Category The Story of Manned Space Stations

1974-1977: Salyut 4, 5, and ASTP

Salyut 4 differed from Salyut 1, the previous successful DOS design, by having three sets of solar arrays, just as the doomed Cosmos 557 had. It also included some additions for crew comfort, including a table for the crew to eat at which supplied hot and cold water for rehydrating their food packs. The navigation system for the station was now semi-automatic, to allow the crew more time for experimentation. It was launched on 26 December 1974, and was followed on 11 January 1975 by Soyuz 17 with a crew of two, Alexei Gubarev and Georgi Grechko, both making their first space flights.

Their docking was achieved effortlessly, and they soon settled into the mission, working for six days a week, with a day off to spend largely as they wished. Their enthusiasm for their work was such that they worked longer hours than anticipated, and also ate more than planned, which had to be controlled as there were only so many supplies on board. Eventually they were told to slow down and take more time off, which they reluctantly did. The Soviets were still working to discover the best compromise between work and rest for the cosmonauts’ working week. The crew returned to Earth on the 7 February after 30 days in orbit, a new Soviet record of endurance, and were found to be in good physical and mental shape. However, it was decided that the exercise regime for future crews would be stepped up slightly, especially in the later stages of the mission to ensure that they were in the best condition for re-entry and adaptation to Earth’s gravity.

The launch of Soyuz 18 on 5 April was rather more dramatic, and once again the Soviets failed to get a mission to a space station. A fault with the separation of the main booster stage caused the abort tower to be used for the first time in manned spaceflight, causing the crew, Vasili Lazarev and Oleg Makarov a very uncomfortable 15-g ride before the capsule landed in snow. The next launch attempt on 24 May was also called Soyuz 18, and the previous failed flight simply referred to as “the 5th April anomaly’’. This crew, Pyotr Klimuk and Vitali Sevastyanov, reached orbit successfully, and docked with Salyut 4. Their task was essentially to carry on the

1974-1977: Salyut 4, 5, and ASTP

Soyuz 17 crew shortly before lift-off

work started by the previous crew, but this time the Soviets tried to schedule the workload more logically. They would work for several days on one type of experi­ment before moving on to the next; a significant step forward. Of course, there was also maintenance work on the station to be carried out between scientific experi­ments, but again experience from previous missions was paying off, as items such as filters, pumps etc., had been made much easier to replace and service than previous designs, cutting down on time and frustration.

A new mission was launched on 15 July 1975. Although this mission did not involve Salyut 4, it did signify the first co-operation between the Soviet Union and the United States of America: ASTP, or Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Discussions for such a mission had been taking place for several years, as mentioned in an earlier chapter, but the options were soon narrowed down to one: the docking of an Apollo Com­mand and Service Module with a Soyuz spacecraft. On 24 May 1972, U. S. President Richard Nixon, and Soviet Chairman Alexei Kosygin, signed the agreement that would make ASTP a reality. It was part of a much larger agreement that covered all manner of scientific co-operation, including space flight. Despite the air of co­operation, there remained “discussions” about various aspects of the mission. Which spacecraft would launch first? NASA assumed that Apollo with its longer mission duration would be the first to launch. That way if Soyuz was delayed for any reason, Apollo could simply wait until it arrived. The Soviets disagreed, stating that they would launch first, and wait for Apollo; if Apollo were delayed, they would launch a second Soyuz if necessary. This came as something of a surprise to NASA mission planners, as they had not previously heard anything about a second Soyuz being prepared for this mission. The actual docking posed even more problems, both technical and political. What form would the docking mechanism take? Both nations so far had used a male and female docking mechanism; which nation would take which role? The Soviets were rather more chauvinistic in this area, not wishing to take the “lesser” role of the female as they saw it. It was finally agreed that the docking system would be an androgynous one that equalized the two nations, but this also presented another problem. Which spacecraft would be the active (moving) ship, and which would wait (stationary) for the docking? The Apollo was clearly the more maneuvrable spacecraft, and so the Soyuz would have to wait to be docked with by the Apollo. Unfortunately, the problems did not end there. The atmospheres of the two spacecraft were very different. Apollo’s atmosphere consisted of 100% oxygen at a pressure of 0.34 atmosphere, whilst the Soyuz was an oxygen/nitrogen mix at 1.0 atmosphere. Clearly, it would be possible to simply float from one spacecraft to the other without suffering from the bends, so the docking mechanism would also have to double up as an airlock. With modifications to both spacecraft to allow the lowering of cabin pressure to make the transfer between the two craft quicker achieved, the major technical problems had been overcome. The first of the two crews were announced in 1973; the U. S. crew would consist of commander Tom Stafford who had previously commanded Apollo 10 and Gemini 9, and flown as pilot on Gemini 6. The Command Module Pilot would be Vance Brand, who would be making his first space flight after backing up the last two Skylab crews. The third crewmember had been waiting for a flight for a long time, after years of selecting other astronauts for their missions Deke Slayton, a member of the original Mercury astronaut group, would finally make it into orbit. The Soviets followed with their own crew announce­ment a few months later. This was a first, as crews for Soviet space flights had never been announced in advance before. The commander of Soyuz 19 would be Alexei Leonov, who we know all about from his travails during the crew selection for Soyuz 11. His flight engineer would be Valeri Kubasov, who had been removed from the Soyuz 11 crew for medical reasons, but was long since recovered. He had flown

1974-1977: Salyut 4, 5, and ASTP

U. S. ASTP crew

previously on Soyuz 5 and had spent time on Salyut 6; in fact he had more flight experience than his commander.

With the crews announced, training for the flight could now begin. Learning each other’s language proved to be the most difficult task for both crews; something that would not change much over the coming years. The problem did not end with the crews of the spacecraft, the ground controllers and technical experts also needed to get up to speed on their counterparts’ language, a task that is particularly difficult where technical jargon is concerned.

Apollo-Soyuz finally got underway when Soyuz 19 was launched on 15 July 1975. With Soyuz safely established in orbit, Apollo was launched to give chase. Almost two days later, the two spacecraft docked without difficulty. The two crews spent 47 hours docked together, with members of each crew visiting the other’s spacecraft. Mission rules dictated that neither vehicle would be left unmanned at any time. After the docked phase of the mission Soyuz 19 returned to Earth almost immediately even though this Soyuz was equipped with solar panels like previous versions, and could stay in space for longer than its space station specific counter­parts. Apollo stayed in orbit for a further three days to conduct experiments that

1974-1977: Salyut 4, 5, and ASTP

Soyuz 19 crew

1974-1977: Salyut 4, 5, and ASTP

Combined U. S. prime, back-up, and support crews

would have to last NASA for a while, this being the last U. S. manned mission until the space shuttle was ready to fly, at this time expected in 1979.

It has been suggested that ASTP was little more than a political show, but this opinion sells the program short. In truth the idea may have been born out of political needs by both the U. S. and the Soviet Union, but that fails to take into account that many of the people that worked on this mission from crews to support staff and technical designers from both countries would later work together again on Shuttle – Mir, and ultimately the International Space Station (ISS). Relationships that were forged during ASTP would endure to smooth new relationships in the 1990s. It has been said that neither side learned very much; the U. S. engineers say that most Soviet equipment was Gemini era to them. But both countries did learn that it was possible to work together, and in the longer run that was sure to be worth something.

Meanwhile the crew of Salyut 4 continued their mission for a few more days before they too returned to Earth on 26 July, after 63 days in orbit. Before their departure they fired the engines of Soyuz 18 to raise Salyut 4’s orbit. This was the first time that such a maneuvre had taken place, previous orbit-boosts had been under­taken using the stations own propulsion. Upon their return the crew walked from their capsule to the medical tent, obviously in better physical condition than previous crews had been. Their mission had paved the way for longer duration flights, possibly involving rotating crews on a new space station. But Salyut 4’s mission was not over. Soyuz 20 was launched on 17 November 1975, and unusually for such a designation it carried no crew. It followed a different flight profile than usual, docking with Salyut 4 after two days rather than the one day that had been flown by manned up until now. Once docked, Soyuz 20 remained powered down until the end of February 1976. It later became apparent that this mission was a test of the flight profile and duration of an unmanned cargo craft. Once the craft had returned to Earth, examinations of its systems led Soviet engineers to place a 90-day limit on the amount of time that a Soyuz could safely spend in space.

