Reprinted with permission of the author from the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 50, No. 8, August 1997, pages 283-295
A number of excellent books describe activities onboard the Mir space station. In addition, there are detailed Mir mission reports in magazines, such as Neville Kidger,s in "Spaceflight. There are many references to experiments and equipment onboard Mir but it is easy to lose track of them. The object of this paper is to summarise all the scientific experiments conducted on Mir from its launch in 1986 to the end of 1994. The cut-off point was chosen to exclude the NASA use of Mir after 1994. Information about NASA activities on Mir has been readily available but this is not the case for pre-1995 experiments from Russia and many other countries. I have chosen to group the experiments and apparatus by research area and it is hoped that the paper will provide useful background to readers of the books and mission reports. The author welcomes corrections or additions.
Despite the increasing amount of time taken up on routine maintenance by the crew of Mir, there has been extensive use of the space station for scientific or technological purposes. The aim of this paper is to summarise details of the apparatus used on Mir from 1986-1994 and to give some background details to this very long duration Russian equivalent to the Western "Spacelab". The survey is as complete as possible while using open Western sources and some Soviet ones. General sources have been used rather than scientific papers in an attempt to make the paper accessible to a wider readership. The paper is intended as a starting point for researchers of onboard Mir activities before US occupation of the station began in 1995, along with the addition of modules Spektr and Priroda. A major objective was to attempt to list all of the apparatus used onboard Mir during 1986-1994 so that other, more general, mission accounts could have their terminology placed in context. A large number of sources had to be consulted and there has always been some confusion about whether experiment names apply to equipment or simply a particular series of experiments using a certain item of equipment. Experiments using Progress re-supply craft outside Mir have been omitted from this paper.
References: 1, 2, 3, 4
Since 1987, Soviet protein crystal growth experiments have been tested on Mir. Growth runs vary from 5 days to 2.5 months. Many types of protein have been studied - including catalase, gene-engineered human growth hormone, luciferase and neuraminidase. Crystals up to 0.4 - 2 mm in size have been grown - larger than on Earth and with better structural characteristics. Gosconcern "Biopreparat", the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Ministry of Health of Russia are all involved in this research. Attempts have been made to embed the protein crystals in a gel to protect them against the shocks of re-entry and landing upon return to Earth. Results have been mixed. Shuttle experience has shown that trial runs by experts in Spacelab can significantly improve crystal growth. It is not clear how much monitoring and participation is possible by the crew of Mir but the Russians emphasise active crew involvement in their marketing of Mir use.
The Azerbaijani "Ainur" unit is mounted in the Kvant-1 module. It was delivered by Soyuz TM-4 in December 1987 and has been used for protein crystal growth such as Neuraminidase - a flu virus membrane protein. This was an Australian experiment conducted over 3 months from June to September 1988. The Russian Biocryst protein crystal growth unit is also probably mounted in Kvant-1. It has 48 growth chambers and uses a vapour diffusion technique. Samples are delivered by Progress M supply ferry - e.g. vegetable proteins in Progress M-24. It was first mentioned in February 1990. Payload Systems Inc of the USA has twice flown protein crystal growth units to Mir (though six 3 month experiments were reserved for the first 4 years) - on Progress M-2 (December 1989) and Progress M-11 (January 1992). The former was the first US commercial experiment to fly to Mir. Each contained 112 growth chambers and was placed in Kvant-1. The first experiment was activated for 3 months - it returned in Soyuz TM-8 in February 1990. The second experiment was also active for 3 months - it returned in Soyuz TM-13 in March 1992. The equipment consisted of vapour diffusion and boundary layer diffusion growth chambers together with a camera and an adapter to allow illumination and magnification of each growth chamber. The first experiment is believed to have been a trial run funded by PSI themselves. The second experiment contained 23 different proteins in 96 Canadian, German, Japanese, Dutch and US experiments. Nearly all of the 112 vials and a large majority of the crystals grown survived re-entry and landing in the first experiment. Amongst them were samples from the Japanese electronic company Fujitsu. A critical article appeared in a November 1992 issue of "Nature from some US researchers involved on both flights. They claimed they had only achieved an improvement over Earth grown crystals for 24% of the proteins flown (though this was an improvement over the 20% achieved on the Shuttle!) The results showed that Mir was at least as good as the Shuttle, that longer growth times were possible than on the Shuttle and that safety restrictions were less stringent for flying materials to Mir. Even the improved crystals were only slightly improved compared to Earth grown crystals and the authors of the paper claimed that microgravity was overrated as a place for producing protein crystals. A similar experiment was flown to Mir by Progress M-20 (October 1993) for the International Centre for Space Biotechnology. It was to be returned in a Soyuz TM capsule. Boeing has flown a protein crystal growth experiment to Mir on Progress M-20 - in order to study crystal survival after return in a "Raduga Progress M return capsule. 12 specimens from other companies spent 1 month onboard Mir before returning in Progress M-20,s Raduga capsule. The experiment was in Moscow for delivery to Boeing on the same day as it landed. Microgravity monitors, such as the US SAMS, are positioned in Kvant-1 to determine disturbances to these long period crystal growth experiments.
References: 4, 5, 6, 13
One of the principal goals of the Russian space program is the permanent presence of humans in low Earth orbit - and this has now been achieved. To counter-act the adverse effects of microgravity on cosmonauts the following are used: * 2-4 hours exercise per day on the veloergometer stationary bicycle and the running track (equipped to pull loads parallel and perpendicular to the long axis of the body). It is divided into two sessions and some cosmonauts have expressed a dislike for them. Bungee cords are also used for exercise. * "Penguin" suit worn for 8-10 hours per day to place axial loads (up to 50% of body mass) on the musculoskeletal system. It looks like a tracksuit but has adjustable tension elastic bands resembling shock absorbers sown into it. * "Chibis" (Lapwing) leggings worn in the final 2-4 weeks before return to Earth to stress the cardiovascular system. It is also used as a test device during the stay of a long duration crew. The "Chibis is a lower body negative pressure device similar to the LBNP unit flown on many Space Shuttle flights in an attempt to reduce orthostatic intolerance on landing by applying -10 to -45 torr reduced pressure to the legs. * Saltwater loading - the cosmonaut drinks 3 g of sodium chloride in 400 ml of water three times on the day of recovery to prevent orthostatic intolerance. * The cosmonauts eat calcium supplements and there are also experimental drugs for skeletal and radiation protection. Food and water consumption is controlled. Salts, amino acids, fluid-electrolyte supplements and vitamins are added to the diet. * The Tonus-3 electric muscle stimulator is used by the crew on their "active rest days. * The Brazlet upper thigh positive pressure cuffs are used regularly during the first few days of a flight to minimise the effects of fluid shifts.
The hand-held AK-1 unit from the Institute of Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) is used to take periodic samples of particles in the air onboard Mir for analysis on Earth. It is an adsorption concentrator. The environment is found to contain small quantities of organic compounds (volatile metabolites from humans) and compounds outgassed by non-metallic construction materials. As well as atmosphere sampling, there are periodic samples taken from wall and equipment surfaces using cotton wipes. These are returned to Earth for analysis. Human microflora and micro-organisms have been identified. The hygiene and microbiology situation is said by the Russians to be "good". The Aelita unit is a multi-channel recording apparatus for biomedical data. This unit was later replaced by the Gamma-1 unit delivered by Progress 28 in March 1987. Operational medical monitoring is only continuous during "powered" stages of flight (i.e. launch and landing) and during EVAs. Otherwise, regular medical examinations are carried out on specially allotted days every 2-4 weeks.
This is currently limited to body mass measurement and lower leg circumference. Measurements are made every 2-3 days at the beginning of a long duration flight and every 2-3 weeks thereafter.
Mir carries a body mass measurement device, similar in principle to that used on Skylab, for "weighing cosmonauts. The cosmonaut places chest and abdomen on the subject support and the chin on another support; footrests and handlebars immobilise feet and hands. A thumb-activated lever unlocks the unit to begin oscillations - the frequency of vibration measures the mass of the subject to 0.5% accuracy.
This has been the main area of cosmonaut study since 1961. Examinations are made of:
The studies are made at rest, during treadmill and bicycle exercise, during Chibis LBNP use and during occlusion cuff use. Frequencies are: within 2 days of boarding Mir and then every 2 weeks.
