    R0Mir transmitted the following CQ Packet Radio message:

    QUOTE

    I AM ABUT TO END MY TIME ON Mir AND I WANT TO THANK ALL THE HAM OPERATORS AROUND THE WORLD WHO HAVE SENT MESSAGES. I HOPE IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE VOLUME OF TRAFFIC HAS MADE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSES IMPOSSIBLE BUT WE REALLY ENJOY YOUR MAIL. VOICE HAS BEEN VERY DIFFICULT PARTICULARLY OVER THE US AND EUROPE. TOO MANY TALKING AT ONCE. IN THE SHORT TIME I HAVE LEFT I WILL TRY TO DO VOICE, BUT ASK THAT REPEAT CALLERS STAY OFF THE AIR SO THAT I CAN GIVE NEW CALLERS A CHANCE FOR A CONTACT.

    BEST WISHES TO ALL OF YOU. ANDY THOMAS

    UNQUOTE

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


1998 June 9 - .
  • Mir News 427: Communications - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: STS-91; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. The crew of Discovery was not able to restore the transmissions of TV images via the Ku-band. Nevertheless the Russians did not increase the use of their geostationary satellite. An American press release characterised the Russian Altair-2 system as a Spartan system. Unfortunately the Russians did not seize the opportunity to show the possibilities of that Spartan system by putting this system at the disposal of the STS-91 mission for public relation purposes, i.e. TV-live events, also from the Shuttle itself. Possibly there also have been problems with that system for on 6.06.1998 something was wrong with a TV-link between TsUP and a tracking station. During a press-conference only voice communications were possible.

    The TV-reports from Mir of which only a few reached us via CNN were relayed by tracking stations inside Russia via UHF-channels. This could be derived from the use of the command code Anna-86 during VHF communications. These video links lasted shorter than those via Altair-2 and the quality was not so good and sometimes only black and white images were possible. From the Russian segment of the combination Discovery-Mir the Russians communicated with TsUP via their own VHF-channels. Discovery used for voice communications with Houston the S-band channel via the TDRS-es. During one of the communication windows on 5.06.98 Musabayev tried to get in contact with TsUP for a long time. He asked Charlie Precourt to warn TsUP Moscow via one of the American channels and this helped. The last months the Mir-crew regularly called TsUP in vain for long periods, even via Altair-2. Deteriorated motivation of the Capcoms at TsUP?

    Andy Thomas:

    On 5.06.98, so 1 day after the docking of Discovery, Andy settled himself into the Shuttle and became a member of STS-91's crew. He regularly showed up inside the contours of the Mir-complex, but did no longer communicate from there with TsUP Moscow. Valeriy Viktorovich Ryumin: This leading designer of RKK Energiya and former Salyut-6 cosmonaut needed only a few days extra to bring his spaceflight record up to 365 days, so a full year. On 5.06.1998 he passed this limit and both crews celebrated this jubilee on board Mir. Musabayev offered for this opportunity guitar music. All styles were possible: Beatles, Russian- or Kazakh folk songs, even that of Vysotskiy. For Ryumin as a high-ranking official of RKK Energiya it was an excellent opportunity to execute an extensive inspection of Mir's systems.

    Musabayev and Budarin were very pleased that this earthling could see by his own eyes the situation about which cosmonauts so often complained. He was displeased about the enormous mess within the station. In his opinion the abundance of useful, but also of superfluous and useless things, makes the work for cosmonauts, in particular new ones, extremely difficult. Behind a panel he found a lot of rubbish and he asked TsUP permission to get rid of that. Among this rubbish were some cables and TsUP did not give him this permission. He grumbled a little bit, but did not press the matter for he himself had ordered that cosmonauts always have to stick to decisions from flight control. During conversations with TsUP about technical matters Musabayev sometimes referred to Ryumin. For instance about the problems they had with the installation of camera's to document the departure of the Discovery. The brackets near certain portholes to fix these camera's did not fit. Ryumin said that the man at TsUP had to write this down in his report in red capital letters.

    I have been listening to the voices of cosmonauts for some decades and it was a real sensation to hear this old stager again via my headphones. It felt as if a time machine had put me back 20 years.

    Module Spektr:

    Almost for a year the experts are struggling along with the 1000 dollar question how to locate the leakage in the hull of the Spektr module. Previous attempts to find these leakage by pumping fluorescent gasses through Spektr were unsuccessful. Mission STS-91 gave the last opportunity to try this again. The first test was executed on 6.06.1998 during the VHF-pass in orbit 70242, between 1756 and 1807 UTC. Budarin opened the valve of Spektr's hatch and inflated the fluorescent gasses into the module. Musabayev gave a count down so that everybody on board of Discovery could be alert with camera's and at portholes. During the test Budarin reported the pressures inside Spektr. These values were relatively low, not more than 55 MM mercury. Precourt reported that nothing could be seen with the naked eye. The test was repeated after the undocking of Discovery on 8.06.98. At 1124 UTC Discovery was station keeping right in front of the Mir-station while Musabayev and Budarin repeated the procedure and again Precourt reported that they did not see anything.

    Let us hope that analyses on earth of the video recordings and photographs will help.