Salyut 4 had been a great step forward for the Soviet space station program, after the difficulties of its predecessors, and had proved the procedures and technology that would be needed for the next generation of stations.

The next space station was Salyut 5, and it was launched on 22 June 1976. It quickly became apparent from the telemetry that this was another Almaz reconnaissance platform, identical to Salyut 3, but without the machine gun. An all-military crew of Boris Volynov and Vitali Zholobov was launched on Soyuz 21 two weeks later. The crew carried out some scientific experiments, but their primary mission seemed to involve observations of a military exercise that was underway in Siberia. They seemed set for a fairly long-duration mission, and indeed Soviet radio had reported on 19 August that solar radiation levels were such that the crew would be able to carry out a “prolonged flight’’, but five days later the same radio station reported that the crew were in the process of returning home. When they clambered out of the capsule after a night landing, it became evident that they were suffering from the effects of their mission, most likely because they had not started their pre­return exercise regime. All evidence seemed to point to the fact that the crew had returned much earlier than planned; but why? There were several suggestions, but the most likely seemed to be that the station’s atmosphere had somehow become con­taminated causing the crew to abandon ship. One speculation in the West was that one or both crewmembers had suffered mental or physical problems that forced their return. It was also suggested that Zholobov in particular had suffered debilitating homesickness, and as a result had not followed his exercise regime. It has since come to light that perhaps the two crewmembers did not get along, and perhaps their hostility got to the point that returning them to Earth was the only option before physical harm was caused. Whatever the reason, Salyut 5’s first manned mission had been abandoned early, and a crew needed to return as soon as possible to carry on the work. The next flight, that of Soyuz 22, made use of the back-up vehicle from the ASTP mission, and was not a flight to Salyut 5. Soyuz 22 was a week-long flight that concentrated on Earth photography using a special East German built camera. The fact that the next crew to visit Salyut 5 was launched within 2 months of the landing of the previous one, suggested that not too much could have been wrong with the station. The crew of Vyacheslav Zudov and Valeri Rozhdestvensky were to check on the condition of the station, and carry on with the experiments that were still left on board. However, all was not to go smoothly. The mission of Soyuz 23 on 14 October proved to be dramatic. The automatic rendezvous system malfunctioned almost as soon as it reached orbit, and for some reason not made clear by Soviet officials the crew did not attempt a manual approach and docking, but waited for the first opportunity to land. When the landing attempt came, things began to go wrong. After re-entry, the capsule descended on its parachute in the darkness, but was blown off course by a blizzard and it landed in Lake Tengiz. This was not in itself a problem as the Soyuz had been designed to land in water if necessary. Although the capsule landed in relatively shallow water, it was at least 5 miles from the nearest shore, and the water was freezing. Recovery by boat was therefore impossible, and helicopters could not locate the spacecraft as thick fog engulfed the area. The crew were forced to spend a very cold night in the capsule, which by now had no power reserves, and therefore no heating. At first light, the fog had cleared sufficiently to allow helicopters to attach lines to drag it to shore and end the exhausted crew’s ordeal. As it was, no real damage was done, but it is worth reflecting on what might have happened to a more weakened crew that had perhaps spent months in orbit, or been forced to come home early…

Viktor Gorbatko and Yuri Galzgov were launched on 7 February 1977 on Soyuz 24 for what would prove to be a short mission. Again when an automatic docking was attempted the system failed, but on this occasion a manual docking was attempted and achieved. The crew entered the station wearing breathing apparatus, but it did not take long to determine that the air was clear. Whether this procedure was really necessary, only the Soviet space officials know. However, the crew did take the opportunity to test a new procedure to clear the station’s atmosphere of any potential contaminants. They had brought some equipment with them that would allow the existing atmosphere to be vented and replaced with fresh supplies of air stored on board. Basically, the old air was allowed to leak out of one end of the station whilst at the same time fresh air was pumped in at the other end. Interestingly, the crew remained on board the station whilst this procedure was carried out, rather than retreating the Soyuz as one might expect. Shortly after this test, the crew began to prepare to come home, packing up their experiments as well as those left behind by the Soyuz 21 crew. The combined equipment and experiments were far more than the Soyuz could return by itself, so use was made of Salyut 5’s own descent capsule, designed for just such a purpose; it would return to Earth a day after the crew. The station had been left in a good state of repair, and Anatoli Berezovoi and Mikhail Lisun were already in training to attempt an unprecedented third period of occu­pancy, but due to the run of ill-luck the Soyuz spacecraft that had been allocated to the Salyut 5 programme had all been used, and there simply was not the budget nor the time to build a new Soyuz during the remaining lifetime of Salyut 5. Soyuz 24, therefore, became the last mission to a military space station. Salyut 5 re-entered the atmosphere on 8 August 1977 when all of its remaining fuel had been depleted, and it was clear that it would host no more missions.

The Story of Manned Space Stations

As is usual with such a project, I have many people to thank.

First, Colin Burgess who I have to thank, or blame, for getting me started with this book. Your support and encouragement have always been very important.

I also need to thank my fellow Praxis authors, David Shayler and David Harland for their support, as well as the understanding of my publisher Clive Horwood who has led this first-time author through the minefield of book publishing.

Some of the images in this book have come from a free space flight simulator called “Orbiter”. This software has allowed me to include images of spacecraft for which no images exist, or at least are of poor quality. Please visit www. orbitersim. com for more information. I would particularly like to thank David Polan, who has provided several such images for this book, including one on the front cover.

I mentioned in my dedication the staff of King’s College Hospital Liver Unit, and I would now like to add to that by mentioning Dr. Micheal Hinnehan and his team, and Dr. John Ramage and his team at North Hampshire Hospital, both of whom helped me through the most difficult period of my life. As an aside, I would urge all U. K. based readers to register as organ donors at www. uktransplant. org. uk, because quite literally you would not be reading this book if someone had not done the same for me.

The Space Shuttle and International Space Station

• Complete assembly of the International Space Station, including the U. S. com­ponents that support U. S. space exploration goals and those provided by foreign partners by 2010.

• Return the space shuttle to flight as soon as practical, based on the recommen­dations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

• Retirement of the space shuttle by the end of 2010

The Moon

• Undertake lunar exploration activities to enable sustained human and robotic exploration of Mars and more distant destinations in the Solar System.

• Starting no later than 2008, initiate a series of robotic missions to the Moon to prepare for and support future human exploration activities.

• Conduct the first extended human expedition to the lunar surface as early as 2015, but no later than the year 2020.

Mars

• Conduct robotic exploration of Mars to search for evidence of life, to understand the history of the Solar System, and to prepare for future human exploration.

• Conduct robotic exploration across the Solar System for scientific purposes and to support human exploration. In particular, explore Jupiter’s moons, asteroids, and other bodies to search for evidence of life, to understand the history of the Solar System, and to search for resources.

• Conduct advanced telescope searches for Earth-like planets and habitable en­vironments around other stars.

• Develop and demonstrate power generation, propulsion, life support, and other key capabilities required to support more distant, more capable, and/or longer duration human and robotic exploration of Mars and other destinations.

• Conduct human expeditions to Mars after acquiring adequate knowledge about the planet using robotic missions and after successfully demonstrating sustained human exploration missions to the Moon.

New spacecraft

• Develop a new crew exploration vehicle to provide crew transportation for missions beyond low Earth orbit.

– Conduct the initial test flight before the end of this decade in order to provide an operational capability to support human exploration missions no later than 2014.

• Separate to the maximum practical extent crew from cargo transportation to the International Space Station and for launching exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit

– Acquire cargo transportation as soon as practical and affordable to support missions to and from the International Space Station.

– Acquire crew transportation to and from the International Space Station, as required, after the space shuttle is retired from service.

The second step came two weeks later when an Executive Order formed a commission comprising several industry leaders. It would be their job to outline the best way for NASA to achieve the goals that President Bush had set in his speech; this commission had only four months to report its findings back to the White House.

