Credit: RKK Energia
AKA: Mir EO-3;Okean (Ocean);Soyuz TM-4 (Manarov, Titov Vladimir). Launched: 1987-12-21. Returned: 1988-12-21. Number crew: 2 . Duration: 365.94 days.
Mir Expedition EO-03 crew of Musa Manarov and Vladimir Titov travelled to Mir aboard Soyuz TM-4 together with test pilot cosmonaut Anatoly Levchenko. Soyuz TM-4 maneuvered through orbits of 168 x 243 km, 255 x 296 km, and 333 x 359 before docking with Mir at 12:51 GMT 23 December. Levchenko returned to earth aboard Soyuz TM-3 together with the EO-2 crew. After nearly a year in space, Manarov and Titov returned on Soyuz TM-6. They undocked at 03:33 GMT 21 December 1989, but revised software installed as a result of the Soyuz TM-5 abort overloaded the spacecraft's computer. The landing planned for 06:48 was aborted. A backup software program was used and the Soyuz orbital module was retained through retrofire. The crew finally landed safely on December 21, 1988 09:57 GMT, 180 km SE Dzhezkazgan.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
Soyuz TM-4 with the EO-3 crew aboard arrived at Mir on December 23, 1987. Before departing Mir, the EO-2 crew of Romanenko and Alexandrov demonstrated use of EVA equipment to the EO-3 crew. The EO-3 crew delivered biological experiments, including the Aynur biological crystal growth apparatus, which they installed in Kvant. The combined crews conducted an evacuation drill, with the Mir computer simulating an emergency.
Soyuz TM-3 departed on 29 December and the crew settled in for their one-year mission. Soyuz TM-4 was flown to the front port of Mir on 30 December, clearing it for the next Progress freighter. Progress 34 arrived at Mir and remained docked from January 23-March 4, 1988. Meanwhile Titov and Manarov conducted part of an ongoing survey of galaxies and star groups in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum using the Glazar telescope on Kvant. The survey required photography with exposure times up to 8 min. Even small cosmonaut movements could shake the complex. This produced blurring of astronomical images, so all cosmonaut movements had to be stopped during the exposures.
On February 12 the cosmonauts began preparations for an EVA to replace and augment Mir's solar arrays. They tested their EVA suits February 23-25, and on February 26 they exited the station. The EO-3 crew removed one portion of the array Romanenko and Laveykin had assembled in June 1987. They replaced it with an eight-part array set which increased electricity output by 20% and also tested new solar cell materials and allowed telemetric monitoring of output. They also found time to wipe several of Mir's portholes, which had accumulated a dusty coating, and extensively photographed Mir's exterior. The EVA lasted 4 hr, 25 min.
On March 17 the cosmonauts studied the effects of noise produced by fans and other equipment on their living quarters as part of the Akustika experiment. During the same period, a Soviet spokesman stated that dust and odors on Mir bothered the cosmonauts.
Progress 35 arrived and remained docked to Mir from March 25-May 5, 1988. In late March and early April, Titov and Manarov installed and tested a new telefax system and unspecified equipment to improve communications between Mir and Earth. During May a particle the Soviets identified as a piece of space debris blasted a crater in a two-pane Mir viewport. The damaged area was 6-8 mm across.
Progress 36 arrived and docked to Mir's aft port from May 15-June 5, 1988. It was replaced with Soyuz TM-5 on June 9-17, 1988. This brought a Bulgarian cosmonaut to the station. Due to the Soyuz 33 failure, Bulgaria was the only east European Soviet ally not to have had a citizen visit a Soviet space station. Bulgarian cosmonaut-researcher Alexandr Alexandrov, (endlessly confused with the contemporary Soviet cosmonaut of the same name), used nearly 2,000 kg of equipment delivered by Progress freighters to conduct 46 experiments in the Shipka program during his stay. The visiting crew left aboard Soyuz TM-4, leaving the fresh Soyuz TM-5 as a lifeboat. The EO-3 crew flew this from the aft to fore port of Mir on June 18, 1988, leaving the aft port ready for the next Progress freighter.
On June 30 the EO-3 crew left Mir via one of the lateral ports for an unrehearsed EVA to replace Kvant's TTM shadow mask X-ray telescope. They had trained for the EVA by videotape sent up by the Progress 36 supply ship along with needed tools. They also spoke with cosmonauts who had rehearsed the repair in the hydrobasin in Zvezdny Gorodok ('Star City'). In addition to their suits, the EO-3 crew carried 40 kg of tools and equipment between them. Upon reaching the work site, they cut through 20 layers of thermal blanket to reach the Roentgen suite of instruments. The EVA ended unsuccessfully when a wrench needed to remove a clamp snapped. The EVA duration was 5 hr, 10 min.
