MIR: Expedition 14
|Given names:||Vasili Vasiliyevich||Aleksandr Aleksandrovich|
|Spacecraft (Launch):||Soyuz TM-17||Soyuz TM-17|
|Launchtime:||14:32 UTC||14:32 UTC|
|Spacecraft (Landing):||Soyuz TM-17||Soyuz TM-17|
|Landingtime:||08:18 UTC||08:18 UTC|
|Mission duration:||196d 17h 45m||196d 17h 45m|
|Given names:||Viktor Mikhailovich||Yuri Vladimirovich|
Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 215 km west of Karaganda / 180 km southwest of Tselinograd.
It was the French Mission ALTAIR. Following a two day solo flight Soyuz TM-17 docked with the MIR space station on July 03, 1993. It followed a common scientific work with the 13th resident crew. After returning to Earth of the 13th crew (together with Jean-Pierre Haigneré), Vasili Tsibliyev and Aleksandr Serebrov became the 14th MIR resident crew. They performed experiments in materials science.
After the departure of Jean-Pierre Haigneré with the Soyuz TM-16 spacecraft Vasili Tsibliyev and Aleksandr Serebrov performed five EVAs.
The first EVA occurred on September 16, 1993 (4h 18m). The cosmonauts assembled the Rapana girder on top of Kvant. This was a girder assembly experiment with implications for the development of a possible second MIR space station.
On September 20, 1993 (3h 14m) both cosmonauts performed the second spacewalk completing the assembly of Rapana.
Vasili Tsibliyev and Aleksandr Serebrov went out of the station on September 28, 1993 (1h 52m) for the third EVA. They carried out miscellaneous tasks and inspecting MIRs exterior in the first phase of the Panorama program. They spotted a 5-mm hole through one of the solar arrays. The hole was surrounded by an area of cracks several cm across.
The fourth EVA was performed on October 22, 1993 (0h 38m) again by both cosmonauts. They conducted the Panorama inspection of MIR and performed miscellaneous tasks.
For the fifth and final EVA both cosmonauts left the space station on October 29, 1993 (4h 12m). They inspected MIR as part of the Panorama program and conducted miscellaneous tasks. By the end of Panorama they had inspected the entire skin of MIR. Panorama revealed many small impact sites on MIR, but though no hull penetrations.
On January 14, 1994 Soyuz TM-17 separated from the forward port of the MIR station. At 07:43:59 a.m., the Mission Control Center in Korolyov (TsUP) ordered Vasili Tsibliyev to steer Soyuz TM-17 to within 15 metres of the Kristall module to begin photography of the APAS-89 docking system. At 07:46:20 a.m., Vasili Tsibliyev complained that Soyuz TM-17 was handling sluggishly. Aleksandr Serebrov, standing by for photography in the orbital module, then asked Vasili Tsibliyev to move the spacecraft out of the station plane because it was coming close to one of the solar arrays. In MIR, Viktor Afanasiyev ordered Valeri Polyakov and Yuri Usachyov to evacuate to the Soyuz TM-18 spacecraft. At 07:47:30 a.m., controllers in the TsUP saw the image from Soyuz TM-17s external camera shake violently, and Aleksandr Serebrov reported that Soyuz TM-17 had hit MIR. The TsUP then lost communications with MIR and Soyuz TM-17. Intermittent communications were restored with Soyuz TM-17 at 07:52 a.m. Voice communications with MIR were not restored until 08:02 a.m. Inspection of Soyuz TM-17 indicated no serious damage. In this connection, the Russians revealed that they had studied contingency reentries by depressurized spacecraft in the wake of the Soyuz 11 accident. The MIR cosmonauts did not feel the impact, though the stations guidance system registered angular velocity and switched to free flying mode.
Later analysis indicated that the right side of the orbital module had struck MIR two glancing blows 2 seconds apart. The impact point was on Kristall, near its connection to the MIR base block. The cause of the impact was traced to a switch error: the hand controller in the orbital module which governed braking and acceleration was switched on, disabling the equivalent hand controller (the left motion control lever) in the descent module. Vasili Tsibliyev was able to use the right lever to steer Soyuz past MIRs solar arrays, antennas, and docking ports after it became clear impact was inevitable.
© CNES / Christian BARDOU, 1993
Last update on March 31, 2013.