At last it seemed that NASA would have a clear path forward that it had been craving since Apollo 17 left the surface of the moon so many years ago. It was clearly understood what was required of the space agency, for the first time in many years they would be striving for achievable goals, rather than pushing frontiers that it couldn’t hope to reach. Most importantly, the funding for these goals had been committed, and as long as NASA made good progress, the money would continue to flow. It remains to be seen how this policy will be carried over from one President to the next, but for now NASA has a clear goal to work towards.

Perhaps the largest single task ahead of NASA is the development of a replace­ment spacecraft for the space shuttle, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), or Orion as it would later become officially known. What would such a vehicle look like? Would it be wings and wheels again, like the space shuttle, or would a simpler design be a surer bet for success? A significant complicating factor was the need for such a spacecraft to not only fly to Earth orbit and the ISS, but also be adaptable enough to form the basis of a Moon and Mars orbiter. In September 2004 NASA issued contracts to eight aerospace contractors to begin studies into the kind of designs which would fullfil the following requirements:

• Support a minimum crew of four (NASA preferred six) from the Earth’s surface through mission completion on the Earth’s surface.

• Have a mass less than 15-18 tonnes (the precise value to be determined in preliminary contract studies).

• Have an abort capability during all phases of flight. Preferably such abort capability would be available continuously and independent of Launch Vehicle (LV) or Earth Departure Stage (EDS) flight control.

• Integrate with the Constellation Launch Vehicle (LV) to achieve low Earth orbit.

• Integrate with the Earth Departure Stage (EDS) to achieve lunar orbit.

• Integrate with the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) to achieve lunar sur­face mission objectives. Preferably the CEV would be capable of transferring consumables to and from the EDS and the LSAM.

Perhaps not surprisingly the selected companies came back with very different design solutions, they did, however, agree on some basic principles. Namely that it would be most cost effective to make use of either an existing launch vehicle, or one derived from existing technology. This launch vehicle would also make use of extra stages or strap-on boosters to make launches to the Moon or Mars possible from the same core rocket. They also agreed that a four-man craft, at least for Earth orbit missions, would be ideal, and should weigh less than nine tonnes. By June 2005, NASA had narrowed the contractor list down to two; Lockheed Martin, and a joint team of Northrop-Grumman and Boeing, these two “finalists” would build a CEV of NASA’s design, and the decision between the two would be made without either party having to build a prototype. NASA’s own design had changed somewhat from the original requirements, the crew had grown from four to six, and the launch weight had grown with it, to 30 tonnes. The increased weight also rather narrowed down the list of launch vehicles available, in fact no existing rocket was considered suitable to launch the CEV in its new form. A new launcher, derived from existing shuttle technology would have to be created. In fact NASA seemed intent on pushing its own design for both the CEV and launch vehicle rather than embracing the designs submitted by experienced aerospace contractors after months of detailed technical and practical study. It seemed clear that NASA had never intended to make use of the innovative designs that many of the contractors had come up, and had always planned to make use of its design. Many industry experts felt that NASA’s basic design assumptions were flawed, and likened the situation to the initial designs of the Apollo spacecraft that took Americans to the moon nearly forty years earlier.

Whatever NASA’s intentions the winning contractor was announced on the 31 August 2006, it would be Lockheed Martin that would build the new spacecraft named Orion. The spacecraft’s new name had been officially announced the previous day, but unfortunately some of that fire had been stolen when astronaut Jeff Wil­liams, speaking during a press conference on board the ISS, had let the name slip eight days earlier.

With that announcement made, NASA’s attention turned to the launch vehicles that would be used for Orion. The first, most basic, is called Ares 1, it is otherwise known as “the stick’’. This is the launch vehicle that will be used for all of Orion’s Earth orbit missions, including those that rendezvous with the ISS. Initially it appeared as if Orion’s great weight would be far too much for the shuttle solid rocket motor derived Ares 1, many within the industry feel that NASA has more problems with its design than it is letting on, but during recent press conferences NASA has assured everyone that Ares 1 will be ready on time for Orion’s first flight, not thought to take place sometime in 2012.

On 13 December 2004 Sean O’Keefe resigned as Administrator of NASA. He had maintained this position for three years, through the Columbia disaster and the troubled planning for the shuttle’s return to flight.

The space shuttle returned to flight with Discovery flying STS-114 in July 2005. This flight was not without its problems, but NASA is now back in the business of flying space shuttles and completing the construction of the International Space Station (ISS).

The new NASA Administrator, Mike Griffin, has vowed to reverse the fortunes of a beleaguered agency, and focus on Project Constellation. On 28 September 2005 Griffin said that the shuttle and ISS, indeed the whole of the U. S. manned space program for the past three decades, had been mistakes! He said NASA lost its way in the 1970s, when the agency ended the Apollo program of moon visits in favor of developing the shuttle and space station, which can only orbit Earth. These decisions can be directly connected to the Apollo mode decision made during the 1960s.

“It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path,’’ Griffin said. “We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can. It cannot be done instantaneously.’’

Only now is the nation’s space program getting back on track, Griffin said a week after the announcement that NASA aims to send astronauts back to the moon in 2018 in a spacecraft that would look like the Apollo capsule and would be carried into space by a rocket built from shuttle components.

When asked whether the shuttle had been a mistake, Griffin said, “My opinion is that it was. It was a design which was extremely aggressive and just barely possible, especially with the amount of funding allocated to the problem.’’ He added on the subject of the ISS which was started in 1999, “Had the decision been mine, we would not have built the space station we’re building in the orbit we’re building it in.’’

Griffin’s statements have sparked a great deal of analysis of the space shuttle and ISS programs. Hindsight of course is a wonderful thing, but at the time, at the end of Apollo and Skylab, NASA had very little choice about its next manned spaceflight program. Had money been no object, then clearly things would have been different, but Congress and President Nixon would only allow a certain amount to be spent; there were, as always, other priorities. Had NASA pushed for more moon flights, or missions to Mars they would simply have been turned down, and possibly left with no manned program of any kind. NASA hoped that by going ahead with the shuttle, compromised design though it was, they would eventually be able to add the other components, such as the space station, at later dates. To a certain extent this turned out to be the case, but it took far longer than NASA had envisaged, and it had already cost the lives of the seven Challenger shuttle astronauts before anything else was built or flown. The birth of the ISS has already been covered in earlier chapters,

The Space Shuttle and International Space Station

Shenzhou 5 crew—Liwei Yang

but one thing is worth considering. Griffin suggests at the end of his statement that he would not have built the station in its current orbit. He is presumably alluding to the fact that NASA agreed to change the inclination of the ISS orbit to 51 degrees in order to enable the Russians to launch payloads and crews from their launch site at Baikonur. The detrimental effect of this decision was that the shuttle effectively had its payload to ISS orbit capability cut by as much as 30%; or to put it another way, the change added a further 10-15 shuttle flights to the building schedule. Griffin apparently views this concession as a mistake, but imagine if the ISS had been placed in its original 28-degree orbit, out of the reach of the Russians, the station would have had to be abandoned after the Columbia accident in February 2003, as NASA would have had no other means to reach it.

The Chinese, on the other hand, have made their intentions quite clear. They now have two successful manned flights under their belts with the launches of Shenzhou 5 in October 2003, and the two-man launch of Shenzhou 6 in October 2005.

The Space Shuttle and International Space Station

Shenzou 6 crew—Junlon Fei and Haisheng Nie

The second of these flights is more significant because it lasted for just over five days, had a crew of two, and for the first time for the Chinese that crew carried out scientific experiments. To call the Shenzhou 6 spacecraft a “mini space station” would be taking things too far. After all, Shenzhou is an evolution of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, although it is larger and has been changed a great deal from the original Soyuz design. However, the Chinese clearly have that kind of development in mind with this design. The orbital module is larger than Soyuz, and has its own propulsion and solar arrays that allow for autonomous flight. This means that the orbital module can be left flying, and carrying out automatic experiments after the crew has left the module and returned to Earth. Just such a mission profile was followed during the first manned flight of Shenzhou in 2003, the orbital module remained circling the Earth fulfilling a six month long military imaging mission. It also means that these modules could be launched to attach to an existing space station by themselves allowing the station to grow. It is thought that the orbital module comes in different sizes for different mission profiles.

