Find a Security Clearance Job!

Space


Progress Cargo Spacecraft 5, 6 and 7 with Soyuz 32/34

1971-1975/1976-1980

II. THE PROGRESS FREIGHTER PROGRAM

Soviet Manned Space Programs: 1957-80

PROGRESS 5, 6, AND 7 WITH SOYUZ 32/34

The 175-day mission of Vladimir Lyakhov and Valeriy Ryumin was also resupplied by three Progress flights.

Progress 5 was launched at 0547 GMT on March 12, 1979, and docked with Salyut 6 at 0720 GMT on March 13, just 2 weeks after the crew arrived. The ship delivered 2,300 kg of cargo, including 1,000 kg of fuel. Included were six signal detectors which were place in various areas of the space station to alert the crew to concentrations of carbon dioxide (and doubled as smoke detectors), a new tape recorder, a walkie-talkie for the crew to use with each other (called "Koltso" or ring), film, ampules for the materials processing experiments (including 10 developed by French scientists), a linen dryer, bath shampoo, clothes, food (including five types of bread, fresh vegetables, apples, onion, and at the crew's request, honey and fresh dried strawberries).

Three important pieces of equipment were a black and white television set for two-way visual communications with Earth (and to allow the crew to watch regular television programs), an "improved" Kristall furnace, since the first one had stopped working, and the Biogravistat plant centrifuge. Also included in the equipment cargo was a new clock and new command signal devices to properly sequence automatic commands, and a new science instrument contro l panel.

The Progress 5 engines were used to correct the complex's trajectory on March 30, placing it in a 357x284 km, 90.6-minute orbit. A second firing on April 2 placed it into a 91.4-minute orbit. (58) The Progress craft undocked from Salyut 6 on April 3 at 1610 GMT, and reentered on April 5. It had been in space for 24 days (20 of which it was docked to Salyut 6).

Just over a month after Progress 5 left, and following the aborted docking attempt of Soyuz 33 which would have brought some supplies and experiments, Progress 6 docked with the space station. Launched on May 13 at 0417 GMT, it docked with Salyut 6 on May 15 at 0619 GMT. Among the cargo was a new panel for the navigation system,59 small amounts of fuel, air, food, air regenerators, sleeping accessories, electric bulbs, a Stroka teletype machine, and a tulip which had almost blossomed. Scientists wanted to find out how it would blossom, and also thought that it would bring the crew a touch of spring.

The Progress engines were used to raise the orbit on May 23 to 352 X 333 km. Refueling of the space station was completed on May 28, and another trajectory correction was made on June 4 and 5, leaving the complex in an orbit of 371x358 km. Progress 6 undocked from Salyut on June 8 and reentered over the Pacific on June 10. The ship was docked to the space station for 4 days, and was in space for 28 days.

The final resupply craft for the Soyuz 32/34 mission, Progress 7, was launched only 3 weeks later, at 0926 GMT on June 28. It docked with the space station at 1118 GMT on June 30, bringing 500 kg of fuel, 50 kg of food, photographic material, clothes, equipment for the life support system, new gravity suits, indoor plants, mail, the vaporizer (Isparitel) and resistance experiments, and most importantly, the KRT-10 radio telescope. It also brought a book called "The Moscow Area" to remind the crew of the forests, fields, and streams back home. An orbital correction was made on July 4, placing the complex in an orbit of 411x399 km, an orbit higher than the space station had been during its entire 2 years in space.

The deployment of the KRT-10 radio telescope is described in more detail on p. 598, so will not be repeated here except to say that when Progress 7 undocked from Salyut on July 18, it did so using springs instead of its engines so as not to damage the radio telescope. It then station kept at a short distance from the station to enable television broadcast of the unfurling of the radio antenna. Progress 7 reentered on July 20 after 18 days of joint flight (22 days in space).

PROGRESS 8 WITH UNOCCUPIED SALYUT

Progress 8 was launched at 1853 GMT on March 27, 1980, during a period when Salyut was unoccupied. It was launched 1 day after Soyuz T, which had been attached to the space station for a 100-day test, returned to Earth.

The cargo craft docked on March 29 at 2001 GMT, and its engines were used to raise the station's orbit on April 2 to 360x328, 91.4 minutes in preparation for the next Soyuz launch (Soyuz 35) which docked with the space station on April 10. Progress 8 was used to refuel the station, and another orbit correction was made on April 24, placing the complex in a 368x340 km orbit.

