A Year in Space

by George A. Spiteri 

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space station



Wednesday December 30th 1987

This was Titov and Manarov’s first full day alone in orbit. Their main task today was to don spacesuits and float into Soyuz TM 4, undock from Mir which they promptly did at 09:10 GMT, wait for Mir to rotate 180° and then re-docked 19 minutes later at the front docking unit of the space station, leaving the rear docking unit vacant for future Progress cargo craft.

The world’s attention was focused on the Baikonur Cosmodrome and Yuri Romanenko. It was revealed at a press conference that Romanenko was recovering well from his long space flight.

Thursday December 31st 1987

Moscow Mission Control began receiving numerous telegrams to Vladimir Titov who was due to celebrate his 41st birthday tomorrow. There were greetings of good health and courage from the people on the ground.

Mir first flew into 1988 at 11:57 GMT whilst over New Zealand. Later, at 21:00 GMT (midnight in Moscow) the space complex was over The Cape of Good Hope.

Friday January 1st 1988

This was a special day for the commander Vladimir Titov celebrating his 41st birthday. It was a rest day and the crew talked to family and friends.

Saturday January 2nd to Monday January 4th 1988

There were no reports over the weekend, presumably the crew were resting and doing general housekeeping chores. However, Radio Moscow made a reference to future space walks being conducted with the help of “jet bicycles”.

Tuesday January 5th 1988

Astrophysical and technological experiments were conducted today. This involved the exploration of stars with the help of telescopes on Kvant and the production of super cool crystals by means of installati6na functioning aboard Mir.

Wednesday January 6th 1988

There was a telecast from Mir, the crew were in high spirits and good health. They described their experiments in geophysics, astrophysics, medicine, space technology and environmental protection. They went on to say that their experience of joint work with Romanenko and Alexandrov was invaluable. Titov and Manarov believed this method of rotating crews should be used in the future.

Thursday January 7th 1988

There were no reports on crew activities for today.

Friday January 8th 1988

The crew had a thorough medical check-up and both are adapting well to zero gravity. They are using Mir’s sports complex by starting a routine of physical exercises to keep fit. Titov and Manarov also began a new series of experiments in materials processing; they are going to procure extra-pure crystal semi-conductors for advanced computers.

Saturday January 9th 1988

The crew carried out an emergency evacuation drill. This is a monthly routine exercise they have to perform in the event of a quick return to earth. Meanwhile, a Progress cargo craft was being readied at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to take the first batch of supplies to the cosmonauts.

Sunday January 10th to Tuesday January 12th 1988

There were no reports of the cosmonaut’s activities. It is presumed that they were conducting routine experiments.

Wednesday January 13th 1988

The cosmonauts conducted experiments aboard the Kvant astrophysical module using the Glazar ultra-violet telescope and the Mariya unit to look for cosmic rays.

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