They will have a manned station in orbit by 2015, and whilst nobody could say that this is an accelerated program, the station will be of their own design, and not borrowed Soviet/Russian technology. The Chinese are in space to stay, and seem keen not to repeat the unfocused programs of NASA and its partners, but to take one step at a time in a logical fashion. In more recent times (11 January 2007), the Chinese have angered the rest of the world with their testing of an ASAT (anti-satellite) resulting in the destruction of an obsolete weather satellite; such tests have not been carried out by either the U. S. Air Force or the Soviets for about twenty years. This further underlines the fact that the Chinese are following their own agenda both in space and on the ground, and have little regard for the opinions of the rest of the world.

The Russians too have plans for the future despite their more limited financial resources. A design intended to replace the venerable Soyuz and Progress spacecraft is on the drawing boards, and it is called Kliper. Design work on this new spacecraft began back in 2000, but its configuration has changed many times since to reflect both the needs of the Russian, and ISS space programs, and of course the budgets of the agencies involved. The specification is now set to carry six people to and from Earth orbit, plus carry 500 kg of cargo/supplies. The new spacecraft will have a service life of 10 years or 25 flights. The design was first revealed to the public in February 2004 at a press conference held by Yuri Koptev of RKK Energia; however, by April 2005 no funding from the Russian government had been forthcoming according to Valery Ryumin of RKK Energia. Good news for Kliper came in June 2005, when the European Space Agency (ESA) seemed to commit themselves to the development of the project. This would allow Kliper to be launched from the ESA Korou launch site as well as the existing Russian facilities. The support from ESA could mean that Kliper should launch sometime in 2011. Kliper will be launched by a Soyuz-3 booster, and in August 2005 a model of the Soyuz-3 booster with Kliper atop was shown at the Moscow Air and Space Show, MAKS-2005. Japan has also shown interest in the project as involvement would give them independent access to the ISS and its own Kibo Spacelab without requiring seats on the U. S. space shuttle. However, in the summer of 2006, ESA changed its plans, and forced RKK Energia to revisit the design of the Kliper spacecraft, it now seems unlikely that the Kliper will ever fly as Russia’s focus had returned to the Soyuz, and a possible upgrade of that spacecraft.

Space stations have literally come a long way since 1971 and the launch of Salyut 1. The Soviets/Russians have arguably made the greatest leaps, both in terms of hardware design and crew organization and motivation. NASA, however, has learned to apply its greater levels of technology relevantly and with great effect. It has, perhaps, taken them longer to embrace the finer points of crew interaction and scheduling, probably understandable all the time they were flying the space shuttle as well. Now NASA, with Orion, has the opportunity to make great strides beyond low-Earth orbit, to the moon and Mars, but what of the future of the ISS, this is much less clear. Orion will service the ISS once the shuttle completes construction of the station before the end of 2010, and Russia will continue to send Soyuz spacecraft and Progress cargo ships, the ESA will also send its ATV to the ISS for replenishment of consumables for the crew. Beyond that, Russia has plans to expand the station with

The Space Shuttle and International Space Station

Orion approaches the ISS

more modules, but that initiative is solely reliant on finding the money to finance it. The ESA and Japan will at long last have their labs to carry out research in, and that will probably keep both organizations busy for some time to come. Beyond all of these possibilities, the future of the ISS is unknown, in fact none of the participating nations are saying very much about the future; presumably they are all too tied up in getting construction completed.

The next space stations will probably not even be in Earth orbit, stations orbiting the moon and Mars seem more likely to be the next stage of development, and clearly this represents an even greater challenge, for both man and technology.

The Space Shuttle and International Space Station

ISS completed

MANNED ORBITING LABORATORY (MOL)—UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

With NASA now enjoying great success with their manned spaceflight program, the U. S. Air Force wanted to be more involved. Their earlier project DynaSoar, which

was to have been a manned orbital space plane, was in budgetary limbo, and NASA had not selected as many Air Force candidates for astronaut training as the top brass would have liked. Air Force manned space projects were not new: before Project Mercury it had created the “Man In Space Soonest” or MISS program, but this had been ignored when President Eisenhower decided in 1958 that he wanted manned spaceflight to be handled by a civilian agency, and established NASA.

In 1962, the USAF began to look closely at the proposed Gemini program, and realised that it held great potential to be modified for Air Force use, it had the added bonus that it would be tested first by NASA and it would be ready to fly much earlier than their own DynaSoar. With the addition of a cylindrical pressurized habitat that would be launched attached to the bottom of a modified Gemini spacecraft, the idea grew into MODS, or the Manned Orbital Development Station. However, even this interim project would not be ready early enough in the eyes of the Air Force brass, and it was proposed to fly a number of Gemini missions, in partnership with NASA, under the banner of “Blue Gemini”. Unfortunately, the potential of this joint pro­gram was undermined when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara demanded that not only should the Air Force take over the entire Gemini program, but all future low-Earth-orbit missions as well. NASA officials were naturally aghast at this pros­pect, and protested strongly that such a move would destroy America’s plans to land on the moon by the end of the decade. Perhaps more surprisingly, senior USAF officers were similarly opposed to this plan, because they did not want their interim plans for a Blue Gemini, which they viewed purely as a means of gaining flight experience, to interfere with the larger DynaSoar project for which they had great hopes. Upon hearing of the Air Force’s objections McNamara appeared to back down, and a new agreement was reached which merely allowed the installation of Air Force experiments on NASA Gemini flights. No sooner had this been agreed, McNamara took his revenge for the USAF’s lack of support as he saw it, and cancelled both Project MODS and Blue Gemini. In fact these were just two of thirteen new projects for which the Air Force had sought funding in January 1963, and McNamara canceled them all, bringing to mind something about a secretary scorned! In December 1963 he rounded it all off by canceling DynaSoar as well. A bone was thrown to the Air Force, however, in the form of a new project known as the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL). Essentially, MOL was MODS reborn. MOL was to be launched with its crew in a Gemini capsule, to be used once, and then discarded.

It was not until August 1965 that official funding for MOL came through when President Johnson allocated $1.5 billion to the program. With the program now in development, it was decided to begin the construction of launch facilities. MOL called for a base that could launch the vehicle into a polar orbit, a first for manned spaceflight, and so Vandenberg Air Force base on the California coast was chosen. Construction began in March 1966 of Space Launch Complex 6, or Slick 6 as it became known. The first real success of the MOL program came in November that same year when an already flown Gemini spacecraft, that had been modified to have a hatch installed in its heatshield, was launched not from Vandenberg but from Cape Canaveral atop of a Titan IIIC booster with a Titan II propellant tank standing in for the MOL beneath the capsule. The capsule was successfully recovered and repre­sented the first reusable spacecraft launch and recovery. However, by the end of that first year, despite continuing progress, the program was faltering under the load of ever increasing costs, and a falling budget. Also becoming a problem was the ever increasing weight of the MOL combination, which in turn required the man-rated version of the Titan IIIC, known as the Titan IIIM, to be upgraded with additional segments to its solid rocket boosters. However, despite the program’s difficulties, progress was being made, Slick 6 was nearing completion, and the Air Force had recruited 14 astronauts.

The MOL pilots were recruited in three groups in much the same way that NASA appointed its astronauts. The first group, which was chosen in 1965, consisted of eight pilots; six from the U. S. Air Force, and perhaps surprisingly, two from the U. S. Navy. They were:

Michael J. Adams, USAF Albert H. Crews, USAF John L. Finley, USN Richard E. Lawyer, USAF Lachlan Macleay, USAF Francis G. Neubeck, USAF James M. Taylor, USAF Richard H. Truly, USN

This group was different from the NASA astronaut selections in that they were all active military, and were all pilots, a moniker that they retained rather than calling themselves astronauts. All were handpicked from a list of Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS) students, instructors, and graduates by Chuck Yeager, the ARPS commandant.

