[FPSPACE] MIRNEWS.483

C.M. vd Berg cmvdberg@wxs.nl
Sun, 17 Sep 2000 22:02:22 +0200


Dit is een meerdelig bericht in MIME-indeling.

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MIRNEWS.483                                                              =
                                                17 SEPTEMBER 2000=20


Shape and contents of this MIR-message deviate from those published =
before 17.06.2000. Those MIR-reports largely depended on the =
radio-conversations between the crews and flight control (TsUP) in =
Moscow.=20


The MIR complex continues to orbit earth as if nothing has happened. The =
fact that MIR is unmanned enabled me to visit some cradles of MIR in =
Moscow. As of 10.09 until 16.09 I lived in Zvyozdnyy Gorodok, so near =
TsPK, the Training Centre of Cosmonauts. Physically it is impossible to =
visit all institutes, KB-s (construction bureaus), factories, =
facilitairy stations etc. , which directly or indirectly were or are =
related to MIR: in fact there are hundreds of them.=20


During our stay, Bert Vis was my travelling-companion, we enjoyed the =
opportunities offered to us to visit some of the most important =
institutes and we could did this in a way strongly differing from the =
usual excursions with groups. Everywhere we were invited as expert =
guests and the treatment we experienced was in accordance to that.=20


About MIR:


One of our visits was at TsUP near Moscow. TsUP is still involved in a =
number of satellite operations of which the 2 most important are the =
control of the MIR complex and -though for a part together with the =
American TsUP in Houston- of the ISS. The sections for MIR and the ISS =
at TsUP operate fully separated: for MIR the old room (well-known from =
the media) is in use and for ISS the modified room originally built for =
Buran is in use.=20


During our visit the MIR station came in reach of the tracking facility =
in Shcholkovo and from that moment on just a few of the operational =
positions on the ground floor, were occupied by specialists. From the =
telemetry on their screens they analysed the for them relevant data. =
Like in the past the orbit and position of the complex could be seen on =
a world map and we could read elements like AOS and LOS and which =
tracking facilities were active. From conversations with insiders we =
could conclude that the tracking stations are still staffed by military =
personel and that in this way the Russian state supports the exploration =
of MIR.=20


We thouroughly discussed the future of the station, with specialists as =
well as with cosmonauts and in this way we got on the spot information =
about dramatical changes in the plans thusfar.=20


Originally 2 Main Expeditions (ME) were scheduled for the beginning of =
2001: ME29 with the crew Sharipov and Vinogradov to be followed by the =
relief crew of ME30, consisting of the cosmonauts Musabayev and Baturin =
and the tourist -so definitely not a cosmonaut- the American citizen =
Denis Tito. The knowledge of the Russian language of Tito is very poor =
and to convert him into a cosmonaut within the period of a few months is =
a 'mission impossible'. We met the group of young cosmonauts and this =
made that clear for us. Meanwhile Tito paid 22 million US-dollars of a =
promised 50 million. This is not enough for the execution of 2 =
expeditions to MIR. Tito returned to TsPK on the 14th or 15th of =
September, but regretfully we did not meet him.=20


Now the decision has been made to appoint the original ME30 crew for the =
first and only ME to MIR, so in that case this will be ME29, consisting =
of Musabayev, Baturin and Tito.


The launch date of their ship, Soyuz-TM31, has been set for 18.01.2001 =
and the duration of the flight will be 14 or 10 days.=20

The logic of this decision is that Musabayev and Baturin speak English =
very well and so they can at least chat with their passenger.=20


In the week after our arrival we got this information from some well =
informed sources and on the day of our departure we met Musabayev who =
confirmed this.=20


About ISS:


The number of operators in the ISS-control room was also poor. Some =
TV-camera crews were walking about. The orbit and position of ISS could =
be seen on a monitor and the details of the communication windows were =
visible (AOS, LOS, etc.) Malenchenko and Ed Lu were doing their EVA and =
pictures were showed on a big screen. TsUP Moscow passively experienced =
the EVA-operation, for Houston was in charge and the communications took =
place by the use of TDRS-es. We hope that this passiveness of TsUP-M now =
and then will be interchanged by active participation in the ISS flight =
control, but we fear the worst.=20


Our excursions etc.:


During the rest of the week we visited facilities like OKB =
Mashinostroyeniye, the former OKB-52 of the famous, but regretfully =
overshaded by the glories and fame of Korolyov, Vladimir Nikolayevich =
Chelomei. In fact Chelomei was the real founder of the Russian space =
stations, Almaz, Salyuts and without him MIR's history would be =
different, not to speak about the actual Zarya en Zvezda. At =
Mashinostroyeniye we saw two real Almaz stations, the TKS , =
transportship for the Almazy and a real Polyot., the first satellite =
that was able to manoeuvre in space. Our visiti inside one of those =
Almazy was a revelation: what a room and what a perfect ergonomy. But =
regretfully we had to keep our camera's in our covers. A photographer of =
the OKB had got orders to make pictures: he shot 12 pictures of which =
'security' accepted only 4, 2 of which on the premises outside =
-monuments- and 2 inside of us covering the most part of the TKS and of =
Almaz we saw a little piece of the hull while we fully shaded off the =
Polyot in the background.=20