Progress 37 arrived and remained docked to the aft port of Mir from July 20-August 12, 1988. In late July the Altair/SR relay satellite Cosmos 1897 was moved from its station at 95 deg E to 12 deg E to support the Buran shuttle test flight of November 14, 1988.
Soyuz TM-6 arrived on August 31, 1988. Its crew had a unique makeup, with a commander (Vladimir Lyakhov) who had been trained to fly a Soyuz TM-solo in the event a rescue ship needed to be sent to recover two cosmonauts from Mir, no flight engineer, and two inexperienced cosmonaut-researchers. One was Dr. Valeri Polyakov, who would remain aboard Mir with Titov and Manarov to monitor their health during the final months of their planned year-long stay. The other was Intercosmos cosmonaut Abdul Ahad Mohmand, from Afghanistan. Mohmand's experiment program was dominated by a series of observations of Afghanistan, called Shamshad. The Lyakhov and Mohmand left their fresh spacecraft docked to Mir as a lifeboat and returned aboard Soyuz TM-5. During the return to Earth, Soyuz TM-5 suffered a combined computer software and sensor problem, which delayed its re-entry by 24 hours.
Soyuz TM-6 was flown by the EO-3 crew from the aft to forward crew of Mir on September 8, 1988. Progress 38 then docked and remained at the aft port from September 12-November 23, 1988
On October 20 Titov and Manarov stepped outside Mir, leaving Polyakov in the Soyuz TM-6 descent module. The spacewalkers wore improved spacesuits which did not need an umbilical connection to the station. Using tools delivered by Progress 38, Titov and Manarov removed the old TTM shadow mask X-ray unit and successfully replaced it. They then installed equipment in anticipation of the upcoming Franco-Soviet EVA. The EVA lasted 4 hr, 12 min.
Soyuz-TM 7 arrived at Mir on November 28, 1988 on the Franco-Soviet Aragatz mission with French cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chretien (on his second mission to a Soviet space station) and Soviet cosmonauts Alexander Volkov and Sergei Krikalyov. This increased Mir's population to six. According to Krikalev, this was the 'worst-case scenario' as far as crowding on the station was concerned. Not only were there more cosmonauts than usual aboard Mir; the station was also full of equipment and life support supplies delivered by Progress freighters for the joint Franco-Soviet mission. The crowding was exacerbated because there was no docking port free for a Progress freighter. Therefore, the crew could not use a Progress as a 'pantry' or 'storage room' for the station. The large joint experiment manifest—mostly medical and technology experiments chosen to support the French-led European Space Agency Hermes shuttle project—strained Mir's electricity supply. The total mass of the experiments was 580 kg.
Preparations for the first EVA involving a non-Soviet/non-U.S. space traveler forced the cosmonauts to cut short a TV meeting with diplomats from 47 countries on December 8. On December 9 Chretien and Volkov depressurized the multiport docking adapter and clambered outside Mir. Chretien was first out. He installed handrails, then attached the 15.5 kg Enchantillons experiment rack to the handrails by springs and hooks. He also attached electrical wires leading from the rack to Mir's power supply. Enchantillons carried five technological experiments with applications to the Hermes shuttle program. Volkov and Chretien then assembled the 240-kg ERA experiment. They attached a mount to handrails on the frustum linking the multiport docking unit to the small-diameter portion of the work compartment. After resolving problems with cables linking ERA to a control panel inside Mir, they attached the folded ERA structure to a support arm on the platform. The structure was designed to unfold to form a flat six-sided structure 1 m deep by 3.8 m across. From inside Mir, Krikalyov commanded the structure to unfold, but to no avail. Volkov then kicked ERA, causing it to unfold properly. According to Krikalyov, taking the ERA outside helped relieve the crowding problems. The EVA lasted 5 hr and 57 min.
After the EVA, Titov and Manarov showed Krikalyov, and Volkov the peculiarities of living and working on Mir. On December 15, their 359th day in space, Titov and Manarov officially beat Romanenko's 326-day single-flight endurance record by the required 10%. On December 19, Soyuz TM-6 was powered up to prepare it for descent.
Manarov, Titov, and Chretien boarded Soyuz TM-6 and undocked at 03:33 GMT 21 December 1989, but revised software installed as a result of the Soyuz TM-5 abort overloaded the spacecraft's computer. The landing planned for 06:48 was aborted. A backup software program was used and the Soyuz orbital module was retained through retrofire. The crew finally landed safely on December 21, 1988 09:57 GMT, under low clouds, in sub-freezing temperatures, 180 km SE Dzhezkazgan.
Credit: RKK Energia
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The FGB tug's multiple docking manoeuvres in April 1987 had cut into its already-reduced propellant supply. Unable to deorbit itself to a controlled burn-up in the atmosphere, the FGB was instead commanded to boost itself into a storage orbit 40 km above Mir. From there its orbit decayed until it made an uncontrolled re-entry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.