The second group were selected the following year, and consisted of five more pilots:

Robert F. (Bob) Overmyer, USMC Henry W. (Hank) Hartsfield, USAF Robert L. Crippen, USN Karol J. Bobko, USAF Charles Gordon Fullerton, USAF

Again, one year later, in 1967, a third and final group was chosen, only four pilots this time:

Robert T. Herres, USAF Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., USAF Dr. Donald H. Peterson, USAF James A. Abrahamson, USAF

MANNED ORBITING LABORATORY (MOL)—UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

First MOL astronaut selection

MANNED ORBITING LABORATORY (MOL)—UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Second MOL astronaut selection

MANNED ORBITING LABORATORY (MOL)—UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Third MOL astronaut selection

Of these fourteen pilots nearly all would go on to continue their careers with some distinction. From the first group, Mike Adams left the MOL program and transferred to the USAF X-15 program where he successfully completed six flights before he was killed on his seventh flight after the aircraft experienced technical difficulties that put it into a spin at about 206,000 ft. Adams recovered from this spin, but the aircraft disintegrated under the 15 g loads and fell from the sky. Richard Lawyer left and had a distinguished test pilot career, before re-entering the MOL story toward the end of his life as we will discuss later. Robert Lawrence would have been the first African American in space, but he was killed in 1967 whilst flying in the backseat of an F104 on an ARPS mission to practise X-15-type landing approaches. The pilot of the aircraft, Major Harvey Royer, misjudged his approach and hit the runway hard, the undercarriage collapsing and launching the aircraft back into the air, now ablaze at its rear. It landed 2,000 ft further down the runway and disintegrated as it bounced once more. Both pilots ejected successfully, but Lawrence’s parachute failed to deploy, and he was killed—Major Royer survived the accident.

The MOL program received a shock in June 1969. All of the major program officials fully realized that the program was late and over budget, and they certainly feared that when the budgets were announced that would be left short, but it seems that no-one had actually considered complete cancellation of the project, which is what President Richard Nixon did. The MOL pilots were offered the opportunity to transfer to NASA. Seven took up the offer, and all went on to become important members of the space shuttle program. Richard Truly flew STS-2 and STS-8 before retiring from NASA, and later became the 8th NASA Administrator between 1989 and 1992. Robert Crippen was the pilot of the very first space shuttle flight aboard Columbia in 1981, and went on to fly two more missions as shuttle commander. Ironically he was to command the first mission of the space shuttle from the same Vandenberg Slick 6 launch complex that MOL was to have launched from, but that mission was canceled after the Challenger accident, and Crippen retired from NASA. He too later returned in a management capacity, acting as Director of the Johnson Space Center between 1992 and 1995. Karol Bobko also flew the shuttle three times, once as pilot and twice as commander. Bobko is still involved in the spaceflight business as Vice President of SpaceHab. Gordon Fullerton still works for NASA as a research pilot. He flew Enterprise in the Approach and Landing tests, and later on STS-3 and STS-51F, the latter a Spacelab mission which to this date holds the distinction of being the only in-flight abort of the shuttle program. Henry Hartsfield was another to fly the shuttle three times, once as pilot on STS-4, and twice when he commanded STS-41D, the first flight of Discovery, and STS-61A, a Spacelab mission that was the first in history to have an eight-person crew. Unfortunately, Bob Overmeyer was killed in March 1996 whilst piloting an aerobatic aircraft; but he had successfully flown two shuttle flights, his first as pilot on board the first opera­tional shuttle flight, STS-5, and the second in command of flight STS-51B, a Spacelab mission. Don Peterson flew just one mission on the space shuttle, STS-6, and was the only member of his group not to fly as pilot but as mission specialist. However, his mission specialist designation allowed him also to be the only member of the group to carry out a spacewalk.

Colonel Richard Lawyer re-enters our story in June of 2005, when artefacts from the abandoned MOL program were found at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. A room at the launch complex 5/6 museum that had apparently not been opened for many years was being checked by security officers when two blue MOL spacesuits that had been used for training were found to be in almost perfect condition, one belonged to Lt. Col. Richard Lawyer. Other MOL spacesuits are on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton Ohio, and at the Johnson Space Center. The two newly discovered suits were donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Unfortunately Colonel Lawyer died later that same year. To the very end he had kept his vow to keep his country’s secrets. While very forthcoming about general aspects of the MOL program, he would never say a word about its actual mission. He would simply say, “I am not at liberty to deny or confirm the reported mission for MOL.’’

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Salyut 6 represented the major step forward in space station operations that the Soviets had been planning for some time. Launched on 29 September 1977, it featured a second docking port, as well as an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) hatch. The second docking port was a significant addition because it allowed the station to be resupplied by Progress cargo spacecraft, an essential capability for long-term habitation. It would also allow for the possibility of visiting crews who would dock with the station, stay for about a week, and then return in the older Soyuz leaving the new one for the long-duration crew.

The concept behind the Progress spacecraft was a simple one, and solved the problem that all previous space stations, including Skylab, had encountered. How do you keep a long-duration crew in orbit, when they are eventually going to run out of supplies of food, clothes, and of course, oxygen? The Soyuz spacecraft could only carry so much cargo in addition to its crew, but if the crew, and all of their life support systems were removed, this released a lot more room for cargo. The result was to become the Progress, essentially a leaned down Soyuz meant only for cargo and fuel, and designed only to make a one-way trip. The heat shield was also removed; it was unnecessary because the idea was that once the resident space station crew had unloaded all of the fresh cargo, they would load the craft with all of their unnecessary equipment, and rubbish, and it would then undock and be remotely commanded to re-enter and burn up. This also made the separate descent module unnecessary, and it was instead used as a fuel tank to allow the Progress to replenish the propellant tanks of the space station. In truth, it would become apparent in later years that the Progress did not solve all of a space station supply problems. It could not return anything to Earth obviously, which meant that crews returning to Earth would continue to need to bring back experiment results with them in the Soyuz, which had a limited return weight. It also turned out that not all of a stations unwanted material could be disposed of in a Progress, and that long-lived space stations would accumulate more and more clutter.

The new ability for crews to make short visits to an accupied station opened up the prospect for the first time of visits by cosmonauts from other countries. In a response to the NASA selection, in 1976, of non-pilot mission specialist astronauts for upcoming space shuttle missions, the Soviets launched the Inter-Kosmos pro­gram, with the participation of fraternal communist states, initially Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, and Romania in joint space flights with the Soviet Union. In 1979 three non-communist nations were added to this list, France, Vietnam, and India, and all of these flights would be carried out between 1978 and 1983. This agreement led in 1985 to an expansion of the program to all countries, communist or not, organized by GlavKosmos. This led to countries such as Afghanistan, Austria, Japan, and the United Kingdom agreeing to manned space flights with the Soviet Union. All of this, however, lay in the future, for now the first guest cosmonauts were training to fly on board Salyut 6.

Operations did not start well with the launch of Soyuz 25, which unfortunately could not dock with Salyut 6, probably due to a fault in the Soyuz docking system, and had to return to Earth. This resulted in an upheaval in the schedule, as this first crew had been due to occupy the station for about two months, during which time they would receive the first on-orbit visitors, and also oversee the docking of the first Progress cargo vehicle. This failure forced mission planners to attempt a winter launch, which, for safety reasons, they were not generally keen on. However, Soyuz 26 was launched on 10 December 1977 and docked, this time with the rear port, successfully a day later. This mission would set the pattern for all future space station operations to follow. The crew of Yuri Romanenko and Georgi Grechko remained on the station for a record breaking 96 days. In view of the failure of Soyuz 25 to dock, they carried out an EVA to check the front docking port, during which they found nothing out of the ordinary. They received their first visitors when the crew of Soyuz 27, Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Oleg Makarov, docked to the front port and formed the first four-man crew in history. Dzhanibekov and Makarov departed on 16 January 1978 after a six-day visit, taking the older Soyuz 26 home and leaving the rear docking port available for the first Progress cargo spacecraft. The final com­ponent of modern space station operations was completed with the launch, on 20 January, of the first Progress cargo spacecraft. This docked at the rear port of Salyut 6 two days later. It was relieved of its cargo and loaded with unneeded equipment, rubbish etc., and then pumped fuel into the Salyut’s propulsion tanks. It undocked from the station on 6 February, tested its back-up rendezvous system, and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere two days later. Again, this would become a standard proce­dure for future space station operations, continuing today with the ISS. This procedure will not change until the ESA’s ATV cargo craft starts operations in 2007.

