A Year in Space
by George A. Spiteri
Friday June 17th 1988 (Cont:)
Solovyov said: “Isn’t it torrid here on earth!” This was a reference to the hot temperatures at the landing site, (42-44°c). Alexandrov told reporters “Bulgaria looked small but beautiful from outer apace”. Savinykh said: “The touchdown was soft” and reminded him of a parachute descent. (When the author recently met Viktor Savinykh, he described the landing as a touchdown on soft sand and admitted that it was incredibly hot when they emerged from Soyuz.)
All three cosmonauts received the highest Soviet and Bulgarian decorations.
Saturday June 18th 1988
Titov and Manarov, once again alone, climbed into Soyuz TM 5 and undocked from Mir at 10:11 GMT and whilst Mir rotated 180° re-docked at 10:27 GMT at the front of the space station.
Sunday June 19th 1988
The cosmonauts aboard Mir did some astrophysical experiments today.
Monday June 20th and Tuesday June 21st 1988
After the last hectic ten days of Joint work, Titov and Manarov were given two days off and amongst other things, tidied up Mir.
Wednesday June 22nd 1988
No sooner had Titov and Manarov settled down that they began preparations for a second EVA to repair equipment outside Kvant. The object of this space walk was to fix an electronic unit on an X-ray telescope designed by British and Dutch scientists.
Thursday June 23rd 1988
The cosmonauts continued preparations for their space walk.
Friday June 24th 1988
The cosmonauts had medical checks. The doctors examined their cardiovascular system and reported that both cosmonauts are well.
Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th 1988
Another weekend-off. The crew did general housekeeping chores and physical exercises.
Monday June 27th to Wednesday June 29th 1988
Titov and Manarov spent these days preparing their space suits for Thursday’s critical space walk.
Thursday June 30th 1988
The cosmonauts left Mir at 05:33 GMT and floated the 20 metres to Kvant. They attached a stepladder with magnetic fasteners to increase their stability. After battling for two hours, their screwdriver broke when they tried to get a clamp ring off to reach the detector that was faulty. There was nothing else left for them to do so they collected their equipment and returned to Mir at 10:43GMT. No—one had given up and it was hoped to complete the repairs in the Autumn after the Soviet-Afghan flight.
Friday July 1st 1988
Mission Control and the cosmonauts discussed yesterday’s space walk and all admitted that it was more complicated than expected.
Saturday July 2nd and Sunday July 3rd 1988
Rest days for the two cosmonauts.
Monday July 4th and Tuesday July 5th 1988
The crew did general housekeeping duties today.
Wednesday July 6th 1988
Titov and Manarov gave a TV broadcast to earth—bound viewers.