    Departure of Discovery:

    During the undocking communications went via VHF-channels. This took place during the pass in orbit 70272 (1554-1602 UTC). After some camera problems the images were transmitted via tracking stations in Russia. Altair-2 was not active. During the following orbit (70273) Altair-2 was active and images could be seen of the autonomously flying Discovery. The crew also transmitted video recordings of the farewell party just before the closing of the hatches to Discovery. Altair-2 stopped transmitting at 17.23.40 UTC, so just before the separation burn of Discovery, which took place at 1724 UTC. From 1732 UTC Mir communicated via the VHF channels in the 143 and 130 mc bands.

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


1998 June 12 - .
1998 June 18 - .
  • Mir News 428: Mir routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-25. It could be expected that the departure of Andy Thomas marking the end of Phase-1, would be the beginning of a rather dull period on board Mir. Already on 10.06 it became clear that this was not so. The crew had to relax from the strenuous work during the visit of Discovery, but the past week was far from dull. Now and then Altair-2 was in use for representative and operational matters. On 10.06 they had a tele-bridge with the new capital of Kazakhstan, Akmola, and Musabayev spoke with his president Nazarbayev and some of his countrymen. The session was dedicated to the inauguration of that new capital, which took place that day. On behalf of himself, but also of Budarin and the departed Andrew Thomas, Musabayev congratulated his president with the new capital and he expressed his admiration regarding the energetic way in which the city was built. It proved the enormous vitality of his country. He merely spoke in the Kazak language, but added a short translation in Russian.

    His friends in Kazakhstan asked questions about the guitar, which they had sent to Musabayev recently. M. told that he had sent the guitar back to earth with the Discovery because there would be no other possibilities to do that. Even if it would be possible to stow the guitar in their Soyuz-TM, they would not get permission to do that. A chief physician, Goncharov, took the guitar with him to Russia and it will be delivered at Musabayev's house. The guitar has played an important role during some parties by the Shuttle- and Mir crews. They played different styles of music and songs together.

    Exercise Pilot:

    A few days later the cosmonauts heard that they had to execute a training for the redocking of their ship Soyuz-TM27. They were upset for they did not know anything about a redocking in this period. Later it was made clear that this training was just an exercise like link-training for pilots. M. and B. had to do this training with a computer program delivered to Mir recently. They executed the training on 18.06.

    On 17.06 the Mir crew sent a message to a medical conference in Moscow. They wished the delegates success and showed a medical experiment by television. Somewhat later they wished the city of Korolyov good luck with her 50-th anniversary.

    Serious problem with one of the Elektrons: This problem emerged on 17.06 after a modification of the Elektron (oxygen generator) in Kvant-1 (Module-E). This modification, involving a replacement of parts of the hydrogen gas analyser, was followed by some experiments. During these experiments all went wrong. Due to a malfunctioning circuitry no oxygen, but hydrogen was injected into Mir's atmosphere. This hydrogen, in fact in very small concentrations, came in Mir's atmosphere together with a dirty smelling gas. Possibly the oxygen left the complex into open space.

    The cosmonauts were displeased. During EVA's they had reported that the valve at the outer surface of Kvant-1 was in a bad shape. In their opinion it would have been better to leave the Elektron as it was, because before the modification they had no problems. The Elektron was switched off and filters purified the air from noxious mixtures. On 18.06 the problem seemed to have been solved.

    Experiments:

    During a long communication session via Altair-2 on 18.06 the cosmonauts said that they were glad with the good news they got. (Possibly the fact that the exploitation of Mir will be prolonged, after a period of confusion and different statements on this subject.)

    Musabayev extensively spoke about the experiments which they could do. He emphasised the contribution of Kazak scientists in this field. On 19 and 20.06.98 they will use the Gallar furnace for the Kazak experiment Temir (production of alloys). He also referred to experiments named Maksat. He told that they had done the experiment Daterkhan together with Andy Thomas. They wrote a report in which they dedicated the highest rating (5) to the Kazak scientists.

    Planned orbit change cancelled:

    The planned orbit change to lower Mir's altitude a little bit on 18.06.98 was cancelled for economical reasons. Due to insufficient funding the launch of the next freighter (Progress-M39) has been put back to September this year. The fuel of Progress-M38 is needed for eventual attitude corrections of the Mir-complex. Because of the same budget problems also the launch of Soyuz-TM28 planned for 2.08 is uncertain.

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


1998 June 28 - .
  • Mir News 429: Uncertainty - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-25. For the time being the fate of Mir is uncertain. The cosmonauts on board Mir hoped to get information about the results of meetings on earth about the exploitation of Mir for the very near future. A meeting about this subject planned for last week has been put back until 2.07.1998. At this meeting a commission or group of experts will discuss the serious problems due to the lack of money for the present Mir exploitation and future operations. RKK Energiya did not receive the promised money badly needed this year and if this allotment will not be transferred soon, there are no means for the launch of Soyuz-TM28 with the relief crew for the present expedition. Possibly the meeting on 2.07.1998 will draft an ultimatum to the Kremlin: if the Kremlin fails to transfer the needed amount, another meeting will take place in mid July to discuss the termination of Mir's exploitation and to plan the operation to bring the station back into the atmosphere for decay later this year.

