|Soviet Platform 85|
Soviet artists concept of orbital plarform incorporating the Salyut 7 station, 1985
Credit: DoD via Marcus Lindroos. 55,502 bytes. 632 x 480 pixels.
The design of an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station was authorised as part of the third generation of Soviet space systems in a 17 February 1976 decree. At that time it was planned that the two stations (DOS-7 and DOS-8) would be equipped with two docking ports at either end of the station and an additional two ports at the sides of the forward small diameter compartment. By the time of the draft project in August 1978 this had evolved to the final Mir configuration of one aft port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station. Up to that time it was planned that the ports would provide docking positions for 7 tonne modules derived from the Soyuz spacecraft. These would use the Soyuz propulsion module, as in Soyuz and Progress, but would be equipped with long laboratory modules in place of the descent module and orbital module.
Following the decision to cancel Chelomei's manned Almaz military space station programme, a resolution of February 1979 consolidated the programs, with the docking ports to be reinforced to accommodate 20 tonne space station modules based on Chelomei's TKS manned ferry spacecraft. NPO Energia was made responsible for the overall space station, but subcontracted the work to KB Salyut due to the press of in-house work on Energia, Salyut 7, Soyuz-T, and Progress. The subcontractor began work in the summer of 1979, with drawings being released in 1982-1983. New systems incorporated into the station included the Salyut 5B digital flight control computer and gyrodyne flywheels (taken from Almaz), and the new Kurs automatic rendezvous system, Altair satellite communications system, Elektron oxygen generators, and Vozdukh carbon dioxide scrubbers.
|Soyuz-Mir-Kvant - Soyuz-Mir-Kvant-Soyuz Isometric|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 5,164 bytes. 451 x 256 pixels.
A major problem was that the station ended up one tonne heavier than designed due to the final weight of the electrical cabling Even after removing most of the experimental equipment (it would have to be delivered to the station later by ferry craft) it still exceeded the performance of the Proton booster to the planned 65 degree inclination orbit. The decision was finally taken in January 1985 to use the same 51.6 degree orbit as Salyut, although this would reduce photographic coverage of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile problems with development of the new software for the Salyut 5B computer lead to the decision to launch Mir with the old analogue Argon computer from Salyut DOS-17K. The digital computer would have to be installed later in orbit.
By April 1985 it was clear that the planned processing flow could not be followed and still make the spring 1986 launch date. The decision was taken on Cosmonautics Day (April 12) to ship the flight model to Baikonur and conduct the systems testing and integration there. Mir arrived at the launch site on 6 May 1985. 1100 of 2500 cables required rework based on results of testing of the ground test model at Khrunichev. In October 1985 Mir was rolled outside of its clean room to conduct communications tests of the Altair system with the Cosmos 1700 satellite already in orbit.
|Mir 1985 - Mir according to 1985 Department of Defense report.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 53,624 bytes. 628 x 438 pixels.
The early launch of Mir left the planners without Soyuz spacecraft or modules to launch to it. The decision was taken to launch Soyuz T-15 on a unique dual station mission. The Soyuz would first dock with Salyut 7, which was dead in space, and completely repair the station. They then would fly in their Soyuz to Mir, and put it into initial operation. This spectacular mission marked a new maturity in the Soviet space program.
The Mir base block was the backbone of the Mir space station. It was the principal space station control element and contained the main computers, communications equipment, kitchen and hygiene facilities, and primary living quarters. The module provided 90 cubic meters of habitable volume. The base block included six docking ports used as permanent attachment points for the other station modules and for temporary docking of manned and unmanned resupply ships.
Mir was equipped with its own orbital manoeuvring engines. These could not be used after the arrival of Kvant (the first station module), but the base block still provided the principal propellant storage tanks and primary attitude control for the entire space station.
The base block was divided into four compartments, designated as the working, transfer, intermediate and assembly compartments. All but the assembly compartment were pressurised. A small airlock was also available for experiments or for the release of small satellites or refuse.
|Mir against Space - The Mir station seen against space during one of the Shuttle-Mir missions.|
Credit: NASA. 38,836 bytes. 800 x 600 pixels.
Power to the base block was initially provided by 2 x 38 sq. meter arrays providing 9 kW. A third array was added to the base block in 1987 to bring total power to 10.1 kW. Additional power from visiting Progress-M and Soyuz-TM vehicles and other station modules added to the station's total supply as it grew. The arrays charged 12 NiCd batteries. The base block was equipped with an integrated refuellable pressure-fed propulsion system consisting of 32 x 137 N attitude control thrusters and 2 x 2.9 kN thrusters for orbital manoeuvre. The system used N2O4/UDMH hypergolic propellants.