The University of Sheffield built Applied Potential Tomagraphy (APT) unit was to be used for non-invasive fluid distribution studies by cross-sectional electrical impedance. It was flown to Mir for use on the German Mir-92 mission, to measure fluid shift while using the LBNP device. It was originally built for use on the British Juno mission but then sold to the German government after the British science part of Juno was cancelled. The French Matra built As de Coeur (Ace of Hearts) echocardiograph was flown to Mir in 1988 for use by visiting French cosmonauts. It is similar to a unit also flown on the Space Shuttle (mission 51G in 1985). It is now the standard biomedical instrument used for cardiovascular studies onboard Mir. The original echocardiograph on Mir was the French "Echographie unit ferried across to Mir from Salyut 7 in 1986. "Ace of Hearts allows measurement of the blood circulation in deep vessels (by a doppler velocimeter) plus determination of the volume of the heart and other organs along with heart motions (echography). Almost simultaneous measurements can be made of physical structures and blood speeds. Complementary physical (temperature, pressure, humidity) and physiological data can be recorded by the instrument. It includes an ECG (electrocardiogram), arterial pressure measure, differential pressure measure (with use with the LBNP device) and a plethysmography measure (using ultrasonics on the calf to measure fluid shift). The Argument ultrasound equipment was referred to in June 1990 but this may simply be one experiment using the equipment mentioned above. The French "Altair mission in July 1993 used a ground-based scientist for a test of real-time "tele-science with this apparatus. The German HSD experiment from the Mir-92 mission is used to measure skin tissue thickness and compliance by means of sensors on the forehead and leg. TON is a German tonometer for self-measure of intraoccular pressure in the eyes in microgravity. It was flown to Mir for the Mir-92 German mission originally.
Monimir is an Austrian experiment from the Austromir mission. It measures eye, head and arm co-ordination and spinal reflexes under various stimuli. "Physalie" is a French experiment for study of the vestibular system. It measures the electrical activity of limbs, eyes and heart. Posture, orientation and eye motion are studied. Two systems record data: Superpocket (for acquiring and processing data) and Kinesigraphie (for reproducing the attitudes of different parts of the body). Superpocket allows simultaneous recording of: eye movements by EOG (electro-oculograms), muscular activity by EMG (electromyogram), rotation movements of the head, angular position of the ankle and acceleration of the wrist or knee. Kinesigraph uses 2 video cameras to record a stereoscopic view of the body. Stimulation of the body is provided by the projection of patterns onto glasses, luminous targets, a tactile pad with vibrating points on it that is applied to the body and vibrations applied to muscle tendons. "VestABrille" is the German apparatus used for the OVI Mir-92 experiment. It studies the vestibular system with a special set of glasses to induce space sickness. The German VOG experiment, from Mir-92, is a set of equipment that was also flown on the Spacelab D-2 mission for vestibular-ocular research. A videocamera fitted to the eye with the special VOG-glasses records the motions of the eye (caloric nystagm and the vestibular-ocular reflex). Replacement parts and data storage units were then delivered by Progress M-20 in October 1993 and more parts were brought by Dr Valeri Poliakov himself, on Soyuz TM-18, in his personal luggage. Data from VOG was to be relayed real-time to GSOC at Oberpfaffenhofen for this extended use of the experiment. The French "Vinimal" experiment tests deterioration in visual-motor skills in such things as piloting a craft like the, now-cancelled, "Hermes" Shuttle. The Ace of Hearts unit is used to project images which are manipulated by a joystick controller.
Pleven-87 is an instrument from the IBMP that is used to study human psychological functions for use in Space Adaptation Syndrome work. It uses 15 psychophysiological research methods. Results are transmitted electronically to the ground. Sensory sensitivity appears to increase in space but reaction times slow down. "Son-K is a Bulgarian sleep monitoring system. It stores electrical signals on a tape recorder. This runs slowly so that 24 hours of 9 basic electrophysiological signals can be stored on one cassette. This is for a study of sleep in space. Since Gemini-8 it has been known that "rem sleep rather the more normal "slow sleep prevails in space. Vazon is a greenhouse unit from the Botanic Garden of the Academy of Sciences. It is used to study the psychology of stress reduction using plants (orchids and dwarf magnolia vine). The former East Germany provided a system to search for stress in the voices of the cosmonauts during radio contact with the Flight Control Centre.
24 hour urine samples are collected on some flights and occasionally venous blood is drawn concurrently. Fingerstick collection of capillary blood is more common. Blood samples are analysed inflight by the Reflotron unit or stored in a freezer for analysis on the ground.
ESA flew a freezer, based on the Biorack Spacelab freezer, on EuroMir-94. Power blackouts led to the deterioration of 4 samples due to Mir's continuing power shortages. A centrifuge based on that from Anthrorack from Spacelab and Passive Cooling Return Containers for storage and return to Earth (also from Spacelab) were flown by ESA. French urine collection used the Diuresis device - which could store 24 hours worth of urine. French blood sampling was done using Czech made equipment: syringes, MBY-01 centrifuge, the CRYOGUEM-02 freezer and KV-01 transport containers. A blood analyser called Mikrovzor was mentioned in March 1989. "Reflotron" is a commercial clinical blood analyser from the Austrian company of Boehringer Mannheim. It is an automated capillary blood analyser measuring 12 basic parameters - such as glucose and cholesterol.
This area of research had seen little inflight investigation by the Russians until the flight of Motomir, though some data is gathered during routine "health exercises.
Motomir is an Austrian experiment from the Austromir mission. It is a four extremity ergometer for force/velocity studies of arms, legs and head movements. It can accurately measure the condition of the human motor control system and the level of functionality of the muscles. It can also be used as an exercise aid for the muscles.
References: 7, 8, 9, 10
Soviet materials science experiments began with experiments on Soyuz-6, Apollo-Soyuz and Salyut-5 (the latter being the first Soviet fluid physics experiments conducted). These early investigations revealed that microgravity had a complex and often contradictory effect on processes such as mass transfer, crystallisation of melts, crystal growing from solution and the spreading of melts in capillaries. This necessitated further theoretical and experimental studies. From 1976-1982 about 130 experiments were carried out on suborbital rockets. This confirmed the possibility of improving the quality of various materials and, notably, of growing pure ingots of germanium and silicon by fast crystallisation. The next device to be developed (in 1980) was Pion - to study the physics of crystallisation, such as convection in microgravity. Pion and Pion-2 flew in space for use by cosmonauts. The electric furnaces Splav-01, Kristall and Magma-F were developed for use in selecting the most promising candidate substances and technologies for production in orbit. About 200 experiments were conducted in Splav-01 and Kristall on Salyut-6 using 300 samples of semi-conductors, alloys and glasses. The conclusion was that semi-conductors were the most promising for the initial stage of space materials production and the best methods of production were chosen. Other results from experiments on Salyut-6, in particular, were the possibilities of producing improved magnetic and superconductive alloys in microgravity - due to changes in phase composition, size and form of phase inclusions and crystal grain sizes (which all determine the properties of such alloys). Space-made samples of phosphate and other glasses had different properties to ground produced samples. Their structure was improved, the density of defects was less and they were clearer. The next generation of space materials production equipment was designed in 1982-84. Key amongst them was the Korund unit (on Salyut-7). Early equipment had no method of recording data during an experiment run: the only way to study samples was a ground run of the same sample and device at the same time as the space-based one - for comparison after return to Earth! The great hope of the Soviet Mir program appears to have been space-based semi-conductor production using the Kristall module, with its many furnaces. It was not to be. The problems were: * power shortages on Mir (a total of only 10 kW was being produced by its solar panels at the start of 1992 due to mutual shadowing of arrays and radiation degradation of the solar cells). In 1991 only 2 furnaces could be used at any one time due to power shortages * varying microgravity levels on Mir. It is not clear how serious this is but in 1991 it was claimed that the upper part of Kristall swinged when the treadmill on Mir was being used * unreliable equipment. In 1991 it was claimed that only 1 of the 5 furnaces on Mir was "OK, with the others only working for short spells between repairs * limited chances to fly samples back to Earth (partly eased by the Raduga return capsules) Studies concentrated on gallium arsenide semiconductors. The ultimate aim was for mass production platforms in space built by NPO Energia.