    The present uncertainty phase is unpleasant for the cosmonauts. On 19.06.98 Musabayev spoke with Baturin, who is still training for his flight to Mir with Soyuz-TM28, together with the crew for the next (26th) Mir Main Expedition. Musabayev wished Baturin a good flight and said that he hoped to meet him soon on board Mir. Baturin, a former spaceflight constructor and an advisor of Yeltsin, was selected for a flight to Mir for political reasons, but regretfully Yeltsin sacked him due to measures of economy.

    Apart from asking questions about the developments the cosmonauts do not say much about the present situation, but it is clear that their mood is far below the desired level. This could repeatedly be derived from conversations between the crew and TsUP. Especially Musabayev, a man with a stable character and in fact a humorist who likes to laugh a lot, regularly looses his temper.

    Mir-routine:

    Nevertheless Musabayev and Budarin continue to run the station as good as possible. They performed a number of repairs and were busy with a series of experiments. Last week they spent a lot of time to mend the defective Elektron oxygen generator in Kvant-1 for which they used parts of the Elektron in Module-D. A few times they did not succeed, but on 25.06 the Elektron worked well for 6 hours. On 26.06 the crew replaced a part of the Antares transmitter (for communications via Altair-2) and obviously they succeeded, for on 28.06 the transmitter was in use for a televised family meeting. Later on Musabayev reported that he had replaced the transmitter.

    Experiments:

    In co-ordination with American experts the cosmonauts continued the use of the Optizon furnace for melting processes. The Gallar furnace was also used. There were a lot of medical experiments, especially aimed at the cardio-vascular systems, Regularly they reported about experiments like Cardio, Holter and (the Dutch) Portapress.

    They also worked on astrophysical experiments. The crew reactivated the spectrometer Mariya in Kvant-1 to study electromagnetic processes in the upper layers of the earth's atmosphere. They also carried out radiation measurements outside the complex along Mir's trajectory. Experiments located in the Priroda module were also discussed, i.e. MOMS, Ozon and Alisa.

    Planning:

    The last report about the launch of the Soyuz-TM28 with the relief crew Padalka and Avdeyev, and the politician Baturin, was about putting back this mission with 1 day for ballistic reasons. The launch is now scheduled for 3.08.1998 and the rendezvous with Mir for 5.08.98. To free the aft (+X axis) docking port of Mir the Progress-M39 has to undock from there on 4.08 for an autonomous flight. After the departure of Soyuz-TM27 the new transport ship Soyuz-TM28 has to be redocked to the forward (-X-axis) port. From that moment on the aft docking port is free for the redocking of the Progress-M38. This cargo ship has to remain docked to Mir, for the next one, Progress-M40, will not arrive before September 1998.

    This all with due reserve, for important decisions regarding Mir's immediate fate have to be made. If Padalka, Avdeyev and Baturin will fly, their call will be Altair.

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


1998 July 7 - .
  • Mir News 430: Operations - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-25. For a while Russian manned spaceflight can remain on firm ground. The Russian government somehow and somewhere found financial means to continue the exploitation of Mir until July 1999. A few days ago the launch of the Soyuz-TM28 with the crew for Mir'S ME 26 and the politician Baturin was still in jeopardy. A part of the promised money has to be used for the launch of 4 or 5 Progress-M freighters for the operations and to achieve a 'safe' decay of Mir in the second half of 1999 and 3 Soyuz-TM ships for the next expeditions including the visit of a French spationaut and a Slovak cosmonaut. If the Frenchman and the Slovak will go together, only 2 Soyuz-TM ships are needed. If so the Board engineer of ME 26, Avdeyev will have to stay on board and continue as a member of the ME 27 crew. This was done before: in 1991 and 1992 when Krikalyov came as a member of ME 9 and stayed during ME 10 which was necessary due to the combined Austrian and Kazak flight (Viebock and Aubakirov).

    Soyuz-TM28:

    At deadline of this report the launch date of Soyuz-TM28 with the relief crew and the Baturin was not sure. On 6.07.98 there was word that Soyuz-TM28's start might take place on 11.08.1998, but on day later 13.08.98 emerged as an option. Further delays have to be avoided for the guarantee period for Soyuz-TM27, the return ship for the present crew expires by 25.08.1998.

    Mir-routine:

    Musabayev and Budarin continued to execute experiments with the furnaces Gallar, Optizon and even Kristall. They also worked on experiments installed in the Priroda, for instance Alisa and did a lot of medical experiments among which studies their cardiovascular system. Musabayev regularly states that he does not agree with the planning for their activities. In his opinion it is impossible to use the time-lines (cyclograms) drafted by experts on earth for the work in Mir. Sometimes there are overlapping periods and then there is no time to begin another experiment or task.

    He also often criticises unclear radiograms which often contain contradictory instructions or advice. He often repeats his opinion that the experts on earth do not listen to the complaints of the crew. When he reports that he is not pleased, he often adds: This is an official report of the commander. More than once he asked TsUP if Ryumin has already visited them or not. Ryumin promised the crew that he would pass his negative findings during his inspection of the complex to the flight controllers. Obviously Ryumin did not redeem his promise thus far. Ryumin, who flew twice on board of space station Salyut-6 had no idea whatsoever how difficult life and work on board of Mir would be.

