The bigwigs arrive from Moscow to be in on the landing. But Afanasyev, Keldysh, Mishin, and Karas all remain at the cosmodrome for the investigation into the N1 failure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crew Sleep Cycle Adjustments: Crew wake/sleep cycle today shifted 3.5 hrs to the right for the next days: wakeup - 5:30am, sleep - 9:00pm EDT.
Upon wake-up, Sergey Volkov terminated his fifth MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. (SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.) Additional Details: ISS On-Orbit Status 06/28/08.