The life support system maintained the station's environment at 18-28 degrees. C and 20-70 percent humidity. The Vozdukh electrolytic system was used to recycle station atmosphere with a backup chemical scrubbing system. Station pointing could be controlled to within 15 arc-min.
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Equipment originally delivered with the base block included: - Splav-2 crystal growth facility - Zona zone melt facility - Kashtan electrophoresis unit - Bulgarian Rozhen photometer - Spektr-256 and MKS-M spectrometers - Pion-M multipurpose physics unit (41 kg) - Biryuza semiconductor materials unit Ruchei electrophoresis installation - Yantar metal coating equipment - Mariye magnetic spectrometer - Korund furnace (136 kg).
Craft.Crew Size: 12. Total Length: 13.1 m. Total Mass: 21,000 kg. Total Propellants: 1,200 kg. Primary Engine Thrust: 600 kgf. Main Engine Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. Main Engine Isp: 305 sec. Electric system: 2.50 total average kW. Electrical System: Solar panels 29.73 m span, area: 76 sq. m.
|Mir - Mir base block.|
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Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On work on Energia-Buran, DOS-7K nos. 7 and 8, Gamma. Geyzer (Potok), and Altair (Luch) and cancellation of the N1' was issued. The design of an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station was authorised as part of the third generation of Soviet space systems in a decree. At that time it was planned that the two stations (DOS-7 and DOS-8) would be equipped with two docking ports at either end of the station and an additional two ports at the sides of the forward small diameter compartment. Luch and Potok were elements of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) deployed in the first half of the 1980's. Luch satellites, analogous to the US TDRS, provided communications service to the Mir space station, Buran space shuttle, Soyuz-TM spacecraft, military satellites, and the TsUPK ground control center. They also served to provide mobile fleet communications for the Soviet Navy.
By this time Mir had evolved to the final configuration of one aft port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station. It was planned that the ports would provide docking positions for 7 tonne modules derived from the Soyuz spacecraft. These would use the Soyuz propulsion module, as in Soyuz and Progress, but would be equipped with long laboratory modules in place of the descent module and orbital module.
|Mir simulator - Mir simulator at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 44,198 bytes. 572 x 394 pixels.
Following the decision to cancel Chelomei's manned Almaz military space station programme, a resolution consolidated the programs, with the Mir docking ports to be reinforced to accommodate 20 tonne space station modules based on Chelomei's TKS manned ferry spacecraft. NPO Energia was made responsible for the overall space station, but subcontracted the work to KB Salyut due to the press of in-house work on Energia, Salyut 7, Soyuz-T, and Progress. The subcontractor began work in the summer of 1979.
Drawings were released in 1982-1983. New systems incorporated into the station included the Salyut 5B digital flight control computer and gyrodyne flywheels (taken from Almaz), and the new Kurs automatic rendezvous system, Altair satellite communications system, Elektron oxygen generators, and Vozdukh carbon dioxide scrubbers.
Design and fabrication reached an advanced phase when it was decided that the separate tug concept resulted in too low a net scientific payload (3 tonnes). Integrating the tug with the module was expected to increase this to 5 tonnes and provide some reserve engine capability at Mir and additional pressurised volume. Accordingly the 37KS modules for Mir were cancelled. Work on the 37KE experimental module (Kvant) and the 37KB Buran modules continued. The function of the 37KS modules was taken up by modules by KB Salyut derived from the FGB. A competing proposal from NPO Energia for a unified spacecraft that combined the 37KS module with the engine unit of Mir was rejected.
|Mir - View of Mir in space.|
Credit: NASA. 42,663 bytes. 640 x 320 pixels.
By the end of 1984 the static and dynamic test models of the station had been completed. The ground test model of the station was delivered in December 1984. The use of this full-fidelity test article, an approach taken on the Almaz program, was new to the civilian DOS project.
It was clear that the planned processing flow could not be followed and still make the spring 1986 launch date. The decision was taken on Cosmonautics Day to ship the flight model to Baikonur and conduct the systems testing and integration there.
1100 of 2500 cables required rework based on results of testing of the ground test model at Khrunichev.
Installed solar array.
