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MirNews No. 480 12 May 2000

Status Report From: MIRNews
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2000

1st Spacewalk (EVA) 28th Main Expedition MIR:

The cosmonauts executed this EVA flawlessly on 12.05.2000 and they did this well within the planned time. The cosmonauts entered open space via the air-lock (Sh.S.O.) of Kvant-2 (Module-D) at 1044UTC and closed the hatch after their return at 1536UTC.

The "germatizator-experiment", the use of a special glue to seal off cracks or damages at the outside surface of the complex, was executed according to plan. The following activity was the inspection of a malfunctioning solarbattery on the Kvant-1 (Module-E). Problem with this solarbattery was that it was impossible to turn the panel into the most effective angle towards the sun. The cosmonauts found out that the steering cable to the rotor of the solarbattery was burnt through during a short-circuit. The cosmonauts made images of the the cable. During the future exploitation the Russians will have to work without power produced by that solarbattery. Flightcontrol regrets this very much, but it is no disaster for there are still 9 well working solarbatteries. Thereafter the cosmonauts dismantled an experimental solarbattery from the outer surface of the SO (docking compartment). This experimental panel consisted of very thin material.

The last activity was the so called panorama-inspection, making images of the outside of the complex to enable specialist to analyse the effects of aging of the material. The new freighter Progress-M1-2 was also inserted in this inspection.

When MIR came in range for Western-Europe during orbit 81356, 1609-1615UTC, the cosmonauts were inside the air-lock. Kaleri cleary reported about the status of the damaged steering cable. He had observed how the short-circuit had burnt through the insulation over a considerable length.

Radiotraffic during the next orbit (81357, 1740-1751UTC) began with a contact of the crew with the trackingstation of the DLR (GSOC) Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich. In English the crew transmitted greetings to the operators at GSOC and expressed their gratitude for the assistance. It was clear that GSOC had problems with the communications with TsUP Moscow and was not able to relay MIR&rsqu;ys traffic. The short contact did not reveal whether the appearance of GSOC had been spontaneous or had been officially planned. It was encouraging to hear that this assistance was still possible. It might be that the staff of GSOC in this way gets the opportunity to train on these communications, just like NASA already does with the staff of some tracking facilities with a view to the future International Spacestation.

Radiotraffic during this and the next pass was related to the situation after the return on board of the complex. The cosmonauts had some problems with condens on the glass of their helmets, This had been caused by transpiration during the streneous work to close the hatch of the air-lock. After connection the space suits to the power supply of the complex and switching on extra cooling, the condens disappeared.

The crew promised to transmit to earth the images of the damaged steering cable as soon as possible.

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