    On 7.07.1998 the crew got orders to do something which they did not expect at all. They had to check and prepare the spacesuits, which have to be used by the crew of the 26th ME to Mir during one or more EVA's (spacewalks). Musabayev asked TsUP why they are so solicitous about the next crew. They did not show that before Musabayev and Budarin arrived in Mir. Solovyov and Vinogradov did not have to do anything with the spacesuits which had to be used by M. and B. M. also states that a crew has to take care off their own spacesuits, furthermore they did get training for those activities.

    This extra work also means an overload on their schedule. But he concluded with the promise that they reluctantly would perform this task. In the early morning hours of 7.07.1998 (0047, 0218 and 0250 UTC) there were a smoke alarms. There was no fire or smoke at all and the crew said that the smoke sensors had to be replaced. To their astonishment they found out that during the long exploitation of Mir in fact a period of twelve and a half year these devices never had been replaced. So again an extra urgent task: the replacement of the smoke sensors. I want to make it clear that Musabayev is not a surly fellow. He is an optimist, has a good sense for humour and likes to laugh a lot. He can be very upset for which he has a good reason, and somewhat later he fully cheers up and makes jokes. He does speak freely and does not fear authorities. I am sure that he is a top class cosmonaut and I hope that he will make many flights in the framework of the International Space Station. That is what he deserves.

    BKV-3:

    This air conditioner often shows caprices after it has been switched on. After 5 or 7 minutes there sounds an alarm signal about the inside pressure. If the cosmonauts try again and this alarm does not show up after this period, it continues to work well.

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


1998 July 24 - .
  • Mir News 431: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-25. Indefatigably the 2 cosmonauts on board Mir continued the exploitation of this immense laboratory. Contradictory to the last months it seemed as if the cosmonauts could reduce their attention to repairs and replacement of systems, which enabled them to spend more time and energy to their main task: the preparation and execution of all kinds of scientific experiments. In the west, especially in the U.S.A., media attention for that what is going on aboard Mir is rather poor after the departure of the last American astronaut. Long series of radiograms, reaching the cosmonauts by the Packet Radio system (originally used by radio-amateurs and which cannot be praised enough) contain enough instructions for experiments to keep them busy day in and day out. Regularly the crew speaks about experiments in the furnaces Optizon, Gallar and Kristall, of which those performed in the Optizon furnace take place in co-ordination with American experts. Other experiments which pass the review are Dakon, MAD, Temir, Phantom, Optovert, Maksat and Laser sensing with Alisa.

    Communications:

    For Western Europe the Mir-complex merely comes in range during the night hours and so there is not much traffic via the VHF-channels. During the working day Mir-TsUP communications take place during one window. In the period from 10 to 17.07.98 Altair-2 was in use for other purposes. On 16 and 17.07.98 the 10 GHz channel was in use for the relay of audio and TV transmissions of the ceremonies for the burial of Czar Nikolay-II and his family. Just before the conclusion of the ceremonies, as soon as the first salute of guns was fired the relay of Altair-2 stopped and this satellite could be used for Mir-TsUP traffic again. On 22.07.98 during a communications session via Altair-2 the cosmonauts called someone with the call sign Agata. They spoke about the BDD-2 (Betriebstechnik Deutschland Direkt), so they used the same system which was operational during the ESA-expedition to Mir (Euromir-95). The crew had received 2 diskettes with a program to activate a computer for BDD experiments. They exchanged data of the experiment Dakon. The communications took place via a station in Russia and not via Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany as was the case during Euromir-95.

    Technical failures:

    The a.c. BKV-3 still shows hiccups just after switching on. An alarm signal points out that something is wrong with the pressure. After switching off and on a few times, the BKV-3 worked well. On 19.07.98 there was again smoke alarm. There was no smoke at all and in this case the smoke sensor was to blame. The malfunction of one of the gyrodynes was also mentioned and one of the solar panels of the Spektr module does not produce enough energy due to the malfunction of the driver which has to change the angle of that panel. (To eliminate this problem the crew of the next expedition has to execute an internal spacewalk -IVA- inside Spektr). The life support systems are performing well in this period, possibly due to the fact that they have to serve only 2 men. The crew keeps a sharp eye on the CO-2 values, especially during and after physical exercises.

    Plans for the near future:

    In fact the uncertainty phase still continues. Russian spaceflight organisations are still waiting for the promised funding needed to continue Mir operations until June 1999. The Russians expect that the money will be remitted in due time. And there was another development: the Russian Menatep bank promised to sponsor the last Mir-Mohicans, i.e. Mir's ME 27 from February to June 1999.

    Almost certain is:

    that Soyuz-TM28 with Padalka, Avdeyev and Baturin will be launched on 13.08.1998 and dock with Mir on 15.08.1998, that the freighter Progress-M39 will separate from Mir on 14.08.1998 for an autonomous flight until the departure of the relieved crew and Baturin with the Soyuz-TM27 on 25 or 26.08.1998 and that the launch of the next freighter Progress-M40 will take place not before 15.10.1998. Znamya-2: Several Television programs used the Itar-Tass publication about the execution of the experiment Znamya-2 in November this year to enlighten the dull season program with an interesting item. A Progress-M freighter should deploy a circular reflection sail for the spectacular illumination of a number of cities on earth.