Mir was rolled outside of its clean room to conduct communications tests of the Altair system with the Cosmos 1700 satellite already in orbit.
|Shuttle/Mir 1993 - ISS Phase One Shuttle/Mir. The US Space Shuttle docks with Russia's "Mir" space station.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 37,785 bytes. 630 x 480 pixels.
The first launch attempt at very low temperatures was scrubbed when the spacecraft communications failed.
The core module of Russia's new space station was placed in an initial orbit of 172 x 301 km. It was established in its operational orbit on 6 March. It passed just 10 km from Salyut 7 on 8 March. First use of the geosynchronous Luch relay sattelite for communications with the station was on 29 March. Equipment launched with the core module included:
Total costs of Mir from February 1986 through return of Soyuz TM-9 in April 1989 were given as 1.471 billion rubles. This sum ncluded Mir, Kvant, all Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, and 2 new modules. As of April 1989 50% of the scientific equipment was inoperable and the interior was cramped due to lack of extension modules. Electric power supply problems were first reported in April 1989 (batteries would not hold charge from panels). Mass 27,300 kg as of January 1990. Complex mass with Kvant-2 65,790 kg; with Kristall, Soyuz TM, and Progress M, 89,990 kg. Additional Details: Mir.
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Tested truss structure.
Removed bag from docking unit that interfered with Kvant docking.
Began solar array installation.
Continued solar array installation.
Completed solar array installation. Inspected exterior of station.
|Mir Complex Cutaway - Cutaway drawing of the Mir space station.|
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Completed repair of TTM telescope. Tested new spacesuit.
Deployed ERA (French experiment).
Installed star tracker.
Retrieved and installed material samples
Tested spacesuit. Examined exterior of Kvant 2.
Serebrov tested SPK manoeuvring unit.
|Mir Phase 5 - Configuration of the Mir space station in the fifth phase of assembly.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 7,317 bytes. 512 x 304 pixels.
Repaired Soyuz TM-9 insulation rip.
Dismantled equipment. Temporarily closed damaged hatch.
Attempt to repair Kvant 2 hatch.
Completed repair of Kvant 2 hatch.
Installed Strela boom on Mir.
Installed solar array supports.
|Orlan DM Spacesuit - Orlan DM spacesuit used on Mir.|
Credit: Andy Salmon. 26,067 bytes. 250 x 493 pixels.
Replaced Kurs docking system antenna.
Attached TREK cosmic ray collector to exterior of station.
Began Sofora girder construction. Sofora mounting platform installed.
Began assembly of Sofora girder.
Continued assembly of Sofora girder.
Completed assembly of Sofora girder.
The original Spektr design was to be armed with Oktava interceptor rockets and equipped with sensors to identify and track ballistic missile re-entry vehicles as well as discriminate decoys. In 1992, as directed by the Soviet Union's military and political leadership, all work on such projects was discontinued. The Spektr module was mothballed, then later converted into a civilian platform, partially funded by the United States.
|SPK MMU - SPK Manned Maneuvering Unit|
Credit: Andy Salmon. 35,764 bytes. 346 x 469 pixels.
Inspected gyrodyne orientation flywheels.
Began installation of VDU thruster pod on Sofora tower.
Continued installation of VDU thruster pod on Sofora tower.
Completed installation of VDU thruster pod on Sofora tower.
Installed Kurs docking system antenna on Kristall module.
|Mir against Horizon - The Mir station seen against the horizon during one of the Shuttle-Mir missions.|
Credit: NASA. 45,184 bytes. 640 x 481 pixels.
In discussions regarding docking the US Shuttle with the Mir space station, NASA expressed concern about the clearances between the Shuttle and Mir's solar panels when using the docking port designed for Buran on the Kristall module. The Russians thought NASA overly cautious, but NPO Energia offered a solution - a modified version of the Buran SO, to be delivered by the Shuttle. The specialised SO docking module was originally designed for docking the Buran space shuttle with the Mir-2 space station. In the 1992 concept the module would be delivered by a Progress-M tug to Mir-2 and included a lateral EVA hatch.
Completed installation of Kvant 1 solar array drive unit.
Began installation of Rapana truss.
Completed installation of Rapana truss.
|Toru - TORU control station, exhibited at the Russian Pavillion, Hannover Expo 2000.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 33,752 bytes. 579 x 390 pixels.
Retrieved micrometeoroid detectors.
Installed equipment on exterior of Mir
The simplified SO design deleted the lateral airlock. Qualification was relatively straightforward since the basic structure of the Soyuz BO orbital module was used, and the APDS androgynous docking port installation had already been proven on Soyuz-TM16. The draft project was completed in December 1993.
