Soyuz TM-17

Soyuz TM -17 mission is the designation for the flight of a Russian Soyuz spaceship to the Russian space station Mir. It was the 17th visit a Soyuz spacecraft with the Mir space station and the 93rd flight of the Russian Sojusprogramm.


Start crew

  • Vasily Vasilyevich Ziblijew ( first space flight), Commander
  • Alexander Alexandrovich Serebrov (4th space flight), flight engineer
  • Jean -Pierre Haigneré ( first space flight ), science Cosmonaut ( Centre national d' études spatiales CNES / France )

Backup crew

  • Viktor Mikhailovich Afanasyev, Commander
  • Yuri Vladimirovich Usachyov, Flight Engineer
  • Claudie Haigneré, Wissenschaftskosmonautin ( Centre national d' études spatiales CNES / France )

Return team

  • Vasily Vasilyevich Ziblijew ( first space flight), Commander
  • Alexander Alexandrovich Serebrov (4th space flight), flight engineer

Mission overview

During the first three weeks of flight, the five astronauts were busy with the fulfillment of the French research program and the preparations for the return of the old crew. The French mission had been brought forward at the request of the Russian Space Agency for a year. Despite the shortened preparation time she was until then the most demanding joint ventures. For the first time, much of the scientific data on the communications satellite LOLLY was sent directly to the French Control to Toulouse. Here were experts who could act directly on the experiments. The experiments of the Altair mission related to the categories of medicine, biology, astrophysics, materials science and engineering. The necessary equipment had been brought by cargo spacecraft Progress M- 18 to the station several weeks prior to the launch of Soyuz TM -17.

The focus was Investigations, which had the effect of weightlessness on the human to the object. Astrophysical research related to the absorption of UV spectra of selected stars as well as the creation of a sky map of X-ray sources. Materials Technology Experiments treated problems of wetting of ceramic bodies by alloy melts and the study of their torpor. Additionally, various semiconductor crystals were prepared. With physical problems, we addressed in a series of experiments in which the power transmission when bouncing balls was studied on flat surfaces. Here especially interrelationships between surface forces, interfacial energies, surface textures, elasticity and temperature should be explored. Then the old crew TM -16 returned, along with Jean -Pierre Haignere in Soyuz returned to Earth.

The 14th resident crew of space station Mir graduated continue an extensive research and work program. Already on 24 July has been the return capsule of Progress M -17, loaded with research findings sent to the trip home. On August 11, the unmanned cargo ship from the station was disconnected and taken to a deeper orbit. Here is to be measured by the high atmosphere on behalf of NASA for an extended period, the aerodynamic braking. A few days later, Progress M -19 brought supplies and equipment to the station.

Scientific experiments were carried out in the areas of biomedicine, astrophysics, earth science and materials research. So in the module crystal semiconductor crystals of highest purity gallium arsenide were produced. Also, the production of pure semiconductors served an experiment on behalf of the American company Boeing, which came with Progress M-20 in the station in October. The final crystals were brought into contact with the return of the capsule handling six weeks later to the earth.

A special position took the outboard activities of the two cosmonauts. On 16 and 20 September ( 4:18 and 3:14 ), they built on the Sofora - mast on the module Kwant an additional lattice structure Rapana. At their various scientific devices were attached. On September 28 ( 1:52 ) filming the outer skin of the station were made ​​. In particular, the effects of Perseidenstromes should be documented. In this case, a larger hole was discovered in a solar cell surface. On October 22 (38 minutes) changed the spaceman material samples to the outer skin of the station. Finally, they completed on 29 October ( 4:12 ) their film documentary using a telescopic crane arm and made this recording of additional solar panels and the Sofora - mast on the module Kwant.

After finishing their work program failed to unplug the automatic, so that had to be switched to manual operation. However, the subsequent, brief touch of the coupling adapter caused no damage. After her six-month space flight Ziblijew and Serebrov landed on 14 January safely in the Kazakh steppe.