Salyut 7 in Assembly
Salyut 7 in Assembly Hall
Credit: RKK Energia
AKA: Elbrus (Elbrus - tallest mountain in Europe);Salyut 7 EO-1. Launched: 1982-05-13. Returned: 1982-12-10. Number crew: 2 . Duration: 211.38 days.
Soyuz T-5 carried the EO-1 Main Expedition crew of Anatoli Berezovoi, Valentin Lebedev to Salyut 7 to conduct scientific research and experiments. The crew returned aboard Soyuz T-7 and landed 118 km East of Dzhezkazgan.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
The Salyut-7 EO-1 crew arrived aboard the new space station on 14 May, 1982. They ejected a 28-kg amateur radio satellite from a Salyut 7 trash airlock on May 17. The Soviets called this the first launch of a communications satellite from a manned space vehicle. They did this ahead of the launch of two large geostationary satellites from the U.S. Space Shuttle (STS-5, November 11-16, 1982).
Progress 13 was docked to the station from May 25-June 4, 1982. During the docking there was a violation of Progress docking procedure. The hatch from the work compartment to the intermediate compartment was to be closed when a Progress docked, but Lebedev and Berezevoi wished to watch the approach through an aft-facing porthole in the intermediate compartment. They therefore 'clamped the endpoints of the hatch, thus simulating its closure for the TsUP's benefit.' They forgot to remove the clamps after Progress 13 docked, giving the TsUP an indication that the hatch remained closed even though the EO-1 crew moved back and forth between Progress 13 and Salyut 7. The TsUP gently called them out for this violation of procedure.
On May 25, the EO-1 crew reoriented Salyut 7 so the aft end of the Progress pointed toward Earth. This placed the station in gravity-gradient stabilisation. Lebedev remarked in his diary that the attitude control jets were 'very noisy,' and that they sounded like 'hitting a barrel with a sledgehammer.' Of Salyut 7 during the unpacking of Progress 13, Lebedev said, 'It looks like we're getting ready to move or have just moved to a new apartment.' The following day the EO-1 crew closed the hatch from the work compartment into the intermediate compartment so the TsUP could pump fuel from Progress 13 to Salyut 7. The crew monitored the operation but played little active role in it. May 29 was spent organizing the supplies delivered. At the same time, according to Lebedev, 'we filled the resupply ship with what we don't need and tied them down with ropes. When I enter the resupply ship, it jingles with a metallic sound, so when we separate it will sound like a brass band.' Progress 13 pumped 300 liters of water aboard on May 31. On June 2 Progress 13 lowered the station's orbit to 300 km to receive Soyuz T-6.
June 12 was bath day on Salyut 7, the day the EO-1 crew was permitted its first monthly shower. Showering was a complicated process -- so much so that the showers, which were expected to be completed by noon, lasted until after 6 p.m. On June 15 Lebedev reported that a brown residue had been deposited between the panes of Salyut 7's UV-transparent portholes. The residue was apparently produced when UV radiation struck the rubber gasket surrounding the panes.
Soyuz T-6 was docked to the station from June 25-July 2, 1982. During the stay of the Visiting Expedition, the EO-1 crew gave visiting Frenchman Jean-Loup Chretien 'the honor' of ejecting a satellite -- Salyut 7's weekly bag of waste -- from the small trash airlock. In his diary, Lebedev quoted Chretien as saying Salyut 7 'is simple, doesn't look impressive, but is reliable.'
In his July 15 diary entry, Lebedev described how he woke in the middle of the night to urinate, only to find that the toilet (ASU system) overfill light was on. 'If we were home, we could go outside,' he wrote. But that's not a viable option up here, so I had to hold it for a whole hour while I pumped the urine out of the ASU.' Lebedev had other problems with the water system later in the day: for a time he believed he had pumped waste water into the fresh water, spoiling the entire 500 liter supply.
In his diary for July 23, Lebedev described how dust, trash, food crumbs, and droplets of juice, coffee, and tea floated in Salyut 7's air. Most eventually ended up on the cheesecloth which covered the intake grills of the station's air circulation fans. He said that the crew periodically disposed of these and replaced them with new ones. He also described a 'wet cleaning' of Salyut 7. Once a week the crew used wet napkins soaked with katamine (a scouring detergent) to wipe the panels, handrails, hatches, control panel surfaces, and table. They also opened the wall panels and vacuumed the cable bundles, pipes, and fan grills.
On July 30, after more than a week of preparation, Lebedev and Berezevoi conducted a 2.5 hr EVA. Opening the hatch from the transfer compartment to the station hull produced a out gust of lost screws and bolts, dust, and a pencil. Lebedev first installed a movie camera and a floodlight. Then he replaced samples on the Etalon space exposure experiment, a checkerboard of different materials. He deployed and attached himself to the Yakor foot restraint platform. Once there, he spent considerable time looking at the Earth and inspecting the station. Lebedev was impressed by how still and silent the station's exterior seemed, given its complex and noisy interior mechanisms. He noted that the green insulation on Salyut 7 had already faded and become grayish, but was otherwise undamaged. He also noted two folded Yakor foot restraints and a cable winch near the base of one of the solar arrays.
