Volkov: "Today when I was doing physical exercise I overloaded myself, and so I am tired. However, I liked it.''

Zarya: "That is good. The physicians are very glad that you exercise so much.''

Volkov: "I tried to do everything as you recommended, but tired myself out.''

Zarya: "Now you can see how good that is.''

Zarya: "It is good, it is good. The physicians said it is good.''

Later in the day, the cosmonauts made their penultimate Cosmovision telecast.

Television Report:

Dobrovolskiy: "We are wrapping up a mission that will last just over three weeks. We are packing equipment, documentation and some of the scientific apparatus, and placing it in the descent module for return to Earth. We will return with a great deal of interesting materials. The scientists, engineers and technicians are eager for them. To be honest with you, we are impatient too, because we have grown a little bored.''

Zarya-25: "We can see you excellently. Please, could you explain what are you doing at the moment?"

Dobrovolskiy: "Now? Well, Yantar 2 is going to sleep earlier than normal. Next it will be me, and finally Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev. Then we'll wake up and exercise to strengthen ourselves ready for departure.''

Zarya-25: "You know, dear comrades, we are watching your unprecedented flight with the greatest interest. We are delighted with your heroism and magnificent work. We wish you . . . a successful end to the flight and a soft landing.''

Dobrovolskiy: "Thank you very much. We will see you later on Earth.'' Zarya-25: "Indeed, see you later on Earth.''

Dobrovolskiy: "Do not worry. Everything will be just fine with us.'' Zarya-25: "We are sure of that. Have a happy flight and a successful landing.'' Dobrovolskiy: "Thank you very much.''

At 10.30 p.m. the Salyut crew finished their 315th orbit and exceeded by almost 50

hours the previous endurance record. According to Kamanin, observations of the crew showed that they looked tired and had a low attention span. Furthermore, they tended to provide evasive answers to questions about their health.

In the evening, the Landing Commission met again and confirmed the plan to descend on 30 June on the third orbit after undocking, but the landing point was relocated (without explanation) to 200-250 km southwest of Karaganda. The current weather forecast in the recovery zone was favourable. Nikolay Gurovskiy, one of leading aerospace physicians, reported that the medical group would be prepared for all possible situations. The physicians emphasised that the cosmonauts should remain as still as possible following landing, and await the arrival of the doctors in the recovery team. Gurovskiy again stated that it was the opinion of the Ministry of Public Health that the Soyuz 11 cosmonauts would adapt to conditions on Earth more readily than had Nikolayev and Sevastyanov after their 18-day flight.

Day 21, Saturday, 26 June

At 8.04 a.m. on 26 June Dobrovolskiy, Volkov and Patsayev started their 21st day in space. Their task was to conclude the scientific and technical experiments. Using apparatus mounted outside the station, they finished measurements of the flows of high-energy particles and the flux of micrometeorites - there were sets of sensors for micrometeorites outside the transfer compartment and the larger part of the working compartment. In addition to the radiation in the station, they measured the intensity of the heavy nuclei in cosmic rays and electrons in the 300-600 MeV energy range, all of which was to be correlated with the level of solar activity.

The positions of the micrometeoroid detectors on Salyut's exterior.
A manually operated instrument to measure the radiation inside the station.

From Volkov's diary:

26 June, 14:00. The 21st day has started. Zarya congratulated us on breaking the world record for the longest flight in space.5 Their greetings were most welcome. . . . We were deeply touched. Our eyes were watery with emotion. The guys were sleeping when I received these greetings on my regular duty. I did not awaken them, but they somehow perceived the news and emerged from their sleeping bags.

Our sleeping bags remind us of a beehive - small holes which we enter at the sleeping time and swim out when we hear the wake-up command (that is, when the man on duty awakens you by shaking your shoulder, or sometimes your head).

By the way, something about the sleeping time. For some reason, the last two nights I slept very little - perhaps three hours in total. I could not force myself to sleep. Last night, I even tried to read Yevgeniy Onegin just before bedtime. I spent an hour reading, to no effect - even the book did not help.

On my previous flight, I did not have dreams. Now, I have as many as I want - even more than on Earth.

When the air inside the station was tested the temperature was 22°C, the pressure was 880 mm of mercury and the composition was normal. The station's systems were performing extremely well.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment