On 3.02.1999 at about 2200 UTC (for Moscow time already 4.02) Progress-M40 will separate from Mir and remain in a distance of a couple of 100 Meters. The Mir crew will control the Progress-M40 with the TORU system and push the packages with the Znamya 2.5 sail in open space. By spinning the freighter around her X-axis the centrifugal forces will unfold and open the packages. These forces will also have to maintain the reflector sail unfolded in right angles towards sun and earth.
Mir and Progress-M40 and possibly the light beam can be seen in Western Europa somewhere between 1700 and 2000 UTC on 4.02.1999. Due to Mir's orbit correction on 2.02.1999 it is not yet possible to calculate exact predictions the passes in which Mir/Progress-M40 are still in sunlight and we in the earth's shadow. As soon as I have the Kepler elements after the correction I will issue a small Mir-report with times and other details (azimuth and elevation) for my position. The reflector beam will cause a spot of approx. 6 KM in diameter, but this spot will move very fast: approx. 8 KM/second
After the 24 hours which will be used for this experiment the freighter will be put on a destruction course into the atmosphere and burn up over a designated area in the Pacific Ocean East of New-Zealand.
Daily between 0500-2000 UTC the cosmonauts executed the prescribed programmes. This was not very exciting, but also not boring. They paid attention to a number of well known experiments such as: the French Fiziolab (medical), Ionozond (sensing the ionosphere in the benefit of the ionospheric stations in Narafominsk and Rostov), the Greenhouse, Portapress (blood circulation), Relaksatsiya (the study of the influence on molecules of products of combustion for which now and then small impulses of the engines were needed), Silay (the study of small particles from outer space resulting in minor flashes in the eyes of the cosmonauts), etc.
Apart from these and their experiments they had to do maintenance work, for instance the replacement of a ventilator of the Gas Analyser, mending the system for the transfer of urine, the installation and dismounting of experimental equipment and the separation of water in one of the Elektron oxygen generators. Regularly the crew reported the pressure in Mir's atmosphere: always approx. 705 MM mercury.
They also now and then checked the pressure in the Spektr module. Another regular reported measurement was the radiation level on board. This was always done by Avdeyev who used the Doza system. The values (doses) were given in ug-s and the velocities in mg-s per hour.
Now and then the geostationary satellite Luch-1/Gelios was in use for instance for TV-transmissions, but also for a TV-link in which high speed data transfer took place. On 25.01.99 TsUP told the crew that the DLR was very pleased with the data of the Titus experiments transmitted by Mir and directly received by DLR. The Mir crew promised to transmit more. (Unclear whether the Germans received these signals via the 166, 165, 636 or 638 mc/s telemetry channels or via the Luch-1/Gelios. Theoretically GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen must be able to 'see' Luch-1)
Avdeyev often used the amateur radio frequency 145.985 mc/s for several modes: Packet Radio, Phone and SSTV images. Now and then Avdeyev, using call sign R0Mir, transmitted for phone on a somewhat lower frequency around 145.970 mc/s. He made his calls in Russian as well in English.
Preparations Znamya 2.5:
A lot activities in this field during the last days. For instance just before drafting this report TsUP spoke with the crew about the observations during the undocking and the deployment of the Znamya 2.5 sail. Padalka will control the TORU from the base block and Avdeyev will execute observations and make images with through a porthole (nr. 5 in Module-D or the porthole in the PSO).
Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.