Progress 8 undocked from Salyut 6 on April 25, and reentered on April 26, after 30 days in space (approximately 26 of which were spent docked to Salyut 6).

No mention was made of any provisions or equipment on Progress 8, although during the course of the early days of the Soyuz 35 mission, Tass reported on a number of maintenance activities being conducted by the crew, and the supposition can be made that much of that material was brought to the space section by Progress 8. This would include new storage batteries, a new control desk, air regenerators, and part of the temperature control system that needed replacing.

PROGRESS 9, 10, AND 11 WITH SOYUZ 35/37

The 185-day Soyuz 35/37 mission with Leonid Popov and Valeriy Ryumin was resupplied by three Progress ships in addition to Progress 8 which, as noted above, was docked with the space station when they arrived. Progress 11, the last of these, remained docked to the station after the crew left and accomplished the first fuel transfer while the station was unoccupied.

Progress 9 was launched only 1 day after Progress 8 reentered, at 0624 GMT on April 27, 1980. It docked with Salyut 6 at 0809 GMT on April 29 and delivered the usual items such as scientific equipment (including a new motor for the Biogravistat centrifuge), material for the life support system, air, and mail. There was no fuel transfer with this mission, and it was used to stock the space station for the imminent visit of the Soyuz 36 and Soyuz T-2 crews.

Progress 9 undocked at 1851 GMT on May 20, and reentered 2 days later after 25 days in space (21 docked with the space station). The Soyuz 36 crew arrived a week later.

Five weeks later, Progress 10 was launched at 0441 GMT on June 29. It docked with Salyut 6 at 0554 GMT on July 1 and brought fuel, food, and equipment in preparation for the visit of the Soyuz 37 crew. Tass reported that 30 percent of the dry goods had been specifically requested by Popov and Ryumin. Included in the supplies were an American-made Polaroid instant camera and film, a new 25 cm color television (to replace the black and white model they had been using), cassettes of pop music, onion, dill, parsley, cucumbers, radishes, canned fish, new flower seeds for the hydroponic garden, new intensifiers for the BST-lm submillimeter telescope, and a device to rectify a problem with the Bulgarian-made Duga instrument which was producing inverse images.

Refueling of the Salyut tanks was accomplished on July 8. Progress 10 was used to raise the complex's orbit on July 8 (no new orbital parameters were announced, however), and on July 17 when it was left in an orbit at 355x328 km. It undocked from Salyut 6 on July 18 after 17 days of joint operation, and reentered on July 19 after 21 days in space. Five days later, Soyuz 37 was launched.

The final resupply mission for the Soyuz 35/37 crew, and for the 1977-80 time period, was Progress 11, launched on September 28. The relatively long hiatus between resupply flight was occasioned, apparently, by the fact that they overstocked Salyut 6 with the previous three flights. In mid-September, the space station reportedly had 2.5 tons of cargo on board, more than when the Soyuz 35 crew arrived.

Progress 11 docked with Salyut 6 on September 30 at 1703 GMT, delivering fuel, water, food, and regenerators. On October 8, an orbital correction was made using the Progress engines, but no new parameters were announced.

The Soyuz 35/37 crew left the space station on October 11, but Progress 11 remained. On November 16, while the station was unoccupied, the fuel transfer was accomplished automatically via commands from the ground. This was another first for the Soviet program.

Progress 11 remained docked with the space station until after the Soyuz T-3 crew docked in November, finally undocking on December 9 after 70 days of joint flight. It reentered on December 11 after a total of 74 days in space. Originally, the Soviets had stated that the Progress lifetime was only 30 days; this obviously proved that the ship was more capable than they envisioned.

References:

A. SOVIET SPACE PROGRAMS: 1976-80, (WITH SUPPLEMENTARY DATA THROUGH 1983) MANNED SPACE PROGRAMS AND SPACE LIFE SCIENCES PREPARED AT THE REQUEST OF HON. BOB PACKWOOD, Chairman, COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION UNITED STATES SENATE, Part 2, OCTOBER 1984, Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D. C., 1984

58. The Soviets stated only that the engines were fired on April 2. The information on the 91.4-minute orbit is taken from: Spaceflight, February 1980, p. 57.

59. There was no mention of this panel in the Tass announcement on Progress 6, but shortly after the cargo ship arrived, the fact that the crew was replacing the panel was mentioned by Tass (1332 GMT, 30 May 79).