International Flight No. 113
|No.||Surname||Given names||Position||Flight No.||Duration||Orbits|
|1||Romanenko||Yuri Viktorovich||Commander||3||326d 11h 37m||5166|
|2||Laveykin||Aleksandr Ivanovich||Flight Engineer||1||174d 03h 25m||2755|
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Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing with Soyuz TM-3 spacecraft 140 km northeast of Arkalyk. This mission was the maiden manned voyage of a Soyuz TM spacecraft.
The MIR space station remained vacant after the departure of the Soyuz T-15 crew on July 16, 1986. In September 1986 the Altair/SR relay satellite Kosmos 1700 ceased operating and drifted off its geosynchronous orbit position. This reduced the station to communications via earth ground stations. The Progress 27 freighter docked with the station on January 18, 1987 and boosted MIR's mean altitude by 16 km to 345 km on January 26, 1986 in preparation for the launch of Soyuz TM-2. At this point only one of Mir's computers was functional.
Following a two day solo flight Soyuz TM-2 docked with the MIR-Progress 27 space station on February 07, 1987. The cosmonauts became the second resident crew.
On this mission the crew used the new docking system Kurs for the first time. Kurs was the successor to the IGLA system and today provides navigation beaconing for Russian space vehicles. When used for docking, the Soyuz or Progress vehicle broadcasts radar pulses from multiple antennas. The variation in strength between the antennas allows the system to compute relative position, attitude, and approach rate. The system is designed for automatic rendezvous and docking, but in an emergency cosmonauts may take command of the vehicle either locally, or from the MIR.
Following reactivation of the station and unloading of Progress 27, the freighter departed the station on February 23, 1987. It was followed by Progress 28 from March 05, 1987 - March 26, 1987, which then departed to clear the aft port for the large Kvant space station module.
Onboard the MIR the crew performed various scientific research work, including geophysical exploration of Middle Asia, the Kaspian Sea and the Caucasian region, spectralanalyses, production of semiconductor-materials with the Korund 1M apparatus (48 different experiments) and photographs of the Earth surface. Other experiments were medical research, research work with fluids, building of metal alloys (Copper and Silver), plant growing experiments in the Phyton and Rost-apparatus, mounting the MKS-M2 optical spectrometer and a photometer for astrophysical experiments.
Early in the Soyuz TM-2 crew stay on MIR, the Kvant1 module was launched to automatically dock with MIR. Kvant consisted of the space station module (11 tons) and a unique FGB-based vehicle called the Functional Service Module (FSM) (9.6 tons). The FSM carried out major maneuvers on April 02, 1987 and on April 05, 1987. On April 05, 1987 its Igla approach system began homing on MIR's aft port. The Tamyrs retreated to Soyuz TM-2 so that they could escape in the event the module got out of control. About 200 m out, the Igla system lost its lock on MIR's aft port Igla antenna. The cosmonauts watched from within Soyuz TM-2 as the Kvant / FSM combination passed within 10 m of the station.
Kvant and its FSM drifted 400 km from MIR before being guided back for a second docking attempt. The soft dock occurred early on April 09, 1987. Kvant's probe unit would not retract fully, preventing hard docking between MIR and Kvant. The Soviets left Kvant soft docked while they considered a solution. Maneuvers were impossible during this period, because the probe of the Kvant / FSM combination would wobble loosely in MIR's aft port drogue unit, banging the docking collars together.
On April 12, 1987 Yuri Romanenko and Aleksandr Laveykin exited MIR for the first EVA (3h 40m) to examine and, if possible, repair the problem with Kvant. They discovered a foreign object lodged in the docking unit, probably a trash bag they had left between Progress 28 and MIR's drogue. On command from the TsUP, Kvant extended its probe unit, permitting the cosmonauts to pull the object free and discard it into space. Kvant then successfully completed docking at a command from the ground. The Kvant FSM undocked from Kvant, freeing the module's aft port to fill in for the MIR aft port.
The crew entered Kvant on the next day and began unloading equipment into the base block. Kvant added 40 m3 of pressurised volume to MIR, bringing the total to about 130 m3. On April 16, 1987 the pointing motors on MIR's two solar arrays were linked to sensors on Kvant. Kvant carried stowed solar arrays intended to be attached to a fixture on top of the small-diameter section of the base block.
Progress 29 arrived and remained docked to the aft docking port of Kvant from April 23, 1987 - May 11, 1987. Beginning April 30, 1987, the crew tested orienting the MIR complex using Kvant's gyrodynes. In part this was in preparation for pointing the new module's roughly 1000 kg of astrophysical instruments. During this period, propellant was pumped through Kvant to MIR's ODU for the first time. The Elektron system aboard Kvant, which produced oxygen by electrolysis of water, was readied on May 08, 1987.
The USSR acknowledged that MIR was short on electricity. The situation became particularly difficult when melts lasting days were conducted using Korund 1-M. The MIR-2 crew spent most of May 1987 conducting medical experiments and Earth resources photography, activities which required little electricity.
Progress 30 arrived and remained docked to Kvant's aft port from May 21, 1987 - July 19, 1987.
The second EVA occurred on June 12, 1987 (1h 53m). Yuri Romanenko and Aleksandr Laveykin exited MIR's multiport node for the first of two EVAs to install the solar array delivered by Kvant. There was insufficient room available in the multiport node for two space-suited cosmonauts plus the main boom and first two sections of the new array, so Aleksandr Laveykin and Yuri Romanenko sealed the hatch between the Soyuz TM-2 docking module and orbital module and left the hatch between the orbital module and the multiport node open, creating an extended airlock. One cosmonaut worked outside while the other handed out needed parts. The main boom of the array was an extendible girder like the one assembled outside Salyut 7 by the MIR Expedition 1 / Salyut 7 Expedition 6 crew (Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Soloviyov, 1986).
In the third EVA on June 16, 1987 (3h 15m) the cosmonauts installed the remainder of the solar array, attached its electrical connections to the MIR power system, and extended it to its full 10.6-m length. The new, 22-24 m3 array brought MIR's total capacity to 11.4 kW.
The Roentgen Observatory on Kvant was uniquely placed to study Supernova 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The cosmonauts examined the exploding star during 115 sessions between June and September 1987.
Aleksandr Laveykin developed heart irregularities which made necessary his early return to Earth.
Soyuz TM-3 arrived at the station and docked to the aft Kvant port. It would remained docked to the station from July 22, 1987 - December 29, 1987. The visiting crew observed Syria and conducted materials processing experiments. Syrian guest cosmonaut Muhammed Faris and Soviet cosmonaut Aleksandr Viktorenko returned to Earth in Soyuz TM-2 with Aleksandr Laveykin. He was replaced by Aleksandr Aleksandrov, who had arrived aboard Soyuz TM-3. Yuri Romanenko and cosmonaut Aleksandr Aleksandrov performed more than 1000 astrophysical, geophysical, medical, biological and technological experiments.
A new long duration record was set by Yuri Romanenko (326 days).
Last update on November 14, 2013.