. SOYUZ TM14
VIKTORENKO, Alexandr Stepanovich, 44, Russian Air Force, commander, 3rd mission
Previous missions: Soyuz TM3 (1987), Soyuz TM8 (1989)
KALERI, Alexandr Yuriyevich, 35, civilian, flight engineer FLADE, Klaus-Dietrich, 39, German Air Force, cosmonaut researcher
The fully automated docking of TM14 to Mir was final confirmation that the Kurs rendezvous system had been repaired. After being bumped off the crew for TM13, Kaleri finally made it to Mir, alongside German cosmonaut Klaus Flade who conducted fourteen German experiments during his week aboard the station. His programme included materials processing experiments and Flade would also provide baseline biomedical data in preparation for extended orbital operations on the ESA Columbus laboratory, part of the Freedom Space Station programme. He would return to Earth with Volkov and Krikalev in the TM13 spacecraft, after they had spent the week briefing the new resident crew and packing their equipment for the return to Earth.
At this time, there was a strong possibility that the cash-starved Russian Space Agency might be forced to temporarily abandon Mir until new funds could be secured to support further manned operations. The EO-11 crew were therefore never sure when they might be called back to Earth. This residency was also very “quiet”, with the cosmonauts continuing the on-going programme of Earth observations, materials processing, biomedical studies and astrophysical observations, balanced with routine maintenance, housekeeping and unloading the Progress supply vehicles. The docking of Progress M13 was aborted on 2 July due to a fault in the onboard software, but
Formal crew portrait of the TM14 cosmonauts. L to r: German cosmonaut Flade, EO-11 commander Viktorenko and EO-11 FE Kaleri
reprogramming by operators on the ground resolved the problem, allowing a safe docking two days later to deliver some of the experiments for the upcoming French mission.
On 8 July, the crew performed the only EVA of their residency (of 2 hours 3 minutes) to examine the gyrodynes on the outside of Kvant 2. A dozen gyrodynes stabilised the station as it orbited the Earth. Similar to gyroscopes, these spinning devices generated angular momentum to maintain Mir’s orientation to the Sun, which was essential for the solar arrays to be able to absorb energy to produce electricity for use on the station. Though the gyrodynes consumed considerable power to start with, once they were spinning, they would run for some time with minimal energy consumption. Five of the six units on Kvant 1 had exceeded their five-year design life but four of the six on Kvant 2 had failed. During this EVA, the cosmonauts wielded large shears to cut through thermal insulation on Kvant 2 to reach the gyrodynes and inspected and photographed the units for engineers back on the ground as part of an evaluation for future EVA operations to remove and replace them. The cosmonauts also evaluated binoculars that were compatible with the Orlan suit’s visor to allow inspection of the more remote areas of Mir, where it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a cosmonaut to get to.
This was a quiet tour of duty on the space station. The two cosmonauts completed a programme of agricultural photography and spectral observation before dividing
their time between these commitments and their astrophysical observations. As the crew completed these studies, the onboard furnaces were being run in semiautomated mode. Towards the end of their residency the crew received the EO-12 cosmonauts and French cosmonaut researcher Michel Tognini, who would complete his own research programme during a 12-day hand-over period, and return with the EO-11 cosmonauts.
148th manned space flight
73rd Russian manned space flight
21st Russian and 45th flight with EVA operations
14th Soyuz flight to Mir
11th main Mir crew
9th visiting crew (Flade)
66th Soyuz manned mission 13th Soyuz TM manned mission
Viktorenko celebrates his 45th birthday in space (29 Mar) Kaleri celebrates his 36th birthday in space (13 May)