The second crew of visiting cosmonauts on board Soyuz 28 docked with the rear port on 3 March. Alexei Gubarev was accompanied by the first international Inter – Kosmos cosmonaut, Vladimir Remek from Czechoslovakia. The visitors undocked from the rear port after a flight of nearly eight days, this time in the same Soyuz they had launched in, and landed safely. Soyuz 27 undocked from the front port on 16 March with Romanenko and Grechko aboard. Their flight, which had surpassed the record set by the final U. S. Skylab crew of 84 days, had been a tremendous success;

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Soyuz 26 crew

they had proved every aspect of space station operations and set the path for all future long-duration expeditions.

The second main expedition to Salyut 6 was undertaken by the Soyuz 29 crew of Vladimir Kovalyonok and Alexandr Ivanchenkov. They launched on 15 June 1978, and docked with the front port the next day. They were to receive two Inter-Kosmos crews, one with a cosmonaut from Poland and the other from East Germany, unload and repack three Progress cargo craft, make an EVA to retrieve material samples from the hull of Salyut 6, and swap the newer Soyuz 31 from the rear port to the front port in order to clear the rear for future Progress dockings. They returned to Earth on 2 November after further extending the duration record to 140 days.

Unfortunately, things would not go quite as smoothly for the third expedition. Vladimir Lyakhov and Valery Ryumin on board Soyuz 32 launched successfully on 25 February 1979, and docked with the front port the next day as per normal. They were expecting to stay for about six and a half months, and apart from working to try

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Soyuz 28 crew, first Inter-Kosmos flight

and fix a small leak in one of Salyut’s propellant tanks the mission was preceding as planned. Their first visitors were not so lucky. Soyuz 33 as usual contained an international crew with the guest cosmonaut from Bulgaria, but when they got within range of the station the main engine on their Soyuz misfired, and the docking was aborted. The bitterly disappointed crew made a manual re-entry the next day. This had implications for the long-duration crew. What would happen if their ferry was similarly afflicted? Even if it were not, it would need to be replaced before they could come home; the crew of Soyuz 34 had been due to bring them a new ferry and go home in the older one, but this was now in doubt. In the end it was decided to launch Soyuz 34 unmanned, and use the docked Soyuz 32 to return some samples and experiment results to Earth, also unmanned. The crew then swapped Soyuz 34 to the front port to again allow Progress dockings. The dramas for the resident crew were not yet over. The 10 m diameter KRT-10 radio telescope antenna, which had been deployed from the rear port, became entangled with a fixture on the hull when the crew attempted to jettison it. Therefore, on 15 August, the crew ventured outside to cut the antenna free, doing so with little difficulty. While outside, they and also retrieved sample cassettes from the hull of the station. On 19 August 1979, the crew climbed aboard Soyuz 34 and came home having spent 175 days on board Salyut 6.

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Soyuz 32 crew

Remarkably, the crew for the fourth expedition consisted of Leonid Popov and, making two flights in a row, Valery Ryumin. Ryumin was a last minute replacement for Valentin Lebedev, who had injured a knee shortly before launch. So it was that Ryumin found himself back on board Salyut 6 on 10 April 1980 reading the note that he had left for the next long-duration crew! In contrast to the previous mission, this crew entertained four visiting crews, three Inter-Kosmos and one carrying out the first manned test of the new Soyuz-T spacecraft. On 11 October the main expedition landed safely back on Earth after a mission lasting a record breaking 185 days. This meant that Ryumin had spent 360 days in space, making him the most traveled cosmonaut or astronaut at that time. He would fly again, but not until 1998, and on board a U. S. space shuttle to visit a Russian space station, a joint mission that would never have been predicted in the cold war days of 1980.

The final expedition to Salyut 6 began on 12 March 1981 when Soyuz-T 4 was launched with the crew of Vladimir Kovalyonok and Viktor Savinikh. This was after Soyuz-T 3 had flown a short three-man mission to the vacant station, both to replace some of the systems of Salyut 6, and to verify the three-man capability of the new Soyuz-T. The main expedition was to last for 74 days and receive two visiting Interkosmos crews, both using the older Soyuz spacecraft. The main expedition undocked and landed on 26 May 1981, closing the chapter on the fantastically

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Soyuz-T 4 crew

successful Salyut 6 station. Later that same year, Cosmos 1267, which had been in orbit since April, docked with the forward port. This helped to prove to engineers the concept of expanding future stations with separately launched modules. Cosmos 1267 was, in fact, a remnant of the Almaz program, as it was one of Vladimir Chelomei’s TKS designs that had been launched on an autonomous mission lasting 57 days before it docked with Salyut 6.

Salyut 6 had been occupied by five long-duration crews for a total of 684 days; it had also been visited 11 times by short-duration crews, 9 of which carried inter­national crewmembers. Salyut 6 was finally de-orbited on 29 July 1982 after four years and ten months in Earth orbit.

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Salyut 6 in orbit

Salyut 6: Space station operations defined

Inside Salyut 6

Introduction

In 1971, Viktor Patsayez gazed out of the small windows on Salyut 1, and looked at the Earth below. The enormous area of the Soviet Union slowly drifted past, and he watched quietly, totally absorbed by the sight. He marveled at the fact that he was here at all. That his country was capable of producing a technological miracle such as Salyut 1 he had no doubt. However, without the succession of recent crew changes, his presence on this mission was most unlikely. He had certainly not thought that he would spend his 38th, and last, birthday in space.

In 1973, Owen Garriott spent a lot of his time looking at the Earth through Skylab’s huge wardroom window. This window was the only one of note on the station, and to begin with, the stations designers had resisted including it, finally giving in to pressure from the potential crews. Now the crew could not imagine life without it. The work schedule aboard Skylab was intense, but each crewmember of the three missions tried to find some time each day just to look.

Georgi Grechko loved being back in space. He had flown to Salyut 4 two years earlier, in 1975, but the Salyut 6 station that he was now aboard was a great improvement in many ways. For one thing, it had a bigger, clearer window, and Grechko never tired of gazing at his homeland, and the far reaches of space. Many things had changed on the surface of his home planet in the time between the launch of Salyut 1 and now. Relations with the United States were more open then ever since the Apollo-Soyuz docking mission in 1975, and it was possible that more joint missions would take place in the future.

Ulf Merbold had trained for five years for the opportunity to fly aboard America’s space shuttle, and now in 1983 he was here with his five crewmates aboard Columbia for the first flight of the European Spacelab. The schedule was unbelievably tight, but when he could steal a few moments, often before going to sleep, he would look at the Earth through the shuttle’s flight-deck overhead rendezvous windows. Eleven years later, he would look again, but not through the windows of a space shuttle, but the windows of a Russian space station, called Mir.

The period that Michael Foale most enjoyed was when he had finished exercising. Hot and sweaty, he would float to one of the windows in Mir’s Kristall module, this window was special because it had an air jet fitted that was originally used to cool a camera. The camera was long gone, but the jet remained and it was the ideal thing to cool down a steaming astronaut as he watched the world go by. Six years later Foale was looking through a much larger window than had ever been in space before. He floated in the U. S. Destiny laboratory module aboard the International Space Station (ISS) after exercising in the station’s node module, Unity, and looked through the 20- inch-wide window at the Earth below.

Sergei Krikalev had flown in space six times: twice on the Mir space station, twice on the U. S. space shuttle, and as a member of the very first crew of the ISS. Now he commanded that station’s eleventh expedition, and when this mission was complete, he would have flown over 800 days in space, more than any other human being. He had looked at the Earth from four different spacecraft, and once literally watched the world below change as the Soviet Union dissolved into the Confederation of Inde­pendent States before his very eyes. When he landed the communist state was no more, and he was a Russian citizen.

For Frank Culbertson it was the most painful experience of his life. Below him, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York lay in ruins, and every orbit allowed him to see the devastation from an unprecedented viewpoint on board the ISS. The Pentagon had been hit too, of course, and Frank was to learn that the pilot of that plane was a friend that he had been in flight school with. Tears don’t flow as easily in space, he would later observe.

The history of man’s space stations is a long one, and one that is necessary if we are to journey beyond the orbit of our own planet again. The glory days of Apollo are a long way behind us, many more manned hours aboard the ISS the space shuttles, and the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) lay ahead before we can fulfil our destiny to land human explorers on Mars. Here is the story of what has gone before, the human story, the technical story, and the sometimes tragic tale of “The Story of Manned Space Stations’’.