Repaired station external insulation. Checked docking port.
Checked out equipment on exterior of Mir.
Retracted solar array.
Began installation of solar array.
Completed installation of solar array.
Repositioned docking adapter.
Repositioned docking adapter.
Mir-Shuttle Docking Module flight article reached the Kennedy Space Center. It would be docked to the Mir station on November 14, 1995 at the Kristall module's axial docking port.
Repaired solar array. Inspected exterior of station.
Retrieved TREK detector.
Installed Miras spectrometer.
Sample cassettes installed in ESEF (European Science Exposure Facility).
Repositioned docking adapter.
Retrieved and installed material samples
Telescopic boom installed.
Attached MEEP materials exposure experiment to outside of Mir (retrieved on STS-86).
Installed MCSA solar array.
Deployed MCSA solar array.
Multi-Spectral Scanner installed.
Retrieved and installed material samples
Assembled truss. Deployed SAR radar antenna.
Began installation of MCSA solar array cables.
Completed external cable installation for MCSA solar array. Installed antenna.
Test of new spacesuits. Retrieved and installed external equipment.
Connected Spektr power cables. Surveyed interior of depressurised Spektr module. Retrieved equipment and belongings from module.
Inspected exterior of Spektr. Moved solar arrays.
Retrieved MEEP materials exposure experiment from outside of Mir.
Installed new hatch to reconnect Spektr solar array cable with Mir power bus.
Removed solar array from Kvant module.
Installed solar array.
Recovered equipment; began repairs on leaky Kvant-2 airlock. Examination of airlock indicated cause was loose belt, resulting in 10 mm gap.
Inspected station exterior.
Inner and outer airlocks of Kvant-2 module were depressurised for EVA. However the crew could not open the outer hatch, repaired on 2 January 1998 by Solovyov and Vinogradov. The planned EVA was cancelled.
The Kvant-2 hatch had been fixed from within and was used for the EVA. Objective was to repair the damaged Spektr solar panel. Handrails were installed near the panel but the crew could not complete the work before the scheduled time ran out.
The crew succeeded in completing repair of the damaged Spektr solar panel. However the EVA was cut short when Mission Control in error commanded the Mir to drift. This was then misdiagnosed as a depletion of fuel of the VDU orientation engine, and the crew was ordered back into the station.
The cosmonauts began a series of three EVA's to install the new VDU station orientation engine (delivered by Progress M-38) into the Sofora boom. On this first spacewalk they disconnected the old engine (in use for six years) and pushed it into space.
Installation of the new VDU station orientation engine assembly was completed at the end of the Sofora boom.
Two truss structures on the Kvant module and the new Sofora VDU station orientation engine assembly was unlatched from Progress M-38.
After donning spacesuits, the PKhO compartment of the Mir core module was depressurized and the crew entered the dead Spektr module at 20:00 GMT. They reconnected some cables for the solar panel steering mechanism and closed the hatch a half hour later. The PKhO was then repressurized.
Padalka and Avdeyev made the EVA from the Kvant-2 airlock on the Mir. The walk began at 19:24 GMT. The cosmonauts installed a meteoroid detector in for the upcoming Leonid shower, and hand-launched the Spoutnik-41 amateur-radio mini-satellite. The space walk concluded at 01:18 GMT on November 11.
Haignere launched by hand the Sputnik-99 amateur radio satellite, delivered to Mir by Progress M-41.
Mir spacewalk started at 11:06 GMT. Afanasyev and Avdeyev installed a new experimental 6-meter antenna but failed to deploy it.
The spacewalk started at 09:37 GMT. Afanasyev and Avdeyev erected an experimental 6-meter antenna. At the end of the experiment the antenna was jettisoned.
The cosmonauts entered open space via the air-lock of Kvant-2 at 10:44 GMT. The Germatizator experiment, the use of a special glue to seal off cracks on the outside surface of the complex, was executed according to plan. An inspection of a malfunctioning solar panel on Kvant-1showed that the steering cable to the rotor was burnt through due to a short-circuit and was beyond repair. The cosmonauts dismantled an experimental lightweight solar battery from the outer surface of the SO docking compartment. The last activity was the panorama-inspection, making images of the outside of the complex to enable specialist to analyse the effects of ageing of the material. The hatch was closed on what might have been the last spacewalk on Mir at 15:36 GMT.