Find a Security Clearance Job!

Space


Salyut-7 Experiments part-2

ASTRONOMY

A modest amount of astronomical observations were conducted during the 1984-1986 missions. Early in the Soyuz T-10/T-11 mis­ sion, the French Piramig instrument was used to study Cromme-lin's Comet as a rehearsal for studying Halley's Comet. (87) It was used again in July 1984 by the visiting Soyuz T-12 mission to study one of the Langrangian points to confirm whether or not there are concentrations of dust there. (88)

Progress 23 delivered two X-ray telescopes for conducting experi­ ments under the name Siren (Lilac). One instrument, developed by the French, was a gas scintillation proportional spectrometer (GSPS), a successor to the French Piramig device, with a high re­solving power. The other was the RS-17, built in Baku, that could detect hard X-ray radiation (2,000-800,000 electron volts). (89)

Both instruments were mounted in the adapter module so they could look in the same direction. Then they were connected to an electronic control panel in the command module and the adapter module was depressurized. A total of 46 observations were made, primarily of X-ray sources in the constellations Sagittarius and Cygnus (the latter was thought to be a possible location of a black hole) and the Crab Nebula, and of X-ray pulsars.

E. Yu. Salayev, president of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, discussed the potential impact of these studies, saying that they would help in understanding the history of Earth's formation, but were also important:

... for obtaining data on the state of plasma and thermonuclear reactions in ob­ jects that are observed. This is necessary so that information which is amassed can be utilized in the future in the development of highly effective thermonuclear units, while will be so essential for solving the acute problem of the energy crisis in our life on Earth. (90)

Salyut-7 ATMOSPHERIC STUDIES

Atmospheric studies also continued. As with remote sensing, these types of observations are so numerous that only major activi­ ties will be discussed. The Czechoslovakian EFO-1 device was used for the "Ekstinktsiya" experiments to study the density of aerosol layers by measuring the change in the brightness of stars as they set behind the atmosphere. (91)

The ASTRA-1 mass spectrometer was used throughout the 1984-1986 missions, (92) while mention was made of the Yelena gamma ray telescope only during 1984. (93) The Mariya device (described below) was stated to be a successor to Yelena, although the descriptions of their activities did not seem very similar and Mariya made obser­ vations in the X-ray, not gamma ray, wavelengths.

The Soyuz T-14 crew brought to Salyut 7 a spectrometer called Skif which was described as a "qualitatively new step in research" since it could photograph the atmosphere in the desired areas and requisite color range and immediately develop the film and analyze the picture. 94 At the end of the mission, Savinykh counted this as one of the most satisfying experiments that he conducted during the mission. (95) It was developed by the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics. The instrument recorded spectral characteristics of objects and photographed them simultaneously with a motion picture camera. It had an internal computer that could check systems to ensure they were operating correctly, and display information to the operator on what was wrong. The com­ puter would be programmed with instructions for conducting ex­ periments. (96)

Cosmos 1686 brought the Aerosol experiment to study lumines­ cent clouds, the gas composition of the atmosphere and its optical and spectral characteristics. (97)

In 1985, the Cosmos 1669 module brought the Mariya experiment for studying how high energy particles are generated in the Earth's radiation belt and low earth orbit. This was described as a succes­ sor to the Yelena instrument, although it studied X-rays rather than gamma rays, and the reports about its use implied that it was observing the internal atmosphere of the space station, not the Earth's atmosphere. Its measurements were available in a few min­ utes, rather than needing to wait until the flight was over to study the data. Mariya counted the number of electrons and positrons in the space station's environment; the particles are produced by the bombardment of the station's environment by cosmic rays. (98)

References:

1. SOVIET SPACE PROGRAMS: 1981-87, PILOTED SPACE ACTIVITIES, LAUNCH VEHICLES, LAUNCH SITES, AND TRACKING SUPPORT PREPARED AT THE REQUEST OF Hon. ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, Chairman, COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION, UNITED STATES SENATE, Part 1, MAY 1988, printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C. 1988

87. Pravda, February 27,1984.

88. Moscow Domestic Service, 0655 GMT, August 10, 1984.

89.TASS, 1338 GMT, September 3, 1984; TASS, 0932 GMT, September 14, 1984; Pravda, Sep­
tember 21, 1984.

90. Vyshka, October 6, 1984.

91 Pravda, July 24, 1984; Pravda, August 3,1984 .

92 TASS, 1118 GMT, February 17, 1984; Izvestiya, July 3, 1985.

93 TASS, 1351 GMT, February 27, 1984.

94 TASS, 1233 GMT, September 19, 1985.

95 TASS, 1835 GMT, November 22, 1985.

96 Sovetskaya Byelorussia, December 11, 1985, p. 2.

97 TASS, 1337 GMT, October 22, 1985.

98 Moscow Domestic Service, 1800 GMT, August 12,1985.