Flight schedule and International Space Station crewing

Scheduled Flight

launch date designation Flight crew

9 April 2007 Soyuz-TMA 10 Commander: Fyodor Yurchikhin

Flight engineer: Oleg Kotov

Flight engineer: Simonyi

Resident ISS crew Expedition 15 Commander: Fyodor Yurchikhin

Flight engineer: Oleg Kotov Flight engineer: Sunita Williams

8 June 2007 STS-117 Commander: Frederick Sturckow

Atlantis Pilot: Lee Archambault

Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingПодпись: 152 Appendix AFlight schedule and International Space Station crewingПодпись: ISS-13A: 2nd starboard truss segment, install S3/S4 solar arrays Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingMSI: Steven Swanson MS2: James Reilly MS3: Patrick Forrester MS4: John Olivas

Подпись: ISS-13A.1: SpaceHab-SM, 3rd starboard truss segment. Deliver third ISS crewmember (Anderson) Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingSTS-118 Commander: Scott Kelly

Endeavour Pilot: Charles Hobaugh

MSI: Rick Mastracchio MS2: Tracy Caldwell MS3: Dafydd Williams (Canada)

MS4: Barbara Morgan

MS5: Clayton Anderson (Exp 15—Up)

MS5: Sunita Williams (Exp 14—Down)

Resident ISS crew Expedition 15 Commander: Fyodor Yurchikhin

Flight engineer: Oleg Kotov Flight engineer: Clayton Anderson

6 October 2007 Soyuz-TMA 11 Commander: Yuri Malenchenko Deliver Expedition 16 crew

Flight engineer: Peggy Whitson (ISS Cdr) to ISS Flight engineer: Sheik Muszaphar Shukor

20 October 2007 STS-120 Commander: Pamela Melroy ISS 10A:

Discovery Pilot: George Zamka Node 2, sidewall

MSI: Stephanie Wilson MS2: Scott Parazynski MS3: Paolo Nespoli MS4: Douglas Wheelock MS5: Daniel Tani (Exp 15—Up)

Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingFlight schedule and International Space Station crewingПодпись: Appendix A 153MS5: Clayton Anderson (Exp 15—Down)

Scheduled Flight

launch date designation Flight crew Mission objectives

Resident ISS crew Expedition 16 Commander: Peggy Whitson

Flight engineer: Yuri Malenchenko Flight engineer: Daniel Tani

6 December 2007 STS-122 Commander: Stephen Frick ISS 1 E Columbus

Atlantis Pilot: Alan Poindexter

MSI: Hans Schlegel MS2: Stan Love MS3: Rex Walheim MS4: Leland Melvin MS5: Daniel Tani (Exp 16—Down)

MS5: Leopold Eyharts (Exp 16—Up)

Resident ISS crew Expedition 16 Commander: Peggy Whitson

Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingПодпись: 154 Appendix AFlight schedule and International Space Station crewingFlight engineer: Yuri Malenchenko Flight engineer: Leopold Eyharts (ESA)

14 February 2008

STS-123 Commander: Dominic Gorie Endeavour Pilot: Gregory Johnson MSI: Takao Doi (Japan)

MS2: Richard Linnehan

MS3: Michael Foreman

MS4: Robert Behnken

MS5: Garrett Reisman (Exp 16—Up)

MS5: Leopold Eyharts (Exp 16—Down)

ISS 1J/A

JEM ELM PS / SLP-D1

Resident ISS crew

Expedition 16 Commander: Peggy Whitson

Flight engineer: Yuri Malenchenko Flight engineer: Garrett Reisman

^ IN I KKNATIONAI. ЖІ

Sl»ACK STATION

8 April 2008

Soyuz TMA-12 Commander: Sergei Volkov

Flight engineer: Oleg Kononenko Flight engineer: Ко San or Yi So-yeon

Deliver Expedition 17 crew to ISS

 

Подпись: Appendix A 155

Scheduled Flight

launch date designation Flight crew Mission objectives Mission insignia

Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingПодпись: 156 Appendix AResident ISS crew Expedition 17 Commander: Peggy Whitson

Flight engineer: Sergei Volkov Flight engineer: Oleg Kononenko

24 April 2008 STS-124 Commander: Mark Kelly ISS 1J JEM PM, RMS

Discovery Pilot: Kenneth Ham

MSI: Michael Fossum MS2: Karen Nyberg MS3: Ronald Garan MS4: Stephen Bowen MS5: Akihiko Hoshide

10 July 2008

STS-119

Endeavour

Commander:

Pilot:

MSI: Michael Gernhardt

MS5: Sandra Magnus (Exp 17—Up)

MS5: Peggy Whitson (Exp 17—Down)

ISS 15A:

4th starboard truss segment, S6 array

11 September 2008

STS-125

Commander: Scott Altman

HST service 4

Discovery

Pilot: Gregory Johnson MSI: John Grunsfield MS2: Michael Massimino MS3: Andrew Feustel MS4: Michael Good MS5: Megan McArthur

Non-ISS mission

Resident ISS crew Expedition 17 Commander: Sergei Volkov

Flight schedule and International Space Station crewingFlight schedule and International Space Station crewingПодпись: Appendix A 157Flight engineer: Sandra Magnus Flight engineer: Oleg Kononenko

9 October 2008 STS-126 Commander: ISS ULF-2

Atlantis Pilot:

MSI:

MS5: Koichi Wakata (Exp 17—Up)

MS5: Sandra Magnus (Exp 17—Down)

Resident ISS crew Expedition 17 Commander: Sergei Volkov

Flight engineer: Oleg Kononenko Flight engineer: Koichi Wakata

8 September 2008 Soyuz TMA-13 Commander: Salizhan Sharipov Deliver Expedition 18 crew

Flight engineer: Michael Fincke to ISS

Flight engineer:

BIRTH OF ALMAZ AND SALYUT—SERGEI KOROLEV AND VLADIMIR CHELOMEI

On the Soviet side it was all about the competition between two implacable rivals; Sergei Korolev head of the OKB-1 design bureau and responsible for all of the Soviet Unions space successes so far, and Vladimir Chelomei, head of the OKB-52 design bureau, which had a great deal of experience with missiles, but no track record in space. Korolev had been tasked with developing the Soviet lunar program in order to compete directly with NASA. Chelomei, who had the support of the military, was designing a manned surveillance platform, which he called Almaz, to be serviced by a manned ferry/cargo craft called the TKS. The crew of three would be launched with the Almaz station aboard a returnable capsule, gaining entry to the station via a hatch in the heat shield. They would be launched with as much food and water as possible, but at some point a TKS would be flown to a docking by another crew (automatic dockings had not yet been developed) to facilitate resupply and crew exchange. Chelomei’s design, whilst certainly innovative, and more flexible than the USAF MOL, suffered from his own and his bureau’s lack of real spacecraft experience, and soon fell far behind schedule.

Korolev, however, was having his own problems with his new Soyuz spacecraft design. The first Soyuz launch was rushed before it was really ready, culminating in April 1967 with the death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. But Korolev did not live to see this. He died in January 1966 during a routine operation. Vasily Mishin had the unenviable task of replacing Korolev, and his task was not helped by the fact that he and Chelomei hated one another to the point that they could not stand to be in the same room together, making collaboration or co-operation virtually impossible.

Salyut 7 and Spacelab

Salyut 6 had been an impressive step forward in space station technology and operations. Salyut 7 was the back-up to Salyut 6 and, therefore, similar in design, but it did have improved systems, and extra comforts for the crews that were likely to be aboard for much longer periods than previously. Personal selection of food items was allowed for the first time, and there was a small refrigerator for the fresh food delivered by Progress. Extra storage was provided, but it would prove to be still not enough as the life of the station lengthened.

Launched on 19 April 1982, Salyut 7 was to have a long life and more resident crews than Salyut 6. The introduction of the updated Soyuz-T spacecraft would allow more flexibility in crew visits owing to its ability to spend more time in space. It was also hoped to achieve the first operational rotation of crews, with a new crew arriving and having the station handed over to them before the old resident crew left. This would save considerable time and resources, as it meant that the station would not have to be powered down and up again by subsequent crews.