Part of the purpose of his EVA was to perform assembly and disassembly tasks to allow him to judge the feasibility of the next crew using these to put in place solar array extensions. Then the EO-1 crew replaced the micrometeoroid, Medusa biopolymer, and Elast thermo-insulation samples panels. Lebedev worked with the Istok panel, which tested his ability to turn bolts using a special wrench. When the station moved into sunlight, Lebedev could feel through his gloves that the EVA handrails became hot. The cosmonauts installed additional experiments before returning to the transfer compartment. After the EVA they spent a day storing their space suits. Lebedev found a 20-mm dent in his helmet, with a small split in the metal, possibly produced by striking it on apparatus in the transfer compartment. 'Thank God the helmet is built with double layers of metal,' he wrote in his diary.
From August 20-27, 1982 the Soyuz T-7 Visiting Expedition was aboard the station. This included Svetlana Savitskaya, the first woman to visit space in 20 years. She was given the orbital module of Soyuz T-7 for privacy. The Soyuz T-7 crew delivered experiments and mail from home to the EO-1 crew. On August 21 the five cosmonauts traded seat liners between the Soyuz-Ts. The Dneipers undocked in Soyuz-T 5, leaving the newer Soyuz T-7 spacecraft as a lifeboat for the long-duration crew. On August 29 Soyuz T-7 was repositioned by rotating Salyut 7, freeing the aft port for Progress 15. On September 1 Lebedev concluded his diary entry: 'I look around the station and view it with a different attitude. Now I think of it as home. The whole place looks so familiar. Everything in it is so near and dear to me now. When I look at the interior of the station, I feel no alienation, no sense that my surroundings are temporary or strange. Everything is ours. We've touched every square millimeter and object in here. We know exactly where every piece of equipment is mounted, not from documentation but from memory. Many little details, such as photographs on the panels, children's drawings, flowers, and green plants in the garden (the Oazis, Fiton, and other plant growth units), turn this high-tech complex into our warm and comfortable, if a little bit unusual, home'.
On September 7 the cosmonauts practiced procedures which would come into play in the event of a depressurization of the station. The cosmonauts used a pressure measurement device called Diusa to calculate the time until the station's pressure dropped to 500 mm/Hg. This would tell them how long they had to deactivate the station, gather experiment results and records, put on spacesuits, and enter their Soyuz-T. According to Lebedev's diary, the most dangerous evacuation scenarios were those allowing 5 min or less for an escape. 'In such a situation the station could not be saved,' he wrote.
He also described a scenario in which their Soyuz-T suffered a leak (they would close the hatch leading into the damaged craft and await a rescue ship). According to Lebedev, 'we have permission for an emergency landing anywhere on Earth, although we would certainly do everything to land on Soviet territory, or at least on the ground.' Specific contingency landing areas are the U.S. Midwest (90 deg -105 deg W, 42 deg -49 deg N), southern France, and the Sea of Okhotsk. A bag containing experiment results was always kept near the Soyuz-T. According to Lebedev, a pressure drop requiring an hour to reach the critical level would give the crew time to locate and repair the leak. This would be done by sealing off the different compartments until the damaged one was identified. In the event of a fire, the crew would turn off all electrical equipment, put on protective suits and respirators, and use a fire extinguisher.
The Progress 15 resupply craft remained docked to the station from September 20-October 14, 1982. It was followed by Progress 16 from November 2-December 13, 1982. Progress 16 delivered the Iskra 3 satellite. It was deployed from the trash airlock on November 18. The crew completed their work program and returned to earth aboard Soyuz T-7 on 10 December 1982.
After their departure Cosmos 1443, the third unmanned test of the TKS manned ferry, docked with the station on March 10, 1983. After docking, the Cosmos 1443 propulsion system was used to lower the average orbit of the combination below 300 km in preparation for the launch of Soyuz T-8.
Unmanned supply vessel to Salyut 7. Transport of various cargoes to the Salyut-7 orbital station. Docked with Salyut 7 on 25 May 1982 07:56:36 GMT. Undocked on 4 Jun 1982 06:31:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 6 Jun 1982 00:05:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.81 days. Total docked time 9.94 days.
Manned three crew. Docked with Salyut 7. Transported to the Salyut-7 orbital station the Soviet-French international crew, comprising V A Dzhanibekov (USSR), A S Ivanchenkov (USSR) and Jean-Loup Chretien (France) to conduct scientific research and experiments.