Of six primary test objectives assigned to the mission, the objectives for the environmental control, electrical power, and communications subsystems were not completely satisfied. All other spacecraft test objectives were successfully accomplished.
On 23.08 the SO, the docking compartment attached to the module Kristall, was conserved and closed. The conservation of the module Priroda had been put back to 25.08.99, which means that thereafter no experiments can be executed with equipment installed in that module.
The experiments Dakon (convection experiment) and Alice-2 (a fluid experiment) have been active until 24.08. Observations with the Lidar Alisa were concluded on 19.08.99 and the gathered data were copied to cassettes for retrieval to earth.
Fortunately on request by CNES the return of the crew had been put back from 23 to 28.08, for there still has a lot of work to be done.
The freighter Progress-M42, docked to the complex, is fully loaded with all what is superfluous. Among them also containers with urine. This urine cannot be used any more to regenerate technical water, for the SRVU, the system for this regeneration, had also to be switched off. The most important part of the activities in this stage is the switching off of all systems which are not needed during the unmanned status. For instance on 24.08 the cosmonauts had to check whether the furnace Krater had been switched off.
In the next months the Progress-M42 will now and then alter the orbit of the Mir complex. This happened also at least 3 times during the past week and this increased the altitude of Mir to approx. 359/353 KM.
After Priroda also the modules Kvant-2 and Kristall will be conserved.
The small air leakage in the module Kvant-2 has not been located thus far and a gradual decrease of the pressure in that module can be expected. I do not know if the module Kristall will be closed. The module Spektr cannot be conserved, for this module is not operational as of 27.06.1997.
Extra air seal checks have to be done on equipment which has valves to outer space. (For instance the Vozdukh CO2 scrubbers, draining CO2 into open space, and the Electrons doing the same with the hydrogen, a by-product of the electrolyse process for the oxygen production.) So there must be some concern about the module Kvant-2. On 25.08 the cosmonauts got orders to report regularly the air pressure inside the P.G.O. (instrument and cargo compartment of the Kvant-2).
Radio traffic reveals that the cosmonauts are working under great pressure. During the disc-preparation of this report there were only 2 days left for all what still has to be done, inclusive items like the checks of the systems of the return vehicle Soyuz-TM29, the execution of a number of physical exercises and medical checks. Now and then I am inclined to presume that the return must be put back some days (if this is operationally possible).
Radio traffic is also dedicated to the selection of what the cosmonauts will have to bring back to earth and which has to be stowed into the descent module (SA) of the ship Soyuz-TM29. It will be pretty tight in there! Press conference: On 21.08.1999 there were 2 press conferences at TsUP.
Main subject was an evaluation of the results of the 27th Main Expedition to Mir. The communications windows were pretty short and so the questions and answers had to be very short. The crew fulfilled all their tasks. Haignere was very pleased with his Perseus program, in which he also worked with earlier installed equipment from CNES as well as from the German DLR, such as the Titus furnace and many devices for geophysical- and ionospheric research.
Commander Afanasyev told that he did not like that Mir would fly unmanned so long. In one of the press conferences also the eventual 28th final Main expedition was mentioned. Thus far this is still unsure and depends on the funding.
Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202