    That this operation might be possible in November is doubtful for after an experiment like this, the freighter has to decay in the earth's atmosphere and cannot return to the Mir-complex to redock to the aft (Kvant-1) docking port. Because of the necessary thermal protection of that port and the Kvant-1 itself, a Progress-M ship has to be docked there until the next Progress-M ship. The period until the docking of the Progress-M41 (not before March 1999) would be pretty long. (And there is also the question if the Progress-M can be redocked after the experiment.)

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


1998 August 4 - .
  • Mir News 432: Mir-routine - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EO-25. Gradually the direct passes of the Mir-complex for Western Europe shift to the evening hours and so the radio traffic via the VHF-channels is increasing. For our information position's; convenient due to the scarce use of the geostationary Altair-2.

    The crew continues the experimental program including medical, bio-chemical and environmental experiments. They spoke about the experiment MAD (acoustic situation in different modules), the development of newts in zero gravity and visual observations of silver coloured clouds in the higher layers of the earth's atmosphere. Regularly the cosmonauts undergo medical tests, mainly the cardio- vascular system, the body mass and shin volume.

    Failures:

    One gyrodyne in Kvant-2 got a new interface, but was not yet included in the gyrodyne system of the complex. The power supply is still too low due to the bad sun angles of a couple of solar panels on the Spektr module. The Russians hope to solve this problem during an IVA (Internal Spacewalk) inside Spektr by the next crew. Due to the power restraints the test of a new installed moisture absorption system was postponed.

    Soyuz-TM28:

    This ship with on board the crew for the next (26th) Main Expedition to Mir and a politician, will be launched from Baykonur on 13.08.1998 at 0950 UTC. If all goes well Soyuz-TM28 is supposed to dock at the aft docking port of Mir on 15.08.1998 at 1059 UTC. For my region this will be approx. 9 minutes after LOS (Loss of Signal).

    The crew consists of Padalka (commander, 1st flight), Avdeyev (on board engineer, 3rd flight) and Baturin (1st flight, a former RKK Energiya constructor, who is making this flight for political reasons). Their call sign is Altair, so resp. Altair 1, 2 and 3.

    The stand-in crew consists of Zalyotin (cdr, rookie), Kaleri (on board engineer, flew twice) and Kotov (cosmonaut-researcher, physician, rookie).

    Speculations and rumours about the Mir crew for the 27th and Final Main Expedition:

    This expedition, the last one on board Mir, will be performed between 22 February and 1 June 1999. Rumours that the French spacionaut Haignere and Avdeyev will remain on board in that period are getting stronger. Afanasyev, bound for a flight to Mir as commander of Soyuz-TM29 together with Haignere and the Slovak Bella, should return with Soyuz-TM28 after a short stay in Mir together with Padalka and Bella. The return of Afanasyev so soon is said to have been motivated by economical reasons. If so it is a very illogical decision: does he eat so much? In my opinion the presence of a skilled commander, which Afanasyev undoubtedly is, is essential for Mir as well for the Soyuz-TM in such a crucial phase of Mir's existence. In the past, Mir survived periods in which 3 or more crew members were on board, so did the Russian treasury. My experience as a Mir-observer learned me that in really critical situations it has been the commander who acted and solved the problems. (Malenchenko -saved a Progress-M by TORU-, Viktorenko during power failure Euromir94, Korzun during the fire in Febr. 1997, Tsibliyev during the collision in June 1997, Solovyov, Anatoliy, - repair EVA's-).

    During a communication session via Altair-2 on 4.08.1998 Musabayev congratulated Afanasyev with his appointment as Commander of the Cosmonaut Detachment. Musabayev also asked Afanasyev about something which had disappointed Afanasyev. This can be an indication that the rumours about Afanasyev's return in early March 22 1999 are right, but it is premature to see this as a confirmation. During this conversation the fact that Afanasyev has to accompany 2 researchers (Haignere and Bella) to Mir was confirmed.

    The summer of 1999 is less than a year away.....

    Soon the deadline to stop pushing forward the problem of the safe decay of the Mir-complex is there. I do not understand that nobody seems to realise that the operation to achieve this is an enormous task, almost reaching the grade of a mission impossible.

    This task is to direct this huge almost asymmetrical porcupine like object into the atmosphere and to do that smoothly, based on faultless ballistic, aerodynamic and mechanical calculations. And to do that in such a way that remnants of the station will exactly fall down over the designated area in the Pacific (East of New Zealand or to the East of Siberia).

    Many of the original constructors and technicians of those parts now forming the Mir-complex are no longer among us or have retired. During their working life they were so dominated by building and exploring space stations that they forgot to anticipate the inevitable decay problem of their objects in the future. If they had done this, they would have extended their work with systems just aimed at the safe decay of the core modules (of Mir and the Salyuts) and the 5 modules now docked at Mir.

