Soyuz TM-4

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This article is about the spacecraft. For the expedition which it launched, see Mir EO-3.
Soyuz TM-4
Mission duration 178 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, 29 seconds
Orbits completed ~2,890
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Soyuz-TM
Manufacturer NPO Energia
Launch mass 7,070 kilograms (15,590 lb)
Crew
Crew size 3
Launching Vladimir Titov
Musa Manarov
Anatoli Levchenko
Landing Anatoly Solovyev
Viktor Savinykh
Aleksandr Aleksandrov
Callsign Okean (Ocean)
Start of mission
Launch date December 21, 1987, 11:18:03 (1987-12-21UTC11:18:03Z) UTC
Rocket Soyuz-U2
Launch site Baikonur 1/5
End of mission
Landing date June 17, 1988, 10:12:32 (1988-06-17UTC10:12:33Z) UTC
Landing site 180 kilometres (110 mi) SE of Dzhezkazgan
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 337 kilometres (209 mi)
Apogee 357 kilometres (222 mi)
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Period 91.5 minutes
Docking with Mir

Soyuz programme
(Manned missions)
← Soyuz TM-3 Soyuz TM-5

Soyuz TM-4 was the fourth manned spacecraft to dock with the space station Mir. It was launched in December 1987, and carried the first two crew members of the third long duration expedition, Mir EO-3. These crew members, Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov, would stay in space for just under 366 days, setting a new spaceflight record. The third astronaut launched by Soyuz TM-4 was Anatoli Levchenko, who returned to Earth about a week later with the remaining crew of Mir EO-2. Levchenko was a prospective pilot for the Soviet Space shuttle Buran. The purpose of his mission, named Mir LII-1, was to familiarize him with spaceflight.[1]

It was the fourth Soyuz TM spacecraft to be launched (one of which wasn't manned), and like other Soyuz spacecraft, it was treated as a lifeboat for the station's crew while docked. In June 1988, part way through EO-3, Soyuz TM-4 was swapped for Soyuz TM-5 as the station's lifeboat. The mission which swapped the spacecraft was known as Mir EP-2, and had a three person crew.[2]

Crew[edit]

Position Launching crew Landing crew
Commander Soviet Union Vladimir Titov
Mir EO-3
Third spaceflight
Soviet Union Anatoly Solovyev
Mir EP-2
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer Soviet Union Musa Manarov
Mir EO-3
First spaceflight
Soviet Union Viktor Savinykh
Mir EP-2
Third spaceflight
Research Cosmonaut Soviet Union Anatoli Levchenko
Mir LII-1
First spaceflight
Bulgaria Aleksandr Aleksandrov
Mir EP-2
First spaceflight

Titov and Manarov were members of the long duration mission Mir EO-3, and returned to Earth just over a full year later, in Soyuz TM-6. Levchenko, on the other hand, returned to Earth about a week later in Soyuz TM-3.

In June 1988, Soyuz TM-4 landed the three man crew of Mir EP-2, after their 9 day stay on the station; that crew included the first Bulgarian astronaut Aleksandr Panayotov Aleksandrov.[2]

Backup crew[edit]

Position Crew
Commander Aleksandr Volkov
Flight Engineer Aleksandr Kaleri
Research Cosmonaut Aleksandr Shchukin

Mission parameters[edit]

  • Mass: 7070 kg
  • Perigee: 337 km
  • Apogee: 357 km
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Period: 91.5 minutes

Mission highlights[edit]

4th manned spaceflight to Mir. Manarov and Titov (know by their callsign as the "Okeans") replaced Romanenko and Alexandrov. Anatoli Levchenko was a cosmonaut in the Buran shuttle program. Levchenko returned with Romanenko and Alexandrov in Soyuz TM-3.

Before departing Mir, Romanenko and Alexandrov demonstrated use of EVA equipment to the Okeans. The Okeans delivered biological experiments, including the Aynur biological crystal growth apparatus, which they installed in Kvant-1. The combined crews conducted an evacuation drill, with the Mir computer simulating an emergency.[3]

Titov and Manarov conducted part of an ongoing survey of galaxies and star groups in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum using the Glazar telescope on Kvant. The survey required photography with exposure times up to 8 min. Even small cosmonaut movements could shake the complex. This produced blurring of astronomical images, so all cosmonaut movements had to be stopped during the exposures.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mir LII-1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Mir EP-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  3. ^ D.S.F. Portee (1995). "Mir Hardware Heritage". NASA. Retrieved 10 November 2010.