PION-M is used for basic physics and chemistry research. Examples of fields of research are colloids, heat and mass transfer, thermocapillary action, aerosols and surface tension. It is used for basic research on semi-conductor production - determining effects like varying micro-gravity levels onboard Mir. In other words: the physics of liquids and crystallisation in microgravity. Materials such as silica aerogel in suspension, fluoroplastics and glass pellets have been used inside the apparatus. Another model of PION was brought across to Mir from Salyut-7 by the Soyuz T-15 crew. The PION-M unit was delivered to Mir by Progress-27 in January 1987. The PION contained the liquid or gas to be studied inside a clear, flattened disk. Light was shone in one side and the process was filmed from the other side. A similar Soviet built unit is called Biryza (Biryuza) though this may simply be the name of a series of experiments on oscillatory chemical reactions conducted in the Pion-M apparatus. PION-M measures the angles of deflection of light rays by optical inhomogenities in a transparent liquid - induced by temperature and density gradients. A movie and still camera assembly on the side of the unit records data. PION was first used on Salyut-6 in 1981. A series of complicated dynamics experiments with it allowed the development of the upgraded 41 Kg PION-M unit. It is provided with a 3-axis accelerometer to detect disturbances. Alice is French equipment from CEN Saclay designed to study physical phenomenae such as transport and phase change in the neighbourhood of the critical points of gas/liquid systems. It was delivered by Progress M-13 in July 1992 and setup in the Kristall module. Korund-1M is another Mir furnace - delivered by Progress 28 in March 1987. It is a "semi-industrial modification of the Splav and Kristall test furnaces (Splav-01 flew on Salyut-6 and Kristall on Salyut-7). It was intended for pilot commercial production of semi-conductors in microgravity. The 136 Kg electric furnace has a turntable which moves a total of 1 Kg of samples (maximum diameter 2.5 cm) into the furnace at intervals - run by a mini-computer for automated operations. The furnace consumes up to 1 kW of power - so was severely affected by Mir,s early power shortages but was first used in March 1987. Furnace temperatures are from 20 to 1,270 deg C (0.5 deg C accuracy). Examples of semi-conductor production runs are of cadmium selenide and indium antimonide. The runs may last from 6 to 150 hours. Six base technologies for the production of 10 different semi-conductors were intended for trial. Initially Korund-1M kept overheating its electronics. It produced a lot of hot air which stayed near the furnace due to the lack of convection in microgravity. This was fixed inflight by putting heat reflecting material between the furnace and its control panel. Gallar is a small furnace brought to Mir by Progress M1 in August 1989. It was built by NPO Science Centre (NPO NTs) for the Ministry of Electronics Industry of the USSR and was based on the earlier Korund-1 (Salyut-7) and Korund-1M (Mir). By means of resistive heating it can process samples 15 cm long and 2.5 cm diameter at 400 to 1,300 deg C (in 3 heating zones). Sited in the base block, it was run for (to give two examples) 220 and 240 hours. Samples included cadmium selenide, gallium arsenide, cadmium telluride, zinc oxide and silicon - in the manufacture of semiconductors and high temperature superconductors. Krater-V (Krater-B in Russian) is a furnace built by the NPO Science Centre (NPO NTs) in Zelenograd and installed aboard the Kristall module. Semi-conductor samples up to 5 cm diameter and 15 cm long are processed at 400 to 1,300 deg C (in 4 heating zones) by means of resistive heating. Samples mentioned include cadmium sulphide, germanium, gallium arsenide, zinc oxide and yttrium-barium-copper oxide (a high temperature superconductor). Sample runs mentioned range from 15 to 260 hours. Kristallisator (Crystallizer, ChSK-1, CSK-1 or 4CK-1) is a furnace provided by the Czech Academy of Sciences, together with the Soviet Institute of Physics/IKI laboratory of space materials science, and installed onboard the Kristall module. A earlier version was carried in Cosmos-1686 to Salyut 7 and another model was carried to the Mir base-block in Progress 30 (May 1987). The furnace can process 19 different samples at once, each up to 9 cm diameter and 90 cm long. Resistive heating provides temperatures from 100 to 850 deg C (in 5 heating zones). Sample processing times range from hours to days. Data is recorded on a magnetic tape cassette, as is the program to run the device. The furnace has been used for a wide variety of studies: lightweight batteries (rubidium-silver-iodine), glasses, metal-matrix composites, semiconductors, eutectic alloys, mass & heat transfer, specific heat capacity measurements and crystallisation in microgravity. Examples of the samples processed are: silver/germanium, antimony, lead-silver chlorides, aluminium/nickel, gallium, gallium/antimony and aluminium/copper/iron. Due to Mir power shortages, in 1988 the furnace could only be operated during crew sleep periods (when all other devices were turned off). It was meant to be used for 4 ESA materials processing experiments plus a computer monitoring test but a key component had failed by November 1994. A replacement part delivered by Progress M-24 didn,t solve the problem. Humid conditions, due to being situated near a refrigerator, were cited as the reason for the failure. ESA actually ran the experiments in 1995. Zona-02 and Zona-03 are semi-conductor manufacturing ovens located in the Kristall module (Zona-01 is an oven flown on Photon automated capsule missions). Both were built by the Splav Technical Centre. Zona-02 operates at 300 to 1,800 deg C with samples 3 cm diameter and 30 cm long while Zona-03 works at 400 to 1,400 deg C with samples 3 cm diameter and 36 cm long. Samples mentioned include germanium, silicon (Zona-02), gallium arsenide, cadmium sulphide and zinc oxide (Zona-03). For Zona-02 a cosmonaut loads three sample rods into individual ceramic cells. The sample is "zone heated under vacuum and during crystal growth the heater is moved at a precise rate along the rod using a motor. Operating parameters are transmitted inflight and microgravity disturbances also monitored and recorded. Zona-03 is similar but two other, stationary, heaters provide extra temperature control. Zonal crystallisation uses the zone heater plus the two background ones. Directed crystallisation uses the independently controlled small and large background heaters - whose separation is adjustable. The heating takes place under argon gas. Zona-03 was reported to have had welding done to it in August 1990. A mirror beam furnace was delivered to the Mir base-block by Progress 33 in November 1987. It used 2 halogen lamps to heat samples up to 1,100 deg C (consuming 250 W of power in the process). Materials such as aluminium/copper, zinc and tellurium were smelted. Another mirror beam furnace, Optizon-1, is installed in the Kristall module. NPO Science Centre (NPO NTs) of Zelenograd built this crucible-less furnace. It uses 3 lamps to heat samples under argon at 400 to 1,300 deg C. There is one heating zone and samples up to 1 cm diameter and 15 cm long can be processed. The only sample mentioned as being processed is silicon. In connection with materials science, several instruments are mounted inside Mir to monitor micro-gravity levels onboard. This is to check on disturbances to materials science and protein crystal growth experiments. They include the French "Microaccelerometre and the NASA SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System, which has flown on the Shuttle many times). The Vibrogal experiment measures microgravity levels in the vicinity of the Gallar furnace. This may be the same device as a Russian "vibro-seismograph used to measure microgravity levels near several other furnaces onboard. SAMS was flown to Mir on Progress M-24 in August 1994 along with a modified IBM ThinkPad computer for data gathering. The latter is a variant of one used as standard on Space Shuttles but with dual Cyrillic/Anglic keyboard and an adapter for Mir,s 28 V power supply. 12 hour of vibration data were gathered and the computer disk carried back to Earth by Soyuz TM-19 in November 1994. SAMS sensors were placed near the Gallar furnace and near the site for a NASA Protein Crystal Growth experiment - presumably in Kvant-1.
Reference: 10, 11
Radiation in space comes from 3 sources: radiation belts around the Earth, solar flares and cosmic rays. On Earth,s surface the average background radiation dose is 10-15 microrad/hour. At 200-400 Km orbital height it is about 1 millirad/hour. The radiation levels are 100 times higher during the 10-20 minutes pass through the South Atlantic Anomaly region near Brazil. Cosmonauts Titov and Manarov were exposed to 10-15 rem during their 1 year in space. Atomic energy workers have an allowance of 5 rem/year in comparison. The Soviet limit for a 6 month Mir stay is 37 rem. During the last "solar maximum period of activity there were 4 big solar eruptions in September and October 1989 which caused concern to the Spaceflight Radiation Safety Service of the USSR Ministry of Public Health. These added 2.2 rem in just a few hours compared to 1.5 rem in one month. Dosimeter data showed that the least protected parts of the base block were the sleeping compartments and control console. The safest part was the exercise area. By staying in these areas during flares the crew reduced their exposure by 2.5-3 times. The crew moved into Kvant-1 for the duration of the flares (6-12 minutes). The crew use individual dosimeters, which return to Earth with them to measure their accumulated radiation dose over the mission. The Akkord (Accord) complex is the overall name for 7 operational radiation monitoring instruments - according to an Energia document. These are situated on the base block and every module. Mir was launched with two neutron detectors, a scintillation detector and a Geiger counter onboard. Radiation research on Mir ranges from geophysics to astronomy and radiation biology - including crew health monitoring. Instruments measure X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, electrons and heavier nuclei. An important element of geophysical research is precision orientation of Mir with respect to the local magnetic field vector. Note that some instruments (such as passive dosimeters) are returned to Earth for analysis. The large X-ray and gamma ray instruments of the Roentgen instrument suite are covered separately under "astronomy. Note that it is sometimes hard to tell the specific area of research of an instrument and whether they are for operational or research use.