    The base block and the modules were well equipped to execute approach and docking manoeuvres, but that was it. The only reserve available was the possibility to repeat a docking operation after an eventual first docking failure. This happened twice: Kvant-2 on 2.12.1989 and Kristall on 6.06.1990. Theoretically Kvant-2 and Priroda might be able to execute deorbit manoeuvres, but their warrantee period has been expired a long time ago. The Spektr is damaged and so unreliable. Kvant-1 (Module-E) was brought to Mir by a tug, its remnants came down in the bush-bush of Cameroun. Kristall cannot manoeuvre independently after its extension with a (US/Russian) Docking Compartment.

    So bringing down the station in pieces is no option.

    It is difficult to imagine the volume and shape of the Mir space complex. To make this somewhat easier, I always advise people to go to a railway museum and visit the site with the biggest locomotives and imagine that 5 of them are linked together in the shape of the Mir complex plus some additional 'tenders', for the 7 tons Progress-M and the Docking Compartment (about 4.5 tons) are also there on decay day (another D-day!). Apart from this asymmetrical shape all kinds of protruding things (antennae, sensors, Strela cranes, masts, the VDU, external thruster, solar panels, containers for external experiments, the big reflector on Priroda, etc.) will play a role during re-entry.

    The complex has to descend to an altitude at approx. 150 KM to reach the point where the final impulse has to be given to achieve a maximum burn up and from there a trajectory to bring the unburned remnants to the right position over the so called designated area. The lower the complex the higher the resistance of the gas particles of the atmosphere. These particles hit the station with a speed of 8 KM/sec. The collisions of those particles with different parts of the station vary in intensity, so slowing down is not equal for those different parts and the resultant of these forces will change the angle of incidence. Under the circumstances of the complex in this phase, correction of that angle of incidence (by gyroscopes or thrusters for instance) is no longer possible.

    So all human beings on earth especially those between 52 degrees North Latitude and 52 degrees South Latitude will just have to wait and see.

    I might be wrong, but give me the freedom to believe that it is impossible to apply aerodynamic, ballistic and mechanical laws and formulae to make the right calculations for matters as: the angle under which (for instance in relation to the centre of gravity) the complex must fly during the final impulse, how strong this impulse must be, are telecommands still possible, how can the attitude of the complex be controlled before that impulse and what will happen when there emerge a number of imponderabilia not foreseen by ballistic experts, a.s.o.

    Thus far I only heard optimistic opinions about that what is going to happen. High Russian officials emphasised that the Mir complex will decay without problems. In fact they mean to say: don't worry and sleep well!

    Just before the German invasion in the Netherlands our Premier-Minister also said: Don't worry, sleep well! But I cruelly woke up when during that good sleep the bridges across the rivers in my neighbourhood blown up!

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


1998 August 13 - .
  • Mir News 433: Launch of Soyuz-TM28 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EP-4; Mir EO-26; Mir EO-25; Mir EO-26/-27. The transport ship Soyuz-TM28 with on board the crew for the 26th Main Expedition to Mir was launched from Baykonur on 13.08.1998 at 09.43.11 UTC. The crew consists of Padalka and Avdeyev. Also on board is the politician Baturin who will make a spaceflight of 12 days. Their call sign is Altair 1, 2 and 3.

    The docking at the aft docking port (+X-axis) of the Mir complex is scheduled for 15.08.1998 at 1037 UTC.

    Progress-M39:

    To free the docking port for the arrival of Soyuz-TM28 the freighter Progress-M39 separated from Mir on 12.08.1998 at 09.28.55 UTC. The autonomous flight of Progress-M39 will last until 29.08.1998 when Progress-M39 has to redock to the then again available docking port.

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


1998 August 13 - . 09:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz TM-28 - . Call Sign: Altair. Crew: Padalka; Avdeyev; Baturin. Backup Crew: Zalyotin; Kaleri. Payload: Soyuz TM 11F732 s/n 77. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Padalka; Avdeyev; Baturin; Zalyotin; Kaleri. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mir EP-4; Mir EO-26; Mir EO-25; Mir EO-26/-27. Spacecraft: Soyuz TM. Duration: 198.69 days. Decay Date: 1999-02-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 25429 . COSPAR: 1998-047A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 363 km (225 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Soyuz TM-28 docked at 10:56 GMT on August 15 with the rear (Kvant) port of the Mir space station, which had been vacated at 09:28 GMT on August 12 by Progress M-39. The EO-25 crew, Musabayev and Budarin, landed with Baturin on Aug 25, leaving the EO-26 crew of Padalka and Avdeyev on the station. As only one final Soyuz mission to Mir was planned, with two of the seats on that Soyuz pre-sold to Slovak and French experimenters, the return crew of Soyuz TM-28 was subject to constant replanning and revision. On February 8, 1999, at 11:23 GMT Padalka and Avdeyev undocked from Mir's -X port in Soyuz TM-28, and redocked at the +X Kvant port at 11:39 GMT, freeing up the front port for the Soyuz TM-29 docking. Finally on February 27, 1999 EO-26 commander Padalka and Slovak cosmonaut Bella undocked Soyuz TM-28 from the Kvant rear docking port at 22:52 GMT, landing in Kazakhstan on February 28 at 02:14 GMT. Avdeyev remained on Mir with the EO-27 crew delivered on Soyuz TM-29, heading for a manned space flight time record.

