Posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2000
The Mir cosmonauts have returned to a standard work/rest cycle, waking up in the morning and going to sleep in the nighttime hours. This is a change from the previous week, when mission commander Sergei Zalyotin and flight engineer Alexander Kalery woke up in the evening and worked through the next morning.
For Saturday, the cosmonauts' activities included cleaning the station and activating the Potok air revitalization assembly for a six-hour operating cycle.
Alexander Kalery is shown while at work in this slow-scan TV image provided by amateur radio operator Trevor Smith (VK3TI) of Australia. The Mir cosmonauts have been communicating with radio amateur operators and sending the slow-scan TV images from orbit.
Sunday was busy, with both crewmembers starting their day working on the life support system. Zalyotin replaced a carbon dioxide gas analyzer filter unit, while Kalery activated the Potok air revitalization unit.
The hatch to Mir's Kristall building-block module was reopened at mid-day, having been closed previously during efforts to isolate Mir's small air leak.
Once Kristall's hatch was opened Sunday, the crew reconnected cables running to the module's electrical power system as well as to the system that orients the its solar arrays. Air ducts also were brought in to the module. With this work completed, Kristall was reactivated in the afternoon.
Monday morning began with an early wakeup, followed by the additional hookup of cables in Mir's forward docking unit, where the Kristall, Kvant-2, Priroda and Spektr modules are installed.
Scientific experimentation also was on the agenda Monday, with Kalery operating the "Fantom" space experiment. Developed by RSC Energia and the Russian Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, the Fantom experiment is being used to study space radiation on the human body and to develop radiation protection for cosmonauts.
Air pressure in the newly-reactivated Kristall module was raised to 685 mm by the transfer of air from the Progress M1-1 cargo vehicle, which is docked to the other end of Mir on the Kvant-1 module.
The Progress M1-1, which reached Mir in February, is being prepared for its separation from the station and a burn-up reentry in the Earth's atmosphere after serving the station well. This unmanned re-supply spacecraft brought fuel and air to the station, preparing Mir for the successful arrival of cosmonauts Zalyotin and Kalery in April. The Progress also has been used to boost the space station's orbital altitude.
With its job now done, Progress M1-1's hatch is expected to be closed for the last time on Tuesday afternoon (April 25), while the launch of its replacement - Progress M1-2 - will occur several hours later at 20h07 GMT from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Progress M1-1 will be backed away from Mir on Wednesday afternoon - the same time Progress M1-2 begins closing in on the station.
Progress M1-2 is scheduled to dock with Mir at the Kvant module on Thursday, April 27 at 21h30 GMT, with the cosmonauts opening its hatch some 40 minutes later. The transfer of cargo from Progress M1-2 will begin on Friday, and the spacecraft's propulsion system will be fired to modify the Mir station's orbit on Saturday and Sunday.
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