The attitude towards our own photography of the State Research and =
Production Space Center Khrunichev was much better: we were not allowed =
to make photo's of all objects, but were free to shoot pictures of the =
Proton under construction. We were standing on historical soil for until =
1926 (the treaty of Versailles prohibited this on German territory) =
German aircraft were constructed and tested on the aerodrome here. So =
that what destroyed Rotterdam and Coventry in 1940 was prepared in =
Russia by the German specialists of General von Seeckt. But in fact a =
few years later the Soviet Union herself got in that way a biscuit of =
own paste.=20


We had personal contacts with a lot of old and young cosmonauts. The =
visit to the TsPK itself was very good: we saw Shepard and Gidzenko =
training in repairing something at the outersurface of Zarya in the =
underwater tank and in the training hall for the Soyuzy Sergey Krikalyov =
was trying to dock his ship with ISS, while the ISS-2 expedition =
(Bowersox, Dezhurov and Tyulin) did the same in a second training =
module. And when you with a lot of other thinks can sit behind a real =
TORU, you have reason to be really satisfied.=20


A highlight during my stay was a one and a half hour lasting =
conversation with the famous professor B.Ye.Chertok, a constructor from =
far before W W 2, who participated in all devolopments of Sputniks, =
Vostoks, Voskhods, Salyuts, Molniya's etc. A lot of the subjects =
discussed were very interesting for me: communication systems and =
procedures, electronic docking systems, for instance Kontakt, Igla, Kurs =
and even the brand new Kurs-MM. Chertok a strong man of 88 years, =
sustained the siege of my questions very well. As soon as I can find =
some time I will draft a summing up.=20


And finally:=20


On 15.09 General P.I. Klimuk, head of TsPK, just returned from Amerika, =
found 10 minutes in the late afternoon to receive me and Bert. We =
expressed our gratitude that we had been permitted to stay in Zvyozdnyy =
and he told us that he appreciated our work en our positive attitude =
towards Russsian spaceflight.=20


Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.=20













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MIRNEWS.483       &nbs= p;            = ;            =             &= nbsp;           &n= bsp;           &nb= sp;           &nbs= p;            = ;            =     =20 17 SEPTEMBER 2000

Shape and contents of this MIR-message deviate from = those=20 published before 17.06.2000. Those MIR-reports largely depended on the=20 radio-conversations between the crews and flight control (TsUP) in = Moscow.

The MIR complex continues to orbit earth as if = nothing has=20 happened. The fact that MIR is unmanned enabled me to visit some cradles = of MIR=20 in Moscow. As of 10.09 until 16.09 I lived in Zvyozdnyy Gorodok, so near = TsPK,=20 the Training Centre of Cosmonauts. Physically it is impossible to visit = all=20 institutes, KB-s (construction bureaus), factories, facilitairy stations = etc. ,=20 which directly or indirectly were or are related to MIR: in fact there = are=20 hundreds of them.

During our stay, Bert Vis was my = travelling-companion, we=20 enjoyed the opportunities offered to us to visit some of the most = important=20 institutes and we could did this in a way strongly differing from the = usual=20 excursions with groups. Everywhere we were invited as expert guests and = the=20 treatment we experienced was in accordance to that.

About MIR:

One of our visits was at TsUP near Moscow. TsUP is = still=20 involved in a number of satellite operations of which the 2 most = important are=20 the control of the MIR complex and –though for a part together = with the=20 American TsUP in Houston- of the ISS. The sections for MIR and the ISS = at TsUP=20 operate fully separated: for MIR the old room (well-known from the = media) is in=20 use and for ISS the modified room originally built for Buran is in use. =

During our visit the MIR station came in reach of the = tracking=20 facility in Shcholkovo and from that moment on just a few of the = operational=20 positions on the ground floor, were occupied by specialists. From the = telemetry=20 on their screens they analysed the for them relevant data. Like in the = past the=20 orbit and position of the complex could be seen on a world map and we = could read=20 elements like AOS and LOS and which tracking facilities were active. = From=20 conversations with insiders we could conclude that the tracking stations = are=20 still staffed by military personel and that in this way the Russian = state=20 supports the exploration of MIR.

We thouroughly discussed the future of the station, = with=20 specialists as well as with cosmonauts and in this way we got on the = spot=20 information about dramatical changes in the plans thusfar.