Adlet - Austrian radiation experiment in 1994. ARIZ (ARIS) - mounted on the Kvant-2 ASP-G-M instrument platform. Biodose - French radiation monitoring device mounted in Kristall. Used to study the effects on biological specimens. Circe - French tissue equivalent proportional counter (real time) radiation detector, developed by the Atomic Energy Centre for ground use and being evaluated for use on, the now cancelled, Hermes. It distinguished between the effects of neutrons and gamma rays and could be used for microdosimetry. It was attached to a wall of the base-block. Condor - Canadian electronic dosimeter and bubble detector. The three electronic radiation sensors from Thomson & Nielsen were a proof of technology experiment. The set of bubble detectors were from Bubble Technology Industries and measured neutron radiation. DOM - German passive radiation dosimeters placed at various locations around Mir. Dosmir - Austrian passive radiation dosimeters placed around Mir. Doza-B - Bulgarian radiation sensors and biological samples placed at various locations around Mir. Granat - Gamma ray; fast neutron and slow neutron spectrometer mounted on Kristall. From the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute & Leningrad Physics & Technology Institute. Lyulin - Bulgarian portable cosmic ray/radiation monitor using a lithium drifted silicon detector linked to a microcomputer for real-time dose rate and high resolution flux measurements. Probably delivered to Mir on Progress 36. Marina - Georgian Academy of Sciences X-ray, gamma ray and neutron spectrometer mounted outside Kristall. It measured galactic, solar and near-Earth radiation. Mariye (also spelt as Maria and Mariya) - high energy particle spectrometer for astrophysics (cosmic ray studies) and geophysics (Earthquake predictions and study of South Atlantic Anomaly). It is a magnetic spectrometer to measure protons, anti-protons, electrons and positrons. The original version was delivered to Mir in Progress 33 (November 1987) but Mariya-2 was installed inside Kristall at launch. Mariya was originally tested on Salyut-7 in 1985. Mariya has recorded 10 fold increases in the levels of very high energy particles in the absence of other geomagnetic disturbances. 150-180 minutes later there was an Earth tremor below. Electro-Magnetic radiation in a wide frequency range from the focus area of the quake appears to disturb the Earth,s radiation belt just like the Sun does - the "Abastumani effect independently discovered by an observatory in Georgia. This could be developed into a short-term quake forecast. Nausicca-1 - French device to measure ionised radiation in the base block. Pille - Thermoluminescent radiation dosimeter for measuring individual crew doses and dose distribution inside Mir. Radiation Environment Monitor - ESA solid state radiation detector similar to one fitted to the small UK satellite STRV-1b. It was carried to Mir by Soyuz TM-19 and attached outside the Mir base block on the September 9, 1994 EVA. It counts electrons and protons which penetrate its shielding to reach silicon detectors. It was developed by the Swiss companies CIR and PSI as part of ESA,s Technology Demonstration Programme. Ryabina-2 - cosmic radiation spectrometer fitted to Kvant-2. SPIN-6000 - portable X-ray and gamma ray spectrometer from the V. G. Khlopkin Radiation Institute in Leningrad. It was used inside Mir and outside (on the YMK rocket backpack test flights) to measure secondary radiation caused by irradiation of the Mir station structure due to cosmic rays. Sprut-5 - spectrometer fitted outside Kvant-2 during a January 1991 EVA - to measure elementary particle fluxes. A passive set of films and other materials were placed outside Mir for a month on a June 28 EVA (retrieved on a later EVA). The materials registered radiation levels outside Mir. They were returned to their experimenter, at the University of San Francisco, in November 1991 after return to Earth in October in Soyuz TM-12. The experiment was made possible by a NASA-IBMP joint agreement.
References: 10, 11, 12
Earth observation tasks have to be fitted in dependent on pointing of the Mir station but they do have the advantage of not requiring significant electrical power (unlike the materials processing furnaces!) - unless you count power to operate the attitude control gyrodynes. The Russians make a point that the crew on Mir are very useful - especially when searching for targets that have ill-defined locations. Film cassettes from Priroda-5 and MKF-6MA cameras are only returned to Earth 2-3 times per year. Images are received by customers 2 weeks after return of the film to Earth. Orders can also be filled from archives within 1 week. The TVC (Telecontrolled Videospectrometric Complex) instrument suite is on the ASP-G-M pointing platform and is controlled by an operator at the Flight Control Centre. Orders from customers must be received 2-5 days before the observation. Data may be transmitted in real-time to the customer by satellite if required. Observations are accompanied by infrared and visible spectroradiometric measurements. Photo and spectral surveys of a selected region on Earth are possible for 25 days with a 2-3 day interval between observations. Repetition of the same lighting conditions is every 56 days. Multi-zonal and spectrozonal stereo surveys using topographic calibration can have a resolution up to 10-20 m. Direct TV downlink in colour or Black&White can be at 15-800 m resolution. The 110 Kg ASP-G-M instrument pointing platform outside Kvant-2,s airlock compartment was supplied by Czechoslovakia. It is based on the instrument pointing system used on the VeGa Comet Halley probes. It can carry 5 instruments (total mass: 115 Kg) and is controlled from the ground at up to 3 deg/sec slew rate. The instruments fitted are referred to by different names and it is difficult to ascertain the exact mix of hardware but it is believed to be:
Some references state that the platform was launched with 3 TV cameras attached but has room for 2 more and an NPO Energia document refers to the TVC as containing: MKS-M2, KL-103B colour TV camera, Atlas TV camera and KL-140ST TV system. Apparatus The KL-103B colour TV camera has a 16x20 deg field-of-view, 250 m resolution and works at 400-800 nm. The Atlas TV camera has a 20 deg to 50 arc-sec field-of-view, 200 to 10 m resolution and works at 400-800 nm. The KL-140ST TV system has a 10x14 deg field-of-view, 160 m resolution and works at 400-750 nm. The Gemma-2 spectrophotometry and spectropolarimetry videocamera from the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences is also on the ASP-G-M. It was added on a January 26, 1990 EVA. This instrument was designed by cosmonauts Sevastyanov and Serebrov. It was brought inside after an EVA for repair (January 7, 1991) and returned outside on a later EVA (April 25, 1991), having had a lens removed and replaced. Since a photo from STS-71 seems to show a large device attached to the TVC, one can speculate that this is the Gemma-2 system. ITS-7D is an infra-red spectrometer. MKS-M2 is a spectroradiometer, isolating broad bands of natural radiation by means of spectral filters. It is from the Space Research Institute of Berlin (in the former East Germany). It has an atmospheric unit for separating out interferences. The AS (atmospheric) unit operates at wavelengths between 758-823 nm. The BS unit operates at 415-1030 nm. Resolution is 3 Km. The KAP-350 topographic, wide strip, camera was on the Kvant-2 module at launch (inside the airlock compartment.) It has a 40 deg field-of-view, 30-40 m resolution, works at 400-800 nm and has 500 frames per film. The KATE-140 (IKT-140) topographic mapping camera was brought across to Mir from Salyut-7 by the crew of Soyuz T-15. Another model was delivered by Progress 28 in March 1987. It produces large format 180x180 mm frames. Focal length is 140 mm. 500-700 nm coverage with 50 m resolution is possible (450x450 Km images). This camera used to fly on Resurs-F class photographic satellite missions before being replaced by the KATE-200 camera. 600 frame film cassettes are used. It can be operated manually or by command from the flight control centre. It is a "stationary camera which is fixed across a porthole for use. Sever (North) is an oblique viewing geological relief camera. It was only mentioned once so may have been the name for an observation series using the KATE-140. Two KFA-1000 cameras are fitted to Kristall (1000 mm focal length lens) and can produce better than 10 m resolution (7-8 m is quoted for Black&White - though "Interavia Space Directory quotes up to 2 m and 10-12 m for "spectrozonal film). They are also referred to as Priroda-5 or SA-20M-I and II. They have a 32x16 deg field-of-view, work at 400-800 nm and have 1,500 frames per film. They occupy one of the "docking ports in the adapter on the end of the Kristall module. A 60 Km swath (120 Km with two cameras) is covered by the 300x300 mm film frames. This camera used to fly on Resurs-F class photographic satellite missions before being replaced by the MK-4 camera. The MKF-6MA multi-spectral camera is fitted to the Kvant-2 module (in the scientific-instrument compartment). It was built in East Germany by VEB Carl Zeiss as a follow-on to MKF-6 on Soyuz 22 and MKF-6M on Salyut-6. It consists of a suite of 6 cameras loaded with films of different sensitivity from 460 to 860 nm - 4 Black&White and 2 infra-red sensitive. Field-of-view is 24x35 deg, resolution is 30-80 m (depending on wavelength, though up to 22.5 m is quoted) and there are 2,400 frames per film. Swath width is 190 Km. Frame size is 56x81 mm. The camera can be operated from the ground once film has been loaded by the crew. Focal length is 125 mm. One may have been meant to be fitted to Kvant-1 originally (it was seen in a ground mock-up of Kvant-1). The Phaza (Faza or Phasa) AFM-2 telespectrometer is fitted outside the Kvant-2 module. It has a 10 arc-sec field-of-view and operates at 340-2850 nm. The AFM-2 is used for study of the atmosphere and pollutants. The East German built MKS-M is a portable spectrometer used for Earth observation from inside Mir. It operates at 415-880 nm. Another portable spectrometer, from Byelorussia, is called Skif - it works at 400-1200 nm. Both were also used on Salyut-7. The Bulgarian Spektr-256C spectrometer is used for studying the Earth and its atmosphere. It uses a CCD detector and stores data on floppy diskettes by means of the Zora microprocessor. It can study either 128 or 256 channels (wavelengths) at once - from 450 to 830 nm. Spectral resolution is 1.5 nm. Another model of the Spektr-256 was said to be fitted outside Kvant-2. Observations for the State Centre "Priroda by the crew have used a portable TV camera, Video-8 camcorder, Hasselblad 500 camera and binoculars.
