5 February 1987 21:38 GMT. Landing Date: 1987-07-30 01:04:00 PM. Flight Time: 174.14 days. Alternate Name: Soyuz TM-2 (Laveykin). Flight Up: Soyuz TM-2. Flight Back: Soyuz TM-2. Call Sign: Taimyr (Taimyr - Russian peninsula). Crew: Laveykin. Backup Crew: Serebrov. Program: Mir. Mir Expedition EO-02 docked with Mir 7 February 1987 with the crew of Yuri Romanenko and Aleksander Laveykin. Laveykin, returned early with the crew of Soyuz TM-3 to Earth, leaving Romanenko to continue on a record-duration mission as part of the EO-3 crew with Aleksandrov. Soyuz TM-1 undocked from Mir 8:34 GMT 29 July. The orbital module was jettisoned prior to retrofire and left in a 308 X 356 km orbit. The returning crew was recovered on July 30, 1987 01:54 GMT.
Narrative (adapted from D S F Portree's Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995)
The Mir space station, which had been launched prematurely on the orders of the Soviet leadership, remained vacant after the departure of the Soyuz T-15 crew on July 16, 1986. In September 1986 the Altair/SR relay satellite Cosmos 1700 ceased operating and drifted off its geosynchronous orbit position. This reduced the station to communications via earth ground stations. The Progress 27 freighter docked with the station on January 18 and boosted Mir's mean altitude by 16 km to 345 km on January 26 in preparation for the launch of the EO-2 second main expedition. At this point only one of Mir's computers was functional.
Soyuz TM-2 docked with Mir on February 7, 1987. Following reactivation of the station and unloading of Progress 27, the freighter departed the station on February 23. It was followed by Progress 28 from March 5-26, 1987, which then departed to clear the aft port for the large Kvant space station module.
Kvant consisted of the space station module (11 tons) and a unique FGB-based vehicle called the Functional Service Module (FSM) (9.6 tons) which acted as a space tug. The FSM carried out major manoeuvres on April 2 and April 5. On April 5 its Igla approach system began homing on Mir's aft port. The EO-2 crew retreated to Soyuz TM-2 so that they could escape in the event the module got out of control. About 200 m out, the Igla system lost its lock on Mir's aft port Igla antenna. The cosmonauts watched from within Soyuz TM-2 as the Kvant/ FSM combination passed within 10 m of the station.
Kvant and its FSM drifted 400 km from Mir before being guided back for a second docking attempt. Soft-dock occurred early on April 9. Kvant's probe unit would not retract fully, preventing hard docking between Mir and Kvant. The Soviets left Kvant soft-docked while they considered a solution. Manoeuvres were impossible during this period, because the probe of the Kvant/FSM combination would wobble loosely in Mir's aft port drogue unit, banging the docking collars together.
On April 11 Romanenko and Laveykin exited Mir to examine and, if possible, repair the problem with Kvant. They discovered a foreign object lodged in the docking unit, probably a trash bag they had left between Progress 28 and Mir's drogue. On command from the TsUP, Kvant extended its probe unit, permitting the cosmonauts to pull the object free and discard it into space. Kvant then successfully completed docking at a command from the ground. The EVA lasted 3 hr, 40 min. The Kvant FSM undocked from Kvant on April 12, freeing the module's aft port to fill in for the Mir aft port
The EO-2 crew entered Kvant on April 13 and began unloading equipment into the base block. Kvant added 40 m3 of pressurised volume to Mir, bringing the total to about 130 m3. On April 16 the pointing motors on Mir's two solar arrays were linked to sensors on Kvant. Kvant carried stowed solar arrays intended to be attached to a fixture on top of the small-diameter section of the base block.
Progress 29 arrived and remained docked to the aft docking port of Kvant from April 23-May 11, 1987. Beginning April 30, the EO-2 crew tested orienting the Mir complex using Kvant's gyrodynes. In part this was in preparation for pointing the new module's roughly 1000 kg of astrophysical instruments. During this period, propellant was pumped through Kvant to Mir's ODU for the first time. The Elektron system aboard Kvant, which produced oxygen by electrolysis of water, was readied on May 8.
The Soviets acknowledged that Mir was short on electricity. The situation became particularly difficult when melts lasting days were conducted using Korund 1-M. The EO-2 crew spent most of May conducting medical experiments and Earth resources photography, activities which required little electricity.
Progress 30 arrived and remained docked to Kvant's aft port from May 21-July 19, 1987. On June 12 the EO-2 crew exited Mir's multiport node for the first of two EVAs to install the solar array delivered by Kvant. There was insufficient room available in the multiport node for two spacesuited cosmonauts plus the main boom and first two sections of the new array, so Laveykin and Romanenko sealed the hatch between the Soyuz TM-2 docking module and orbital module and left the hatch between the orbital module and the multiport node open, creating an extended airlock. One cosmonaut worked outside while the other handed out needed parts. The main boom of the array was an extendible girder like the one assembled outside Salyut 7 by the Mir Principal Expedition 1/Salyut 7 Principal Expedition 6 crew (Kizim and Solovyov, 1986). The first EVA lasted less than 2 hr. The second EVA, on June 16, installed the remainder of the solar array, attached its electrical connections to the Mir power system, and extended it to its full 10.6-m length. The new, 22-24 m3 array brought Mir's total capacity to 11.4 kW. The EVA lasted 3 hr, 15 min.
The Roentgen Observatory on Kvant was uniquely placed to study Supernova 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The cosmonauts examined the exploding star during 115 sessions between June and September.
Soyuz TM-3 arrived at the station and docked to the aft Kvant port. It would remained docked to the station from July 22-December 29, 1987. The Visiting Expedition observed Syria and conducted materials processing experiments. Syrian guest cosmonaut Mohammed Faris and Soviet cosmonaut Alexandr Viktorenko returned to Earth in Soyuz TM-2 with Alexandr Laveykin, who was diagnosed by ground-based doctors as having minor heart problems. He was replaced by Alexandr Alexandrov, who had arrived aboard Soyuz TM-3.
Mir EO-2 Chronology
Contact us with any corrections, additions, or comments.
Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
To contact astronauts or cosmonauts.
© Mark Wade, 1997 - 2008 except where otherwise noted.