Soyuz-T 5 was launched on 13 May 1982 with the first resident crew of Valentin Lebedev and Anatoli Berezovoi—this was defined as the EO-1 crew. They were initially given light duties for their first few days in orbit as they worked their way through the tasks required to commission the new station. New experiments were set up, and the crew slowly settled into a daily routine as they awaited their first visitors. Soyuz-T 6 was launched just over a month later, and carried the first crewmember from outside the Inter-Kosmos organization, Frenchman Jean-Loup Chretien, who was to carry out a series of medical experiments. As did short-term visitors, he wore himself out, shortening his sleep periods to maximize his time in orbit, and by the time Soyuz-T 6 undocked from Salyut 7 to return to Earth, he was exhausted. However, the resident crew of Lebedev and Berezovoi were just as tired, because hosting visitors was hard work, as previous crews had found, and ground controllers gave them a few days off to allow them time to recover. In addition, the two men did not really get on that well; they had not bonded during training for the mission, but for some reason

Salyut 7 and Spacelab

Soyuz-T 5 crew

they had not been reassigned to separate missions. Two men aboard a small space station is never going to be an easy period of time to get through, particularly when it is for such a long period of time, but this pair seemed to exploit every excuse for arguing with one another, even over trivial things. The only break for the crew came

Salyut 7 and Spacelab

Soyuz-T 7 crew

when visitors arrived, and the next set of visitors would be more welcome than most, because it included a woman.

Soyuz-T 7 established another space triumph of sorts for the Soviets. Svetlana Savitskaya was the second woman in space after Valentina Tereshkova in 1963. It was obviously no coincidence that NASA had announced earlier in 1982 that Sally Ride would fly on board the space shuttle’s seventh mission. The Soviets wished to trump NASA’s latest public relations scoop, and assigned Savitskaya to the flight at relatively short notice. However, it is unlikely that the more liberal American Sally Ride would have accepted the flowers and floral apron that were presented to Savitskaya by her male colleagues. Her flight was relatively short, lasting only seven days before the visitors returned to Earth in the older Soyuz-T 5, leaving Soyuz-T 7 for the long-duration crew.

Alone again, the two men struggled to get along; there was a momentary panic when Berezovoi felt unwell one day during an exercise period. His illness threatened the length of the mission, and both men felt angry that having put up with each other for all this time, they might have to come home early. Ground controllers recom­mended that Berezovoi be given an injection of atropine to ease the pain, and this helped, causing him to feel much better by the next day; the mission could continue. Finally the crew had reached their personal limits, and they were allowed to return home. They had set a new endurance record of 211 days, but their landing and recovery did not go completely smoothly, as they had to spend the night on board a disabled, and cold, helicopter. This was the last straw for the two men, and in the twenty odd years since their joint flight, they have barely spoken to each other.

The launch of Soyuz-T 8 on the 20 April 1983 did not go entirely to plan. The crew of Aleksandr Serebrov, Gennady Strekalov, and Vladimir Titov were unable to dock with Salyut 7 because one of the spacecraft’s rendezvous antennas was damaged at launch; they returned to Earth on the 22 April. Soyuz-T 9 docked with the station on the 28 June carrying Vladimir Lyakhov and Aleksandr Aleksandrov. As the next long-duration crew, EO-2, they were due to receive visitors, but unfortunately the launch of Soyuz-T 10-A, again crewed by Strekalov and Titov, was aborted and the launch escape system used when the booster caught fire during the last moments of the countdown. Thus, Strekalov and Titov failed for the second time that year to get to Salyut 7, where they were supposed to add solar arrays to the station. This task would now fall to the resident crew. Following on from the success of Cosmos 1267 with Salyut 6, Cosmos 1443 had docked with the station prior to the arrival of the Soyuz-T 9 crew, and was loaded with 3.5 tonnes of supplies. During its stay, Cosmos 1443 was used to provide attitude control for the station, and to boost Salyut 7’s orbit. The re-entry module would later turn up at a Southerby’s auction in 1993. The crew set about unloading just after they arrived; they then loaded the TKS’ re-entry module with experiment results, which returned to Earth in August. They carried out the spacewalks to install the solar panels (which were cargo in the large module) just a few weeks before their return to Earth on 23 November, after 150 days in space, having received no visitors. At around this time it was noticed by the resident crew, and ground controllers, that Salyut 7 was leaking fuel from its propellant tanks, severely limiting the station’s maneuvrability. Plans were made for the next crew to attempt to fix the problem, rather than abandon Salyut 7 at this early stage.

1928-1970: How it all began

Life in the United States of America in the 1950s was pretty good. After the end of the Second World War, America was entering a Golden Age. The war effort which had provided tanks, planes, and ships, was now focused on providing more luxurious items to an eager population that may have only made up 5% of the world’s total, but that was wealthier than the other 95% combined.

The only blot on the landscape was the Soviet Union. This was the McCarthy era, and the Senator from Wisconsin had made it very clear to all Americans that the enemy was without doubt Red. Most of his accusations were, in fact, totally groundless, but his point had been well made and remembered by the U. S. public. When the U. S.S. R. launched the first satellite, Sputnik, in October 1957, the paranoia that Joseph McCarthy had begun returned with full force. It suddenly seemed that America could not do anything right. When the U. S. responded with their attempt at a satellite launch in December, it exploded after achieving the heady heights of about two feet. They were finally successful in January 1958, but the other four launches that year also failed publicly, and there were many further very spectacular, very public spaceflight failures over the next decade. Meanwhile, it seemed like the Soviet Union could do nothing wrong, they seemed to enjoy success after success in the field of spaceflight, up to and including the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first human into orbit, in April 1961. By comparison, the U. S.A. were not yet ready for a manned spaceflight, and just one week after Gagarin’s flight, the U. S. suffered the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba that brought further embarrassment to the nation. The truth, of course, was a little different. In much later years we would learn that the U. S.S. R. suffered many failures in their space program, but this was not known at the time, and anyway the American public was not going to let a little thing like the facts get in the way of their opinion that somebody somewhere was sleeping on the job.

In 1961, therefore, the pressure was on new U. S. President John Kennedy to restore some pride to the nation, and if that sent a message to those pesky Russians at the same time, all the better. The question that Kennedy asked his advisors was,

“What can we beat the Russians at?” He was advised that simply trying to launch a space station ahead of their rivals would be a waste of time; the Soviets had already demonstrated that they had the lifting capability to achieve that goal before the U. S.A., and another “first” to the communists at this stage was unthinkable. So Kennedy’s mind was made up for him, a month after Gagarin’s flight, and with only 15 minutes of U. S. manned spaceflight experience behind him in the shape of Alan Shepard’s ballistic flight, he announced the challenge of putting a man on the moon before the Soviet Union, and of doing so before the end of the decade. This was not to be a scientific endeavor, nor a noble crusade, it was to be a simple politically motivated challenge to the Russians to get there and back first, ideally without killing anyone in the process. It was not really what NASA wanted to do. The space agency knew that it was not ready for this, it had not even put a man into orbit yet, and now it was being asked to build the equipment needed to send men 250,000 miles to the moon and back, whilst at Cape Canaveral it seemed that every other rocket launch ended in a big bang. As we will see this crash program to send men to the moon and back did little to promote the cause of manned space stations, and in fact, simply got in the way of a logically progressive manned spaceflight effort. Not that Project Apollo and the Soviet moon program stopped all thinking about space stations, it did not, but it certainly meant that such ideas took a back seat to the preparations for landing a man on the moon.

America began to claw back the ground lost to the U. S.S. R. at the opening of the space race. In February 1962 Project Mercury put John Glenn into Earth orbit. In 1965-1966 Project Gemini, a two-man spacecraft, managed its own “firsts” in space­flight, and out-stripped the Russian space program, which was having problems of its own behind closed doors, in every area. And Project Apollo succeeded in landing men on the moon even before the Soviets were on the starting block. Meanwhile, others were thinking about space stations, all about a more permanent presence in space, where science and discovery were the motivating factors. Such thinking had begun many years earlier, almost as early as the dawn of flight itself.