A Year in Space

by George A. Spiteri 

Page 11


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space station



Monday May 30th 1988

More astrophysical experiments.

Tuesday May 31st 1988

The Mir complex was refuelled with the supplies brought by Progress.

Wednesday June 1st 1988

A second EVA that was planned for the end of May had to be delayed until after the Soviet—Bulgarian flight.

Thursday June 2nd and Friday June 3rd 1988

The cosmonauts stored used equipment inside Progress prior to its docking.

Saturday June 4th 1988

Once again, attention had turned towards Baikonur. Final preparations were being made for the launching of Soyuz TM 5 and the Soviet-Bulgarian crew. The cosmonauts were having their final medical checks prior to launch.

Sunday June 5th 1988

Progress 36 was undocked from Mir at 11:12 GMT and burnt up in the atmosphere as planned, leaving the vacant docking unit on Kvant for Soyuz TM 5.

Monday June 6th 1988

The State Commission announced the crew for the Soviet-Bulgarian flight due the next day. The prime crew was Anatoly Solovyov (Commander) on his first flight, Viktor Savinykh (Flight Engineer) on his third flight and Bulgarian Alexander Alexandrov on his first flight (who was back-up on the first Soviet—Bulgarian flight in April 1979). The back—up crew was announced as Vladimir Lyakhov (Commander), Alexander Serebrov (Flight Engineer) and Bulgarian Krasimir Stoyanov. The rocket was already on the launch—pad.     

A.Ya. Solovyov, V.P. Savinykh and A. Alexandrov

Tuesday June 7th 1988

There was extensive live coverage on Soviet radio and television of today’s launch. Soyuz TM 5 lifted—off at 14:03 GMT into a cloudless sky. Once in orbit it began its 2—day chase with Mir.

Wednesday June 8th 1988

The five cosmonauts began preparations for tomorrow’s docking due at 15:00 GMT.

Thursday June 9th 1988

The approach and rendezvous of Soyuz TM 5 with Mir appeared successful but the docking took place nearly an hour late at 15:57 GMT. There was no actual live report of the link-up. People’s minds went back to Soyuz 33 and the first Soviet—Bulgarian flight which also encountered problems. The reason for the delay in the docking was that the Kura (Course) system aboard Soyuz was giving incorrect information and there was a deviation in the approach of Soyuz. Nevertheless, Mission Control noticed the error and decided that it was an instrument error and that the systems were functioning properly to allow the docking to proceed.

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