1998 August 16 - .
  • Mir News 434: Successful docking Soyuz-TM28 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EP-4; Mir EO-26; Mir EO-25; Mir EO-26/-27. This transport ship docked at Mir's aft (+X-axis) docking port on 15.08.1998 at 10.56.52 UTC. The intention was to perform approach and docking in the automatic mode with the system Kurs, but at the distance of about 20 M, when the approach speed was almost 0 M/sec. , TsUP seemed to be unsure about the good functioning of the Kurs system and ordered Padalka to take over the approach manually. From the distance of 12 M Padalka flawlessly steered his ship to the docking port and accomplished a perfect docking. Well done for a cosmonaut who makes his first spaceflight. He certainly deserves the so called 'manual docking bonus'.

    During the pass in the next orbit (71335, 1218-1229 UTC) the crew prepared the TV-report of the opening of the hatches and the meeting of the 2 crews. It could be derived from the given communication commands that the images of that event would be transmitted on a UHF-channel and via Russian tracking stations, so not via Altair-2. Just before the complex disappeared behind my eastern horizon the crews got permission to open the hatches and to greet each other. This time the Russians refrained from the normal routine to have the first human contact between the 2 commanders due to the presence of the VIP Baturin. He got the honour to be the first crew member to float from Soyuz-TM28 into Mir and embrace his CIS-countryman, Musabayev. This took place at 1230 UTC.

    From that moment on the crew of the Mir-space station consists of 5 persons and this will undoubtedly draw a heavy toil on the life support systems of the complex. Technically the situation on board was not 100% before the docking: the power supply is not fully restored and the station seems to fly in the free drift (they spoke about 'indikatornyy rezhim', but whether the gyrodynes are fully spinning or not has not been confirmed) and Musabayev got orders to economise power consumption and to switch off all superfluous equipment.

    Until his departure Musabayev will remain commander of both crews. During all communication sessions on 15.08.1998 it was clear that Musabayev acquits himself of that task. Meanwhile Budarin occupied himself with radio-amateurism on 145.985 mc. He tried to get in touch with Russian radio-amateurs.

    During the last pass in which Mir was able to communicate via a Russian tracking station with TsUP (orb. 71339, 1704-1715 UTC) Musabayev called in vain and he decided to give his message blindly (hoping that TsUP would hear him anyway). He reported that they had reinstalled Baturin's seat liner (from Soyuz-TM28 to Soyuz-TM27). The BKV-3 (a.c.) worked after he had tried to switch it on 3 times. The humidity was quoted as 11.3, the gas composition in the station as: CO2 4.5 , oxygen 203 and water 11.2. Pressure 797 MM.

    Communications during flight Soyuz-TM28:

    13.08.1998: After the launch the signals of the Soyuz-TM28 could be monitored here for the first time between 1415-1420 UTC. A very stable Padalka reported the results of the 1st and 2nd impulses: 1st 1384 during 32 seconds, 2nd 696 for 16 seconds. The SIRT (system for the measurement of the fuel consumption) gave after the 1st impulse 745 KG, after the 2nd one 728 KG (remaining fuel). During the following passes he reported that all went well, they were in a good mood and health and all systems worked nominally. There were only problems with a recording experiment. The device of that experiment did not give the right figures. Baturin had been shooting video images. Good signals in the 166 and 165 mc bands and on 922.755 mc.

    During the pass between 1547 and 1552 UTC again good signals on all frequencies. TCA (dip in 922.755 mc signal) was at 154915 UTC. Padalka still very stable reported the good functioning of all systems. They had done something with the orientation in relation to the power supply and they got a good power reading between 25 and 26. The TV-test they had done was positive. They felt well and enjoyed the flight.

    14.08.1998: Good signals on all frequencies and Padalka again sounded like a skilled cosmonaut. All parameters were normal and the only problem was a recording device about which Padalka long and extensively reported.

    Soyuz-TM27: The return flight of the crew of the 25th Main Expedition to Mir (Musabayev and Budarin) and the cosmonaut-researcher-politician Baturin is scheduled for 25.08.1998. The Soyuz-TM27 will undock from Mir at 0220 UTC descend was announced as 0526 UTC.

    26th Main Expedition to Mir: The crew of this ME is Padalka and Avdeyev. According to information now available (confirmed by a reliable source) this crew will remain on board Mir until June 1999. So if there will be no changes anymore the 26th ME is the last one to Mir.

    Mir-routine:

    In the period after MirNEWS.432 a number of technical problems emerged. Radio communications revealed that the complex had been flying in free drift (indikatornyy rezhim), which caused a sharp decrease in power supply on 11.08.1998. That day all superfluous systems had to be switched off and for a while only 2 lamps were burning: one in the Base Block and one near the P.Kh.O. (transition section). There were also airseal problems. Musabayev had to check a rubber bearing of a hatch with his fingers. To secure a good atmosphere on board the crew used oxygen from a tank in the Progress-M39. The crew also repeatedly tested the Kurs antenna on Kvant-1 and they had to change cable connections of this system. Not long before the launch of Soyuz-TM28 they had to repeat such a test which seemed to have been positive.

