A Year in Space 21

A Year in Space

 

space station

by George A. Spiteri 

Page 21

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Wednesday November 23rd 1988

ManarovAt 12:13 GMT Progress 38 was undocked from Mir and burnt up in the earth’s atmosphere as planned.

Thursday November 24th 1988

The Soyuz TM 7 spacecraft and its carrier rocket were placed on the launch pad at Baikonur.

Friday November 25th 1988

On the day prior to their launch, the Soviet/French crew spoke from their hotel at Baikonur to Titov, Manarov and Polyakov, aboard Mir. Everyone seemed in good sprite and confident of a successful flight.

Saturday November 26th 1988

With French President, Francois Mitterand and Soviet Foreign Minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Soyuz TM 7 was launched at 15:50 GMT. Aboard was Alexander Volkov (Commander) on his second space flight, Sergei Krikalev (Flight Engineer) and Frenchman Jean-Loup Chretien, also on his second flight. It was a textbook launch and once in orbit, Soyuz TM 7 began its two-day chase of Mir.

Alexander Volkov, Sergei Krikalev and Jean-Loup Chretien

Sunday November 27th 1988

Everything continued to go well as Soyuz TM 7 prepared for tomorrow’s docking.

Monday November 28th 1988

At 17:16 GMT Soyuz TM 7 docked at the Kvant end of the Mir complex. By 18:55 GMT, first Chretien and then his two Soviet colleagues floated into Mir to be warmly greeted by the Titov crew. This was the first time that six men had occupied Mir.

Tuesday November 29th 1988

Today was the start of joint experiments; the Soviet/French flight was scheduled to be the longest international mission lasting 26 days until December 21st. Chretien said that he felt “perfect” and ready for work.

Wednesday November 30th 1988

stampWhilst Titov and Manarov did astrophysical experiments, Volkov, Krikalev ant Chretien conducted medical experiments helped by Dr. Polyakov. These experiments were related to man’s adaptation to weightlessness. It was reported that space veterans Volkov and Chretien had adapted well to zero gravity but new boy, Krikalev, had found his first few days in space rather difficult.

Later, the six men held a press conference with Soviet and French journalists in both Moscow and Paris. Jean-Loup Chretien repeated that he felt fine and was completely sure of the success of the flight; however, he admitted to being nervous before the mission but once he was seated in Soyuz he felt calm.

Thursday December 1st 1988

It was announced that the highlight of the Soviet/French flight, the space walk by Volkov, and Chretien, had been brought forward from December 12th to the 9th.

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