Originally 2 Main Expeditions (ME) were scheduled for = the=20 beginning of 2001: ME29 with the crew Sharipov and Vinogradov to be = followed by=20 the relief crew of ME30, consisting of the cosmonauts Musabayev and = Baturin and=20 the tourist –so definitely not a cosmonaut- the American citizen = Denis=20 Tito. The knowledge of the Russian language of Tito is very poor and to = convert=20 him into a cosmonaut within the period of a few months is a = ‘mission=20 impossible’. We met the group of young cosmonauts and this made = that clear=20 for us. Meanwhile Tito paid 22 million US-dollars of a promised 50 = million. This=20 is not enough for the execution of 2 expeditions to MIR. Tito returned = to TsPK=20 on the 14th or 15th of September, but regretfully we did not meet him. =

Now the decision has been made to appoint the = original ME30=20 crew for the first and only ME to MIR, so in that case this will be = ME29,=20 consisting of Musabayev, Baturin and Tito.

The launch date of their ship, Soyuz-TM31, has been = set for=20 18.01.2001 and the duration of the flight will be 14 or 10 days.

The logic of this decision is that Musabayev and = Baturin speak=20 English very well and so they can at least chat with their passenger. =

In the week after our arrival we got this information = from some=20 well informed sources and on the day of our departure we met Musabayev = who=20 confirmed this.

About ISS:

The number of operators in the ISS-control room was = also poor.=20 Some TV-camera crews were walking about. The orbit and position of ISS = could be=20 seen on a monitor and the details of the communication windows were = visible=20 (AOS, LOS, etc.) Malenchenko and Ed Lu were doing their EVA and pictures = were=20 showed on a big screen. TsUP Moscow passively experienced the = EVA-operation, for=20 Houston was in charge and the communications took place by the use of = TDRS-es.=20 We hope that this passiveness of TsUP-M now and then will be = interchanged by=20 active participation in the ISS flight control, but we fear the worst. =

Our excursions etc.:

During the rest of the week we visited facilities = like OKB=20 Mashinostroyeniye, the former OKB-52 of the famous, but regretfully = overshaded=20 by the glories and fame of Korolyov, Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomei. In = fact=20 Chelomei was the real founder of the Russian space stations, Almaz, = Salyuts and=20 without him MIR’s history would be different, not to speak about = the=20 actual Zarya en Zvezda. At Mashinostroyeniye we saw two real Almaz = stations, the=20 TKS , transportship for the Almazy and a real Polyot., the first = satellite that=20 was able to manoeuvre in space. Our visiti inside one of those Almazy = was a=20 revelation: what a room and what a perfect ergonomy. But regretfully we = had to=20 keep our camera’s in our covers. A photographer of the OKB had got = orders=20 to make pictures: he shot 12 pictures of which ‘security’ = accepted=20 only 4, 2 of which on the premises outside –monuments- and 2 = inside of us=20 covering the most part of the TKS and of Almaz we saw a little piece of = the hull=20 while we fully shaded off the Polyot in the background.

The attitude towards our own photography of the State = Research=20 and Production Space Center Khrunichev was much better: we were not = allowed to=20 make photo’s of all objects, but were free to shoot pictures of = the Proton=20 under construction. We were standing on historical soil for until 1926 = (the=20 treaty of Versailles prohibited this on German territory) German = aircraft were=20 constructed and tested on the aerodrome here. So that what destroyed = Rotterdam=20 and Coventry in 1940 was prepared in Russia by the German specialists of = General=20 von Seeckt. But in fact a few years later the Soviet Union herself got = in that=20 way a biscuit of own paste.

We had personal contacts with a lot of old and young=20 cosmonauts. The visit to the TsPK itself was very good: we saw Shepard = and=20 Gidzenko training in repairing something at the outersurface of Zarya in = the=20 underwater tank and in the training hall for the Soyuzy Sergey Krikalyov = was=20 trying to dock his ship with ISS, while the ISS-2 expedition (Bowersox, = Dezhurov=20 and Tyulin) did the same in a second training module. And when you with = a lot of=20 other thinks can sit behind a real TORU, you have reason to be really = satisfied.=20

A highlight during my stay was a one and a half hour = lasting=20 conversation with the famous professor B.Ye.Chertok, a constructor from = far=20 before W W 2, who participated in all devolopments of Sputniks, Vostoks, = Voskhods, Salyuts, Molniya’s etc. A lot of the subjects discussed = were=20 very interesting for me: communication systems and procedures, = electronic=20 docking systems, for instance Kontakt, Igla, Kurs and even the brand new = Kurs-MM. Chertok a strong man of 88 years, sustained the siege of my = questions=20 very well. As soon as I can find some time I will draft a summing up. =

And finally:

On 15.09 General P.I. Klimuk, head of TsPK, just = returned from=20 Amerika, found 10 minutes in the late afternoon to receive me and Bert. = We=20 expressed our gratitude that we had been permitted to stay in Zvyozdnyy = and he=20 told us that he appreciated our work en our positive attitude towards = Russsian=20 spaceflight.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.

 

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