Shuttle News: April 1997 Archives

Shuttle Mir Science Program / NASA 4 / Mir 23 Status
Date: April 3, 1997 - April 9, 1997
Mission Days: 82-88 (NASA 4) / 53-59 (Mir 23)

Mir Systems

Telemetry - The OMOTsAO unit failed yesterday; this device stores uplinked executable commands, in particular, the command for the MIPS downlink. That means that there will be no MIPS downlink available until the system is repaired. Repair activities on this unit are scheduled for 14 April.Suggestion will be made to Jerry to use the Packet system. (Jim Medford and Ed Walters (MOD) are trying to understand what the MOTsA is. The SM IPT is going to see if a similar unit is in phase 2. This is the first appearance of this in our documentation.

Progress - Successful Auto-docking of the Progress occurred last night at 20:30 DMT. The crew was directed to open the hatch early last night and to temporarily suspend using candles, utilizing the O2 from the Progress. Not sure if ethylene glycol was carried on this flight or how much in case they need to replace the amount leaked out from the thermal system. They were not sure if another solid oxygen generator unit was flown up. The POSA will get the manifest and send it to me in the next week or so.

I have asked for a contact on understanding how they use the O2 from the Progress to replemish the MIR oxygen. Jim Medford is the contact to get this info. The Russians apparently use this process all the time (ie, not just as a result of the recent failures). I therefor suspect we will do it for Station and suggest it would be helpful to understand this capability. I believe we have maintained a record of the atm content pre and post Progress docking.

Repair plan - Two crew members working on removing the leaking heat exchanger from the VGK loop in Kvant 1. The crew will cut and cap the pipes leading in and out of the leaking heat exchanger in the Kvant 1.After the loop has been leak checked, the Vozdukh system will be reactivated. The goal is to complete this activity and reactivate the loop by the end of the 10th. The ground personnel are confident that the remaining three heat exchangers will be adequate to handle the system load.

The other crew member is working on the Elektron system in Kvant 2. The original goal was to repair and re-start the unit on the 9th. We do not have a status on this yet.

Subject: Telecon Notes
Date: Tuesday, April 01, 1997 9:36AM
Regular Tuesday Ops Telecon 4/1/97

1) Shuttle Status - Mentioned RCS seal-saver problem on OV-104, no launch impact expected as of now.

2) Mir Status - Yuri A. reviewed thermal loop status. Due to Kvant II internal loop leak that module is running about 3 deg C higher than normal but still within allowed limits. Also one of the solar array batteries (sets?) is running a little warm due to the reduced cooling. They plan to use the sealant to repair the leaks tomorrw but it will take a total of three days (curing time) before the loop is running. Victor emphasized that this is the only loop they think is leaking into the cabin, the other loop leaks are believed to be internal....

Victor also pointed out that while everybody in Houston is worried about O2 generation, the Russians are feeling far more vulnerable in the thermal loop area.

Repair plans/order after Progress is 1) Elektron filter bypass (3 hrs), 2) thermal loop leak troubleshooting (flourescent dye tracer), and then EVA preps April 15th).

3) They have received the copy of the STS-81 joint incidents report and have several 'updates' TTI/B. Fingerov will provide them with an electronic copy of the TTI translation to facilitate markups.

4) The strategy for the potential addition of the sixth docked day was discussed. Victor proposed that the first activity was to transfer and install the Elektron, on the first docked day, even before seat transfer. That would keep from breaking up the currently planned sequence of docked activities. (I do not see any problems with this, if Phase 1 is OK with it). The existing Elektron unit will already have been removed before docking.

Note: Victor indicated that we were returning the fluid units for BOTH elektrons on Mir now. This is not my understanding. He said the electronic control modules are OK, only the fluid units need to be returned. I thought we have told Vorobiev we did not have room for both. Also, this proposal gives insight into their confidence in getting the onboard unit working....

5) Other topics addressed were STS-86 timelines (sleep cycle) and changes to the comm and interactions document 3245. Victor mention that THEY HAD TALKED TO THE 86 CREW WHILE THEY WERE IN MOSCOW AND TALKED ABOUT ADDING A 6th DOCKED DAY... More work remains on these last items.


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