    On 12.08.1998 Musabayev launched a long tirade in which he relieved his feelings. He has great problems with the activities of journalists who, in his opinion, are not really interested in the cosmonauts as such. Only when something goes wrong they are on it like a bird and then they blame the crew for that. He characterises a lot of their publications as nonsense and even swinishness. He emphasises that this expedition, the 25th, was a very fruitful one. While the Mir-station is operational for 12.5 years their expedition performed 50% of all melting experiments in the furnaces, for instance almost all what had to be done with the Optizon furnace. They accomplished experiments which could not be done by previous expeditions. In the 190 days of their mission they were not able to work according the formular 23 for 2 days and for this the crew was even not to blame. They also solved a lot of technical problems and he refers to the repair of the SUD (attitude control system) on the eve of the arrival of a Shuttle.

    The fact that life on board Mir is still possible is thanks to their work for they installed the new VDU (external thruster). They did a lot of cardio vascular experiments, which still had to be executed.

    My personal opinion about this argumentation is the following: I do not want to compare this expedition with other ones. But I agree with Musabayev: he was in command of a magnificent expedition.

    First day with 2 crews on board:

    On 16.08.1998 during the first pass Padalka asked TsUP whether they had seen something in the Telemetry and he supposed that they wished to speak to them. TsUP confirmed this and ordered Padalka to switch over to the 2nd regime for this conversation. From this moment on monitoring had no sense due the computerised scrambling of the speech. For a very long time, I dare to say for years, they had not used this routine.

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


1998 August 25 - .
  • Mir News 435: Soyuz-TM27 safely landed - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir EP-4; Mir EO-26; Mir EO-25; Mir EO-26/-27. Soyuz-TM27 with on board the relieved ME 25 crew and the politician Baturin undocked from Mir on 25.08.98 at 0205 UTC and after a short autonomous flight the landing capsule (SA) made a safe landing at a distance of 40 KM from the city Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 05.22.44 UTC. The flight and the descent took place without problems. This mission lasted for Musabayev and Budarin 207 days, for Baturin 12.

    Communications during the autonomous flight. For these communications tracking stations in Russia were in use. I did not monitor traffic via the geostationary satellite Altair-2. There has been reported that at least one session via an SR was scheduled and also that between 0435-0531 UTC this relay was in use and during the final phase of the descent this took place parallel with direct communications via tracking stations. My calculations for traffic via Mir and Altair-2 gave the window 0416-0510 UTC so possibly the window between 0435-0531 UTC was for another SR. I thought about the Luch-1 (1995-054A - 23681) over 76 degrees East, but in my opinion this SR ceased transmissions long ago. However its expected operational life was estimated to be 5 years.

    Soyuz-TM28:

    This transport ship is still docked at the aft (Kvant-1) docking port. In fact this ship also has to serve as a life boat. So if emergency forces the crew to leave the complex in a hurry they have to board Soyuz-TM as quick as possible. That is why the Soyuz-TM has to be redocked from the aft to the forward (P.Kh.O. - transition section) -X axis port. This operation during which Padalka and Avdeyev will be on board of the Soyuz-TM28 is scheduled for 27.08.1998 between 0544-0608 UTC. This will be during Mir's orbit nr. 71520, 0559-0602 UTC. Regretfully the elevation for observers in Western Europe will be very low 0 - 1 degree.

    Progress-M39:

    This freighter is still flying some hundred kilometres in front of Mir. The plan is to redock this freighter at the aft (Kvant-1) +X axis port on 29.08.1998. Progress-M39 has to remain docked at that port until the arrival of the next freighter. It will last a long time before this freighter will be launched and it might even be possible that this launch will not take place due to the lack of funding. The Progress-M39 makes the thermo regulation of the Kvant-1 module easier and protects the aft docking port against extreme temperatures. Meanwhile the space still available in the cargo compartment of the Progress-M39 can be used for the disposal of garbage and no longer needed equipment.

    Mir-routine:

    During the last 10 days in which Mir had 2 crews on board they had to work regularly on the life systems. There were problems with the CO2 scrubber Vozdukh in the Base Block. After some repair attempts they had to use spare parts from the Vozdukh in the Kvant-1 module. Especially Musabayev and Budarin had to use every effort for apart from working on the life supporting systems they had to prepare themselves for the return flight. They started to load that what they had to bring with them to earth one day before their departure. It lasted also long before they started their exercises in the Chibis, a pressure suit to give the blood circulation the impression of earthly gravity.

    Musabayev told TsUP that there was only little room on board of their ship. So he asked TsUP to restrict their luggage to the necessary items and to leave all what might be superfluous on board Mir. He also proposed to put samples of experiments, cassettes and disks in the container without extra packing. TsUP partly granted this idea. During the last days Baturin could be heard discussing his experiments. He spoke about Intrazvuk, Phantom and Interior. I did not hear much of Avdeyev. Perhaps he was too busy to get accustomed with the present state of the station and equipment. As of today (25.08) Padalka is commander of the Mir station. During the last days he sometimes assisted Musabayev in this field.

    2nd Regime:

    This computer scrambled system for speech about which I reported in my MINEWS.434 was rarely in use during the last days.

    Chris