Apparatus Racks of test samples outside Mir are the Soviet equivalent of the US LDEF satellite - exposing materials to the space environment for a long period. Samples are placed and retrieved on EVAs. Individual experiments named include:
Some of the materials samples have included carbon-fibre - as used on the two "Strela cranes outside Mir. An April 25, 1991 EVA saw the setup of an experimental thermo-mechanical joint outside Mir in a test of the 14 metre high "Sofora boom system. It was retrieved at the end of the EVA. The joints are made of "memory metals which regain their original shape upon heating. A June 25, 1991 EVA saw another experimental thermo-mechanical girder installed on Kvant-2. It was retrieved on a June 28, 1991 EVA. The "Sofora tower was subsequently assembled in July 1991 over 3 EVAs. The 5 metal tall "Rapana structure was assembled outside Mir on September 16 and 20, 1993 EVAs. It was a test of an experimental mount for antennas or solar dynamic power system mirrors on Mir-2. Its deployment system used memory metals. VEP-3 and VEP-4 are quoted as materials samples but these are actually the solar array units fitted to Kvant-2 - it is possible that they include samples of new solar array material. Experimental sections on the base block 3rd solar array (assembled in June 1987) were retrieved on February 20 and September 15, 1992 EVAs. French experiments inside Mir have tested a new type of solar array deployment mechanism in micro-gravity (Amadeus), space radiation effects on VLSI chips and other electronic components (Ercos, lasting 6 months, and Exeq); and filling and emptying liquids in tanks in microgravity by capillary action (Reservoir). A Russian apparatus inside Kvant-2 is Volna-2 (Wave-2) - testing capillary action for fuel supply and using a 1.5 m long beam rotating at 5 rpm. Use was first mentioned in November 1991. The Yantar electron beam evaporator has been used for tests in the base block,s small science airlock since its first mention in May 1987. This deposits metal coatings on plastic film in microgravity - copper, copper/silver, silver/palladium and tungsten/aluminium have been used. Mention was made of tests of the ERI hand-held unit for electro-depositing corrosion-resistant coatings in micro-gravity. Such units had been flown in space since 1979, most recently on Salyut-7 EVAs. Yantar was described as a follow-on to the "Evaporator series of experiments on Salyut-6 and Salyut-7. It is not clear if ERI is the same as the URI used on Salyut-7. Austrian technology tests on Mir have included LOGION - ion emission from a liquid metal source - and MIGMAS-A - a scanning ion beam from a liquid metal source. LOGION is the test of a method of stabilising the electrical potential of a satellite. It would be used on the Interball science satellite. MIGMAS is to aid in development of a scanning ion beam system for a material analysis device (e.g. for remote analysis of cometary material by a space probe). The TIGR unit is a holographic TV detector used to record the optical properties of the windows on Mir - to study damage to them. Soviet space holographic apparatus (KGA in Russian) had been tested on Salyut-6 and 7 since 1981. Micrometeorite damage to the windows of Mir was specifically mentioned in April 1988. The Electrotopograph-7K is a Ukrainian built device used to analyse materials samples by electro-topography after exposure of materials samples to space - by means of the small science airlock (Shk) in the base block. It was built by the Spectre Research Institute of the Kiev Polytechnical Institute. Examples of materials tested include thin films of ceramic oxides, dielectrics, superconductors and fluoro-plastics - structural and insulation materials. One use is to test ceramic coatings for future spacecraft. Exposure times to vacuum specifically mentioned (during Helen Sharman,s visit) are several hours. After exposure to space, materials are sandwiched between two pieces of metal plate with an emulsion coated photographic plate next to the sample. A charge of 2-9 kvolts is applied to the metal plates by the Electrotopograph flaw detector. The electric field creates contours around any microscopic defects in the sample material caused in manufacture or exposure to space. The films are returned to Earth for further analysis. Use was first mentioned in December 1987. The French ERA experiment was conducted on a December 1988 EVA. A bundled cylinder of 1 m long carbon-fibre tubes hinged by light alloy joints was mounted outside the base block near the multiple docking unit and commanded remotely to open into a 3.8 m diameter hexagonal shape (watched by camera). After rigidity tests by microaccelerometers it was automatically cast off from Mir. This Aerospatiale test was to develop technology for folded satellite structures, such as supports for large antennae. Water vapour froze inside the apparatus and deployment didn,t take place until cosmonaut Volkov had kicked the unit vigorously! One interesting technological use is of an infra-red radiometer inside Mir to check for cold patches in the walls where condensation and mould might form. Acoustic sensors were also used to check the interior structure of Kvant-2 in 1990. A specially designed Coca-Cola dispensing can was flown to Mir by Progress M-9. Previous tests of the cans were on Shuttle mission STS-51F. A satellite video-conferencing system called DICE (developed by ESA and built by Matra-Marconi) was used for the Austro-Mir (1991) and Euro-Mir-94 missions. It allowed multi-way video and audio communications by linking the Flight Control Centre at Kaliningrad and Mir to ESTEC, the EAC in Cologne, CNES in France and DLR in Germany. By 1994 there was only 20 minutes of live video per day from Mir and long periods without any form of contact with TsUP (the Flight Control Centre).
Apparatus Arfa-E is an electron gun mounted on the Kvant-1 module (also called Alpha-E). It is used for studies of the Earth,s ionosphere and magnetosphere. Electrons fired from it have been detected by other satellites - such as the Swedish Freya research satellite. A plasma injector called Ariel has also been referred to. Iskra-2 is described as an "electron-magnetometer spectrometer on Kvant-1 and Istotschnik (Source) as an "electron injector. They are probably all part of the same suite on Kvant-1. Arfa-E was attached to Kvant-1 on a January 11, 1990 EVA. The Astra instrument was used on Salyut-7 and is believed to have been used on Mir as well. It is a mass spectrometer extended on a boom from the small science airlock to sample the upper atmosphere near to the space station. Salyut-7,s instrument revealed that the space station was surrounded by a "mini-comet of outgassed and leaked material - such as water vapour. The Diagram (Diagramma) instrument WAS deployed from Mir,s science airlock on a 10 m long boom. It is a magnetic-discharge transducer sensor to measure "aerodynamic flow around Mir. EFO-1 is a Czechoslovak hand-held photometer used for upper atmosphere studies. It measures the light from stars as they dim and disappear as seen through the Earth,s atmosphere on its limb. Its studies include dust and aerosols, e.g. dust from micrometeoroids in the upper atmosphere, 100 Km high. Fialka-F is another hand-held instrument - used for studying the effects of ultra-violet radiation on Earth,s atmosphere, though another report quotes it as being used to measure UV radiation levels inside Mir. Terma (Therma) is another hand-held instrument used for upper atmosphere studies - on aurorae and luminescence (in the atmosphere and near Mir). It is an impulse photometer and spectrometer and stores data on floppy diskettes. The Bulgarian Parallax-Zagorka image intensifier was also mentioned as being used for upper atmosphere luminescence studies plus studies of Mir structural glow (an effect analogous to "Shuttle glow during orbital night). The MAK-1 student satellite was deployed from the science airlock of the base block on June 17, 1991 but its aerials failed to deploy. It was intended for upper atmosphere studies. MAK-2 was successfully deployed on November 20, 1992 for study of the ionosphere.
