www.spaceisle.com

If You Need Space, We Need You!
Space Frontier Foundation logo
Advancing NewSpace
FOUNDATION PROJECTS
Return to the Moon
Teachers in Space
SpaceContest
NewSpace Economic Development
Space Settlement
The Cosmos Review
Permission to Dream
The Watch
Mars
Previous Projects
EVENTS
Events Homepage
Additional Events
RESOURCES
Space Store
NewSpace News
Subscribe to Updates
Space Companies
Advocates
Bulletin Boards
Affiliates
Web Links
You can listen to Foundation Advocate Dr. David Livingston's radio show
The Space Show
by clicking above.
Completed Project
Keep Mir Alive!
MIRNEWS – Number 431, 24 July, 1998 – by Chris van den Berg
reprinted by permission

Mir in orbit
MIR-routine:
Indefatigably, the 2 cosmonauts on board MIR continued the exploitation of this immense laboratory. Contradictory to the last months it seemed as if the cosmonauts could reduce their attention to repairs and replacement of systems, which enabled them to spend more time and energy to their main task: the preparation and execution of all kinds of scientific experiments. In the west, especially in the U.S.A., media attention for that what is going on aboard MIR is rather poor after the departure of the last American astronaut.

Long series of radiograms, reaching the cosmonauts by the Packet Radio system (originally used by radio-amateurs and which cannot be praised enough) contain enough instructions for experiments to keep them busy day in and day out. Regularly the crew speaks about experiments in the furnaces Optizon, Gallar and Kristall, of which those performed in the Optizon furnace take place in coordination with American experts. Other experiments  which pass the review are Dakon, MAD, Temir, Phantom, Optovert, Maksat and Laser sensing with Alisa.

Communications: For Western Europe the MIR-complex merely comes in range during the night hours and so there is not much traffic via the VHF-channels. During the working day MIR-TsUP communications take place during one window. In the period from 10 to 17.07.98 Altair-2 was in use for other purposes. On 16 and 17.07.98 the 10 GHz channel was in use for the relay of audio and TV transmissions of the ceremonies for the burial of Czar Nikolay-II and his family. Just before the conclusion of the ceremonies, as soon as the first salute of guns was fired the relay of Altair-2 stopped and this satellite could be used for MIR-TsUP traffic again.

On 22.07.98 during a communications session via Altair-2 the cosmonauts called someone with the call sign Agata. They spoke about the BDD-2 (Betriebstechnik Deutschland Direkt), so they used the same system which was operational during the ESA-expedition to MIR (Euromir-95). The crew had received 2 diskettes with a program to activate a computer for BDD experiments. They exchanged data of the experiment Dakon. The communications took place via a station in Russia and not via Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany as was the case during Euromir-95.

Technical failures:
The a.c. BKV-3 still shows hickups just after switching on. An alarm signal points out that something is wrong with the pressure. After switching off and on a few times, the BKV-3 worked well. On 19.07.98 there was again smoke alarm. There was no smoke at all and in this case the smoke sensor was to blame. The malfunction of one of the gyrodynes was also mentioned and one of the solarpanels of the Spektr module does not produce enough energy due to the malfunction of the driver which has to change the angle of that panel. (To eliminate this problem the crew of the next expedition has to execute an internal spacewalk -IVA- inside Spektr). The life support systems are performing well in this period, possibly due to the fact that they have to serve only 2 men. The crew keeps a sharp eye on the CO-2 values, especially during and after physical exercises.

Plans for the near future:
In fact the uncertainty phase still continues. Russian spaceflight organisations are still waiting for the promised funding needed to continue MIR operations until June 1999. The Russians expect that the money will be remitted in due time. And there was another development: the Russian Menatep bank promised to sponsor the last MIR-Mohicans, i.e. MIR's ME 27 from February to June 1999.

Almost certain is:

• that Soyuz-TM28 with Padalka, Avdeyev and Baturin will be launched on 13.08.1998 and dock with MIR on 15.08.1998,

• that the freighter Progress-M39 will separate from MIR on 14.08.1998 for an autonomous flight until the departure of the relieved crew and Baturin with the Soyuz-TM27 on 25 or 26.08.1998 and that the launch of the next freighter Progress-M40 will take place not before 15.10.1998.

• Znamya-2: Several Television programs used the Itar-Tass publication about the execution of the experiment Znamya-2 in November this year to enlighten the dull season program with an interesting item. A Progress-M freighter should deploy a circular reflection sail for the spectacular illumination of a number of cities on earth.

• That this operation might be possible in November is doubtful for after an experiment like this, the freighter has to decay in the earth's atmosphere and cannot return to the MIR-complex to redock to the aft (Kvant-1) docking port. Because of the necessary thermal protection of that port and the Kvant-1 itself, a Progress-M ship has to be docked there until the next Pr-M ship. The period until the docking of the Pr-M41 (not before March 1999) would be pretty long. (And there is also the question if the Progress-M can be redocked after the experiment.)

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202
Open the Frontier!
The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
Accomplishments
Who We Are
Leaders
Advisors
Policies
Action Reports
International
History
Annual Awards
NEWS & MEDIA
Press Releases
Op-Eds & Letters
Presentations, Speeches & White Papers
Political Reference
In the News
Other Voices
CONTACT US
Send Us Your Comments
Join the Fight!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&camp=1789&tag=spacefrontier-20&creative=9325&path=ASIN/189652267X/qid=1119587815/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1
The High Frontier is Gerard K. O'Neill's masterpiece. This new 3rd Edition Includes an introduction by Freeman Dyson.
Click above to order The High Frontier from Amazon.com.

The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

For more information call 800-78-SPACE (800-787-7223)
or
send us your comments

Foundation Logo

Webmaster: Peter Thorpe pthorpe@space-frontier.org

Copyright © 1996 - 2008 Space Frontier Foundation. All rights reserved.
All work contained herein is protected by United States copyright/ intellectual property law.