Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Mission Name:||Soyuz TM-17|
|Call Sign:||Си́риус (Sirius)|
|Number of Crew Members:||3 launched / 2 landed|
|Launch:||July 1, 1993|
|Landing:||January 14, 1994|
130 km W of Karaganda (49.62 N; 70.12 E)
|Duration:||196 days 17 hours 45 minutes 22 seconds|
|Number of Orbits:||~3,070|
(1) number of spaceflights each crew member has completed, including this mission.
- Mass: 7150 kg
- Perigee: 388 km
- Apogee: 397 km
- Inclination: 51.6°
- Period: 92.4 minutes
17th expedition to Mir. Included astronaut from France.
At 7:37:11 a.m. Moscow time (MT), on January 14, Soyuz-TM 17 separated from the forward port of the Mir station. At 7:43:59 a.m., the TsUP ordered Tsibliyev to steer Soyuz-TM 17 to within 15 m of the Kristall module to begin photography of the APAS-89 docking system. At 7:46:20 a.m., Tsibliyev complained that Soyuz-TM 17 was handling sluggishly. Serebrov, standing by for photography in the orbital module, then asked Tsibliyev to move the spacecraft out of the station plane because it was coming close to one of the solar arrays. In Mir, Viktor Afanasyev ordered Valeri Polyakov and Yuri Usachyov to evacuate to the Soyuz-TM 18 spacecraft. At 7:47:30 a.m., controllers in the TsUP saw the image from Soyuz-TM 17’s external camera shake violently, and Serebrov reported that Soyuz-TM 17 had hit Mir. The TsUP then lost communications with Mir and Soyuz-TM 17. Intermittent communications were restored with Soyuz-TM 17 at 7:52 a.m. Voice communications with Mir were not restored until 8:02 a.m. Inspection of Soyuz-TM 17 indicated no serious damage. In this connection, the Russians revealed that they had studied contingency reentries by depressurized spacecraft in the wake of the Soyuz 11 accident. The Mir cosmonauts did not feel the impact, though the station’s guidance system registered angular velocity and switched to free flying mode. Later analysis indicated that the right side of the orbital module had struck Mir two glancing blows 2 s apart. The impact point was on Kristall, near its connection to the Mir base block. The cause of the impact was traced to a switch error: the hand controller in the orbital module which governed braking and acceleration was switched on, disabling the equivalent hand controller (the left motion control lever) in the descent module. Tsibliyev was able to use the right lever to steer Soyuz past Mir’s solar arrays, antennas, and docking ports after it became clear impact was inevitable.
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