References: 1, 4, 10
Apparatus Another Ainur (Aynur or Inur) Azerbaijani unit is mounted in the Kristall module and is used for electrophoresis - for purifying biological fluid samples. 8 Kg can be processed per batch for the Azerbaijani Academy of Sciences. Samples mentioned include synthetic human interferon, antigens (surface proteins) and various viruses for vaccines and serums. Up to 3 Kg of insulin could be prepared annually. The EFU-Robot electrophoresis unit was brought across to Mir from Salyut-7 by the crew of Soyuz T-15 but use onboard Mir has not been mentioned. It was used for processing proteins and cells on Salyut-7. Ruchei (Brook) is another electrophoresis device. It is probably installed in Kvant-1 (use was first mentioned in July 1987) and has been used to purify erythrocytes, gene-engineered interferon, insulin, anti-flu and anti-virus preparations. It appears to have been delivered by Soyuz TM-3 in July 1987. Sigma is an electrophoresis experiments unit delivered by Progress 42 in May 1990. (Though one report referred to it being used for electrochemical studies - which is possibly electrophoresis for data gathering rather than separation). Svetlana is an electrophoresis pilot production plant of mass 800 Kg fitted inside Kvant-1. It was named after Svetlana Savitskaya (who conducted electrophoresis experiments on Salyut-7). It is used for electrophoretic cleaning of bioactive substances in the production of batches of anti-viral preparations and active microbe producers for use on Earth. Examples quoted are interferon, anti-influenza and antibiotic producing substances for use in stock-rearing. The Svetoblok-T (Lightblock-T) unit is used for manufacture of synthetic polyacrylamide gel in microgravity - for use in electrophoresis back on Earth. Its use was first mentioned in July 1987. The MKM-1 (Vita) unit is for complex cell cultivation in microgravity (a bioreactor). It was built by the Crimean Medical Institute (Ministry of Health of the Ukraine), Mendeleev Moscow Chemical Technological Institute and the Biopreparat Corporation (Ministry of Medical Industry). Applications include cell life and growth dynamics, protein cultivation in the membrane of cells, cultivation of genetically-engineered micro-organisms and model studies on biologically active substances that produce micro-organisms. Regular sampling of biological preparations may be performed. A substance mentioned is production of the protein Luciferase. Vita was first mentioned in August 1990. Applications for its products were said to be pharmaceuticals and molecular electronics. Fresh cells are delivered by Progress-M supply craft e.g. Progress M-4 was mentioned. Samples are regularly collected by the crew e.g. daily during the Soyuz TM-11 short stay. Rekomb (Recomb) is a cell hybridisation unit - producing hybrid cells which are shipped back to Earth in ampoules for use in bioreactors. Membranes are lost off cells in a special fermentation process, they are grown together and grow new membranes in a nutritional fluid. It was first mentioned in February 1990. Palmyra was a Syrian experiment using 7 syringes to study the crystallisation of material similar to bone or dental tissue - from water solution. The materials mixed were Gypsum and another compound.
General The largest research program using biological experiments on plants before Mir was on the Salyut 6 and 7 space stations but appreciable successes were only achieved in the mid-1980s. Salyut 4 and early Salyut 6 experiments growing peas and wheat failed at the flower forming stage: they faded and died as soon as flowering began. There was a debate about whether there was a "biological barrier (analogous to the microgravity effects on humans) or whether the plant growing techniques were at fault. In 1980 several orbital "hothouses were put into use on Salyut-6. They used artificial soil beds (sometimes with water), nutrients and systems for air supply and removal in microgravity. In some cases electrical stimulation was applied to the plants. The units were called Malakhit, Oasis, Vazon and Biogravistat (the latter used artificial gravity). Of many plants tested, only Arabidopsis was brought to the flowering stage (in 1980) but it failed to produce seeds. In 1982 a similar experiment on Salyut-7 produced flowers after 55 days and seeds after 69 days (compared to a normal Earth life cycle of 25-30 days). Out of 27 pods only 10 were fully matured and contained about 200 seeds - the first seed stock for space biology. Some of the seeds were used for Earth based experiments. Soviet biologists discovered after long duration flight of Spiderwort (Tradescantia) tissue that 3% of the cells were restructured. It was believed that microgravity had affected cell division (mitosis) - an important discovery if confirmed. Onions and "green salad were grown in the Mir base block by the very first crew to occupy it. Plant growth appears to have been continuous since then - though some experiments only last as long as a visiting crew (as short as one week). Temperature controlled cabinets are used to grow plant and animal cell cultures - such as ginseng, saffron and stevii. Unlike the Space Shuttle, there is the potential for very long experiments in plant growth. Animals have also flown on Mir several times, e.g. a small aquarium with several fish delivered by the crews of Soyuz TM-4 and Soyuz TM-6 (and returned by the same short stay crews) to broaden the studies of the effects of spaceflight on biological objects. Experiments using Chlorella algae also appear to have been in these tanks. In another example, Progress M-2 delivered amphibians, crustaceans and molluscs in December 1989. More molluscs were delivered by Soyuz TM-10. Apparatus The BKM unit is from the Biology Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Lithuania. It studies the antimutation phase in plant development - the effects of antimutagens on plants at the initial stages of growth and development. Spring onions and salad seeds are grown. Chlorella-A is a Czech biology unit - to grow Chlorella algae. Fiton (Phaeton) is a small greenhouse used to study plant development in microgravity. Plants grown include onions, radish and 3 month old cedar seedlings. It was first specifically mentioned in a June 1987 report but is probably the unit used by the first occupants of Mir. IFS-2 is a Georgian unit (from the State University of Tbilissi) used for vestibular studies of amphibians. Inkubator-2 is a Soviet/Czech unit to study the embryology and development of birds in microgravity - specifically Japanese quail. It is a follow-on to a Cosmos-1129 bio-satellite experiment and is situated in Kvant-2. Fertilised eggs were delivered by Progress M3 in March 1990. The first quail chicks hatched on the 17th day as planned (March 23, 1990). The experiment was planned to last 233 days in total. The crew spent half an hour a day feeding the birds and checking the equipment. Cargo spacecraft were to bring food for the chicks and return chicks and eggs to Earth for study. Unfortunately, the chicks were more helpless than expected, didn,t adapt to microgravity and couldn,t get to the feeding trough independently. A decision was made to "put them to sleep after about 7 chicks had hatched. Embryo development had taken place normally in microgravity and the experiment would be continued later because of its potential for closed life support systems. Soyuz TM-10 delivered another 5 "Japanese quails for the unit. Japanese quail eggs were reported in the Inkubator-2 in November 1992 - for study of embryo development until they hatched. The experiment continued up to hatching but no word was given on the fate of the chicks. The results were to be returned home for study. Magnetogravistat is a greenhouse from IBMP and the Institute of Chemical Physics from the Academy of Sciences. It studies the effect of non-uniform magnetic fields on plant growth in microgravity. Plants grown have included: wheat, flax, arabidopsis and ginseng. This was first mentioned in September 1988. It uses a centrifuge and a magnetic field to induce plants to grow. Rost-4M (Growth-4M) is a plant growth unit used to study tissue culture growth dynamics in microgravity. It is from the Biology Institute of the Academy of Sciences. Its use was first specifically mentioned in June 1987. Svet (light) is a greenhouse in the Kristall module from Bulgaria/Czechoslovakia and IBMP. It is used for plant cultivation technology development in microgravity and is a follow-on to earlier models. It provides seed development stimulation, root aeration, ventilation, illumination and water supply. A camera is included. Vegetables are grown in the unit - for example lettuce, peas and radishes. There was a joint experiment with the USA in 1990 called Greenhouse-1 that used Svet. It uses a special "Balkanine growth substrate. Two rows each of 10 garden radishes and two rows each of 10 lettuce were planted in Svet. The first shoots appeared in June 1990 and by mid-July were 10 cm tall (3 times less than their controls on Earth). Some of the first crop showed yellow spots - these were resown and watering increased. The next crop was described as "wonderful and returned to Earth on August 9, 1990 for study. Svetoblok-M (lightblock-M) is a plant growth unit from IBMP. It has been used to grow wheat and also potato tubers from tissue culture. It uses a special "Vion substrate saturated with minerals. Svetoblok-G is used to study the development of seeds in microgravity - e.g. in flax development. Svetoblok-S from the Biology Institute of the Academy of Sciences is used for the growth of potatoes from tissue culture. The Svetoblok units appear to be distinct to the Svet greenhouse because they were in use on the Mir base block in 1986 - some may have been brought across from Salyut-7. Six Japanese tree frogs were taken to Mir by the Japanese commercial cosmonaut Toyohiro Akiyama and there was some scientific study of their adaptation to microgravity and of re-adaptation to 1-g on their return - for example 4 were dissected by the Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory at Rouen, France to study neuropeptide secretion by glands in the heart and brains.
