Notes From The Station Day Sunday June

Salyut entered the communication zone at 0.34 a.m., during its 93rd orbit with the crew on board, but during the next seven orbits its path crossed only a subset of the tracking stations. With the cosmonauts on phased shifts, operations were continuing around the clock. Volkov, for example, had started his working day at 9.30 p.m. the previous evening, Dobrovolskiy joined him at 1.50 a.m., and Patsayev took over from Volkov at 6 a.m.

Oasis Plant Growth System Salyut
Dobrovolskiy in Salyut's main working compartment.

Most of the seventh day was devoted to biological experiments, both agricultural and genetic. The effect of weightlessness on plant growth was to be investigated by a small hydroponics chamber called Oazis-1 ('Oasis') which regularly fed a nutrient solution to Chinese cabbage and bulb onions. The genetic tests studied mutations in drosophila (tiny fruit flies), tadpole embryos, yeast cells, chlorella and the seeds of higher plants like linen, cabbage and onion. As the degree of mutation of drosophila had been thoroughly studied on Earth, it would be possible to precisely evaluate the influence of the space environment on heredity. Gamma rays were used to stimulate genetic mutations. In addition, Soyuz 11 had delivered fertilised frog eggs, and their development on the station was monitored.

From Volkov's diary:

13 June. The eighth day of the flight. On crossing the equator we started the station's 887th orbit. The other guys are still asleep. Zhora is in the transfer compartment, in a sleeping bag. I cannot see Viktor; he sleeps in my place, on the berth in the orbital module. I've already performed physical exercise, had my breakfast (bacon in the can, blackcurrant juice, plums with nuts and cakes) and drunk water.

Although we're out of radio contact, I will stay on line. After the session, I will perform a medical experiment. I made observations of the starry sky. In the upper region of the night horizon beta Ursa Majoris is clearly visible. At dawn, when the antennas begin to gleam, the stars start to disappear, but not all of them.

In the morning, we cleaned the compartment using the vacuum cleaner. We are currently on the second tank of water, and it appears to be running out already. . . .

Two green stalks have sprouted in the Oazis, each about 2 cm long. The guys are still sleeping. I have to awaken Zhora. He should have appeared at 1.30 and it is now almost 2 o'clock. Out of one of the windows there is an antenna brightly illuminated - our next sunrise has begun.

The Earth asked me to put on the medical belt; I did so.

An interesting view: the Earth is still dark, like the sky, but the antenna on the solar panel is brilliant white. The session has started. In my headphones I hear a song from the movie Fighter Pilot: 'In a remote landscape my friend flies away.'

Zhora has appeared: ''Will you say something good?"

I checked the strength of my hand using the dynamometer: 35/32, just as previously. It is good. Pulse 52.

From Patsayev's notebook:

13 June: On the porthole opposite to the Sun, frost is visible on the internal surface of the outer glass pane.

Remark No. 1: The bag with instruments has long straps [covering it]. It is better to replace them with slats.

No. 2: The power supply of the vacuum cleaner is too weak. Working in the dim illumination is uncomfortable.11

At about 1 p.m., during the jubilee 100th orbit with the crew on board, Salyut left the communication zone. However, during orbits which crossed the eastern part of North America and the Atlantic Ocean the crew were able to communicate with the controllers on Academician Sergey Korolev, which relayed the data that it received from the station to the TsUP via a Molniya satellite.

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