References: 10, 11
General The Akkord (Accord) "astrophysics facility on Mir consisted of 7 devices to monitor cosmic radiation (more were to be launched on the Spektr and Priroda modules). Astrophysics tasks included:
The 800 Kg Roentgen 37KE international X-ray telescope suite is fitted to the unpressurised section of the Kvant-1 module. It was originally designed for use on Salyut-7. It records radiation from 2 KeV to 1.4 MeV (the widest energy range of any observatory in space when it was launched), with a time resolution of 1 mmillisecond and a spatial resolution of 2 arc-min. There is up to 20 minutes observing time per orbit. This is due to background radiation interference near the Earth,s poles - so operations are limited to near the equator. Kvant-1 docked to Mir at the third attempt on April 12, 1987. An EVA was needed after the second attempt only achieved a soft-dock. A "foreign object (believed to be a waste disposal bag or protective cover) had to be extracted from the docking mechanism by a cosmonaut on EVA. Roentgen is controlled from the Flight Control Centre in Kaliningrad with help from foreign university science teams. The suite was often switched on and off while the crew were asleep onboard Mir. The crew would only intervene if there were errors in the commands sent to the onboard computer or to adjust things. Roentgen operations continued when Mir was unoccupied by a crew between May-August 1989. Data was telemetered back to Earth and then computer tapes were returned to science teams in the West via the Danish embassy, visiting researchers or m"who-ever was passing through. mA program is fed into the onboard Mir computer and a command sent from Earth to run the program. The Mir complex is oriented, data gathered and mtelemetered to Earth and the crew monitor the process. The whole Mir space station is used for pointing - attitude control being by gyrodynes accurate to 5 arc-sec. This can be spoilt by crew motion onboard however. There are 3 levels of pointing accuracy on Mir: 20 arc-min, 1-2 arc-min and 5 arc-sec. Attitude control uses electrically powered, magnetically suspended gyroscope momentum wheels called "gyrodynes. They are periodically "unloaded by using 64 attitude control thrusters (on the base block and Kvant-2) or by moving to gravity gradient stabilised positions. They consume 90 W of power each and have a rated life of 3-5 years. They spin at 10,000 rpm. The original Mir complex had 6 on Kvant-1 and 6 on Kvant-2 but a series of failures left Mir almost without attitude control until extra ones were fitted. First use of the Roentgen suite was on June 9, 1987. Extra solar panels had to be erected outside Mir on EVAs to support use of Roentgen (to power the gyrodynes). Appropriately enough, the solar panels were delivered to Mir inside the Kvant-1 module. Targets have included: Supernova 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a primary target for much of the time; it exploded shortly before the launch of Kvant-1), the Galactic Centre (no evidence for a large black hole was found), Nova Vulpecula (an X-ray nova), Hercules X-1, an X-ray emitting pulsar in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Cygnus X-3, the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Perseus cluster of galaxies, Cygnus X-1, an X-ray nova in Perseus, an X-ray pulsar in Vela and an X-ray pulsar in Centaurus. For example there were 300 observation sessions from June to September 1987, with 115 being dedicated to SN1987A. The telescopes are calibrated by being periodically pointed at a well documented source: the Crab Nebula. In the first 2.5 years, Roentgen made about 23 days of observations in total, over 2,200 observing sessions. Compare this with the Granat X-ray observatory, which has been operating for 3 out of every 4 days since its launch in 1989 (still operating in early 1996). There are 4 telescopes in the suite:
Apparatus TTM (TSM - Coded Mask Telescope in Russian) - from the Netherlands Space Research Organisation in Utrecht (detector); the University of Birmingham (coded mask and electronics); and the USSR. It is an X-ray telescope/spectrometer, capable of high resolution imaging and similar to the coded mask telescope used on Spacelab-2. TTM had sporadic detector failures, a high voltage generator started discharging, and it was replaced by a new 40 Kg detector on two EVAs in June and October 1988 despite not being designed for in-orbit servicing. A tool broke on the first EVA and EVA gloves were almost worn bare in the course of the second EVA. Energy range is 2-30 KeV (soft X-rays). Field-of-view is 8 x 8 deg. Angular resolution is 2 arc-min (though one report cited 1-2 arc-sec). Time resolution is 0.1 sec. It was described as the "best X-ray telescope of the 1980s. Effective collecting area: 625 sq-cm. Sirene-2 (Lilac-2) - from ESA,s ESTEC. It is a high pressure gas scintillation proportional counter (GSPC) spectrometer instrument, like those used on the Exosat satellite. The output from this instrument was reported to not be "stable - e.g. 20 KeV showing as anything from 16 to 24 KeV. It senses flashes of light when radiation hits gas molecules (3 atmospheres pressure inside). Energy range is 2-80 KeV. Field-of-view is 3 x 3 deg. Effective collecting area is 300 sq-cm. Time resolution is 1 millisec. HEXE - from the Max Planck Institute for Extra-Terrestrial Physics and the University of Tuebingen. It is an X-ray scintillation spectrometer which uses a Phoswich rocking collimator (a phosphor sandwich of sodium iodide and caesium iodide) for spectroscopy and time variation studies. It was based on balloon-borne payloads which had flown before. Energy range: 15-200 KeV. Field-of-view: 1.6 x 1.6 deg. Effective collecting area: 1000 sq-cm. Time resolution: 1 millisec. Pulsar X-1 - from IKI. This 300 Kg telescope/spectrometer is based on a Salyut-7 design. It consists of 5 telescopes, one optimised for gamma rays with a 180 deg field-of-view (the largest gamma ray telescope flown in space at the time it was launched). Pulsar X-2 was fitted to the Gamma-1 satellite observatory. Energy range is 20-800 KeV on Pulsar X-1B. Effective area: 4 x 200 sq-cm (6x that of the US satellite HEAO-3). Time resolution: 1 millisec. Fitted with four Phoswich detectors - which were rocked by Mir itself (according to one report). Field-of-view: 3 x 3 deg. Energy range up to 1.3 MeV on Pulsar X-1V. Only the satellite HEAO-3 had studied such high energies from space before. A Roentgen-2 X-ray telescope from Germany/Netherlands and ESA was intended to be delivered by the "Buran Soviet space shuttle and docked to a free port on the Kristall module. It was never launched. Glasar (Galaxy-quasar) is a 40 cm diameter reflecting telescope from the Byurakan (Armenia) and Geneva Observatories. The first one is fitted to the base of the Kvant-1 module. Its wavelength range was quoted as 117-290 nm. The Glasar telescope can detect stars down to magnitude 17 in an 8 minute exposure. The control console is in the middle of Kvant-1. There is a small airlock to exchange film cassettes. Manual and automatic modes are possible for the telescope operations. It is no longer in use. This may be due to obstruction by attached Soyuz or Progress craft at the docking port or simply the fact that Kvant-1 is so full of stowed equipment that the control console cannot be used! First use of the telescope was on June 29, 1987 and the EO-2 long duration crew obtained 270 UV pictures with the telescope (over 6 months). Glasar-2 is an ultra-violet telescope mounted on the Kristall module. It has a 40 cm mirror, 1.3 deg field-of-view, operates at 120-200 nm and can record stars as faint as magnitude 18. Data is recorded on film or with a PES-matrix camera (with data telemetered to the ground). Glasar-2 use began in June 1990. Glasar can be independently pointed (at up to 2 arc-sec accuracy) using star sensors and electronics. It is used for ultra-violet observations of Markarian galaxies, stellar associations, spectroscopy of stars not in the SAO catalogue, the distribution of interstellar dust and Supernova 1987a. Photographs are returned to Earth on film cassettes. Am image intensifier is fitted to the telescope. Buket (Bouquet) is a high resolution soft gamma and X-ray telescope/spectrometer mounted outside the Kristall module. It is from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute & Leningrad Physics & Technology Institute. The Aris (Ariz or Araz) sensor on the ASP-G-M pointing system of Kvant-2 is an astrophysics X-ray sensor - presumably used when not pointing at Earth observation targets. Rozhen is a Bulgarian electro-optical, hand-held photometer for astronomy. The Parallax-Zagorka image intensifier can be fitted for use. Images were relayed to the ground but could also be seen by the crew while in use. The Bulgarian cosmonaut,s visit to Mir in June 1988 was brought forward by 2 weeks in order to avoid interference to astronomical observations by a full Moon. Observations were made of stars, galaxies and nebulae. This was a technology test for a future Mir astronomical complex and for satellite use - according to reports in 1988. This possibly refers to star tracker tests. The instrument was a candidate for use on the Spektrum-X-Gamma satellite but was not eventually chosen. The French PCN low light TV camera was brought across to Mir from Salyut-7 by the crew of Soyuz T-15 but there is no account of it being used on Mir. Echantillons (Obraztsi) was a French experiment rack deployed outside Mir on a December 1988 EVA to collect micrometeorite samples for a planned 6 months. It was retrieved in January 1990. One part of the experiment was passive (collecting samples for return to Earth) and one part was active (monitoring the flux in real-time). MMK-1 is a micrometeorite detector mounted on Kvant-2 - for recording the flux of particles. Micrometeorite detector use on Mir was first mentioned in April 1988 (after several unspecified science instruments were deployed outside on a previous EVA). "Micrometeorite panels were retrieved from outside Kvant-2 on a September 15, 1992 EVA. New micrometeorite detectors were fitted outside Mir on an October 22, 1993 EVA. Trek is a 1 sq-m panel mounted outside Kvant-2 during a June 28, 1991 EVA and one part was retrieved during on a September 28, 1993 EVA. It is a joint US/Soviet experiment to collect super heavy cosmic ray nuclei. It had 150 glass packets, each 1 sq-dm and containing 16 phosphate glasses from the University of California-Berkeley. Study of the glass after return to Earth would reveal cosmic ray tracks. A smaller panel was to have been deployed in an August 1991 EVA but there was no EVA then.
Individual experiments using apparatus on Mir : Afamia Semiconductor smelt (Syrian) Akustika Mir acoustic environment studies Altyn cells experiment (Kazakh) Anketa SAS studies - questionnaire Anneks-87 Earth observation (Czech) Aral-91 Earth observation (Kazakh) Atlantica-89 Earth observation campaign (Cuban) Audimir Localisation of acoustic sources; measurement of effects of hearing on equilibrium (Austrian) Ballisto Cardiovascular using echocardiograph (Syrian) Batyr Special breathing exercises (Kazakh?) Bosra Upper atmosphere studies (Syria) Biostoykost Using polymers to make materials in space Bodyfluids Composition and distribution of blood and body fluids (Austrian) Climate Series of EFO-1 experiments Cogimir Neuro-psychological analysis of brain activity (Austrian) Colour 3-D structures in chemical oscillatory reactions in Biryza unit Dosug Effects of music, video and computer games on morale (Bulgarian) Euphrates Earth observation (Syrian) Fokus Geophysics experiment for Moscow Institute of Radiotechnology, Electronics & Automation Geoex-86 Earth observation (GDR) Georesurs Earth observation (Bulgarian) Immunologie Lymphocytes study Interkosmos-88 Earth observation campaign Kasyin/Kasyun Alloy smelt (Syrian) Kilmet-Rubidium (Kliment-Rubidium) Light weight battery material smelt (Bulgarian) Kolosok Dynamics of aerosol formation in micro-g Kontrast SAS study Kuban-89 Earth observation campaign Labirint (Labyrinth) Vestibular and visual studies; SMS Maksat Cultivation of tissues, cells & protoplasts of wheat & potatoes (Kazakh) Mikrovib Spontaneous & stimulated micro-vibrations of body; biomechanical properties of human skin and underlying tissue (Austrian) Monitoring Structure checks with acoustic sensors Oner Cultivation of tissues, cells & protoplasts of actinomycetous and fungus producents of antibiotics Opros Psychology questionnaire Optovert Optokinetic and vestibular stimulation (Austrian) Pleven Psychological tests using microprocessor Polarizatsiya Navigation & space research experiment - methods and means (photometry) Potential Muscular & nervous systems (Bulgarian) - using 16-bit processor & sensors; EMG Prognoz (Prognosis) Cosmonaut operational performance (Bulgarian) - dynamics of sensory and motor aspects of activity; psychological state and capacity for work at most complicated part of flight - using Pleven-87; work efficiency Pulstrans Blood pulse wave study; biophysical parameters of certain arteries (Austrian) (Rezonans) Resonance Mir dynamics stability experiment RLF-Myo-Moto-Scan Neurophysiological & metabolic analysis of human muscular functions - under controlled motion patterns Spektr-2M Cosmonaut potential in colorimetry; colours of natural objects Sport Physical exercise studies - developing optimum exercise routine Stratokinetica Body movements in micro-g (Bulgarian) - using 16-bit processor & sensors; (Statokinetica) co-ordination tests Strukura Alloy smelts (Bulgarian) Tele-Geo-87 Earth observation (Polish) Terra-K Earth observation campaign Uzor Earth observation (vegetation survey) Viktr (Vikhr) Technology - PION-M surface tension studies Vita Cultivation & study of biological raw material - using MKM-1 Voal Alloy smelt (Bulgarian)
1. O. V. Mitichkin, "The results of biotechnological experiments on orbital station Mir-1", in "Mir-1 space station, a technical overview", ed. G. A. Girain, NPO Energia Ltd, p.161, 1995 2. D. Clery, "Crystals fail the microgravity test", New Scientist, p.11, 28/11/92 3. PSI press material (undated) 4. Personal correspondence - Anders Hansson 5. J. Uri, "Soviet manned spaceflight biomedical investigations 1961-1991", Zenit, No.64, 1 (1992) 6. A. D. Egorov, A. I. Grigoriev and V. V. Bogomolov, "Medical Support on Mir", Space, Vol. 7 No. 2, 27 (1991) 7. V. Avduyevsky and A. Evich, "Processing materials in space", Science in the USSR, No. 6, 4 (1990) 8. V. Avduyevski and L. Leskov, "USSR at the doorstep of industrialisation of space", APN report, 24/9/87 9. Y. Nelepo, "New technological devices on Mir space station", APN report 19/8/87 10. "Performance of experiments & investigations using Mir's research aids", in "A guide to NPO Energia services", NPO Energia, p.34, 1994 11. O. N. Lebedev, "Remote research methods from the Mir-1 station", in "Mir-1 space station, a technical overview", ed. G. A. Girain, NPO Energia Ltd, p.129, 1995 12. Kayser-Threde press material (undated) 13. Austrian Society for Aerospace Medicine press material (undated)
P. Clark, "The Soviet manned space program", Salamander Books Ltd, pub. 1988 "Cosmonautics", Matson Press/Mashinostoenie Press, pub. 1991 and 1992 B. Harvey, "The New Russian Space Programme", Praxis Publishing Ltd, pub. 1996 N. Johnson, "The Soviet year in space", Teledyne Brown Engineering, pub. 1989, 1990 and 1991 N. Johnson, "Europe & Asia in space", Kaman Sciences Corp. and USAF Phillips Laboratory, pub. 1995 D. Newkirk, "Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight", Gulf Publishing Company, pub. 1990 V. A. Pivnyuk, "Space station handbook", Matson Press, pub. 1992 D. S. F. Portree, "Mir hardware heritage", NASA RP 1357, pub. 1995 H. Sharman & C. Priest, "Seize the moment", Victor Gollancz, pub. 1993 Ed. A. Wilson, "Interavia Space Directory", Janes Information Group Ltd, pub. 1992 Aviation Week & Space Technology Flight International New Scientist Spaceflight Spaceflight News Space News Zenit APN reports ITAR-TASS reports JPRS reports Mir reports in "Capcom" Austrian Space Agency press material CNES press material DARA/DLR press material Juno press material
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