CARRYING OUT OF THE EXPERIMENTS ON THE ORBITAL STATION MIR
The experimental base of the station Mir. Scientific and technical explorations.
There were surely functioning 241 units of the unique experimental equipment on the space station before its submerging. According to the estimations of the RSC Energia it will take at least 10 years and 500-600 million $ (cost of adjustment, preparation, equipment's launching and accompaniment of carrying out of the experiments is included) to build up a similar experimental complex.
At present the International Space Station (ISS) is under construction, Russia is the partner of this process. However, the expected life period of the ISS, composing 15 years by calculations, hasn't been confirmed earlier. Now Russian scientists can confirm that after the successful exploitation of the station Mir during 15 years. Besides, the specialists of Energia can build a scheme of scheduled operations and accompaniment of the flight of the ISS, guaranteeing its operational safety, absolutely in another way. Scientists can perform this task according to the composed matrix of turning down for each system, according to the features of the construction components and coverings. There were carried out 27 international programs on the station Mir during its existence. Thus, the Russian station Mir had already became truly international space station.
Since 1990 the module Kristal had been functioning as a part of the orbital station Mir. Kristal was equipped with a great range of equipment, which allow to perform fundamental researches. These researches have a tremendous practical importance as regards obtaining of new materials with unique characteristics, superpure metals, medicines, adjustment of advanced technologies and methods. The module worked with dead load for 24 hours and used a serious part of energy of the space station. Toward the end the module was supplied with solar batteries generating 13 % of all station's energy. In 1995 the station was supplied with 2 similar batteries, it permitted to "refresh" the energy and keep it up on the necessary level.
More than 5 years ago the module Priroda, unique by its equipment, was put into the orbit. However, because of number of occasions, which took place on the station Mir, regular scientific works on this module started in 1998. The systematical work of remote of different parts of the Earth was carried out and the process of achieving data took place. The scientific program was rather wide, it concerned both land's exploration and research of the ocean and the atmosphere, and ecological problems. Such countries as Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, France, USA, Ukraine and Kazakhstan took part in this program.
Priroda had a set of microwave radiometers, which allowed monitoring the state of the Earth irrespective of the weather and light in any time of 24 hours. It should be mentioned that Russia's territory is often covered with clouds. There was a German camera MOMS with spatial resolution - 5 meters on board of the space station. At that moment such cameras hadn't been set not on any civil satellite in the world. That's why the information it collected was of great value. Then the module Priroda was supplied with a space lidar, allowing collecting data with rather high resolution both on the height and space. Priroda had spectrometric devices (appliances) necessary to study small gas components. At that time none of Russian satellites had such devices. The program of research of state of small gases and components is of great ecological and climatic importance. For instance, they say a lot that climate warming takes place because of different gas flows, it requires its study. According to this program the 1st information concerning soil moisture was got and it's of agricultural and climatic value. However, such researches demand systematic observations of the same territories during different seasons of the year, therefore it's necessary to have rather long period of time.
Traditionally medico-biologic researches took a very large quantity of time on the space station. And it's clear why. After all it's a question of that knowledge, accumulating to guarantee human's safety and to keep cosmonauts healthy. For the time present, Russia has a leading position here. Medico-biologic researches of all nations will also take a very big part on the ISS. It's being done to understand the influence of the space flight's factors on different processes in human's bone and muscular and to work out measures for the safety of human's health over a long duration flight. In spite of acquiring of fundamental knowledge about influence of changed gravitation on passing of different biological processes, at present many efforts are turned to taking technologies of space medicine to the Earth's one, including diagnostic technique, methods of treatment, preventive diagnostics and rehabilitation.
Here is one technology, for instance - telemedicine. Actually, all diagnostics in space is based on this technology, when a doctor and a patient are far from each other (300-400 km). Besides, this technology had already been used during the catastrophes in Armenia and Ufa, when the information from the accident site had to be handed over into the leading clinics of the country. It was carried out successfully. Nowadays such a technology begins to develop actively.
It's disclosed that magnetic storms have an influence upon activity of the cardiovascular system. Somehow or other the majority of people upwards 55 years suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Magnetic storms influenced greatly upon all the cosmonauts who were under review on the station. As a result of this, specialists carried out researches of the character of such storms and their behavior at the station. The directing agency dealing with medical researches on the station was the Institute of Medico-Biological Problems. There was a unique medical lab, which included more than one and a half tons of the most modern equipment the only one of its samples, existing at that time. IMBP was in charge with the sanitary supervision under the station. It was established that after carrying out of all the necessary meterings on Mir the station was in a very good condition according to the sanitary parameters.
Researchers by Russian educational institutions
There's a category of researches, which was carried out by educational organizations, the main aim of which is to provide an education to young people of the country. As long ago as at the beginning of man-tended mission after the discovery of the strong radiation fields, the question about radiation safety of flights was raised. From the earliest flights, at first unmanned, then human space flights, they began to carry out the experiments concerning researches of the radiation in space. They gave rise to the most important results for the fundamental science.
The first researches of this kind were begun at Moscow State University. From the beginning of the station's Mir work until the last moment all the radiation researches were carrying out. Surely, it's connected most of all with influence of this adverse factor upon human's health, but of no small importance is the research of radiation influence upon electronics and board systems and also upon constructional materials of space vehicle. The phenomenon of the influence of space radiation is varied in consequences of this phenomenon's complexity. On board of the station Mir numerous experiments were carrying out, they gave a great number of important results for science.
Here there're only several examples. Owing to the equipment created at Moscow University of Physics and Engineering it turned out well to understand the character of electronic radiation zones in space, to disclose their connection with such global changes in environment as earthquakes. Radiation researches on the station Mir, carrying out by Moscow State University, gave rise to the construction of the dynamic picture of radiation zones' changes during the sun activity cycle. Just these very results were used as a basis of the prediction model for the international station ISS. Today the years of maximal radiation hazard for the next space flights has become known. The most important work over the analysis of results of the space photography, carrying out from the station Mir, and over the study of the ecological situation, was carrying out by Moscow University of Geodesy and Cartography, by the Ryazan academy of Radio Engineering and by the MSU as well. The program of launching of mini satellites from the board of the station Mir was carried out under Moscow Aviational Institute. These mini satellites were designed for the radio contact and for exploration of outer space.
For many years Moscow Technical University under the name of N.E. Bauman carried out the researches of electrophoresis, the sensitive weight separation of biological cells in the state of imponderability. These are just few examples of that immense contribution of the Institutes of higher education of Russia to the development of manned cosmonautics. That is why it's important to emphasize, that from the very beginning of the development of the space station Mir the leading Institutes of higher education of the country had a great opportunity to run experimental works on the station's board. During these years new departments were established, new specialties and specializations leapt forward, groups of professors and teachers were organized, they founded teaching, scientific efforts of students and post-graduates over the works, connected with the orbital station. During this time scores of specialists, candidates and Doctors of science were trained, their key researches were connected with the station Mir.
The station Mir - represented a unique object intended for realization of the vast scientific and application program. Scientists and engineers are asking the question as: What will happen with the rest (and rather considerable) unrealized part of the program of scientific and technical researches and experiments, planned for their realization on the station Mir? You know, practically all the equipment, necessary for the realization of these works, is produced, tested, "bounded" to the ship electrically, mechanically and informationally! The warranty of many units of this equipment, waiting for their turn to the delivery on the station, began to run out. It means that it will already be unfit for realization of research works on the Russian segment of ISS. So within the next 7-10 years the directors of these experiments, which are of fundamental scientific importance and are of a great practical interest, have to theorize, to form scientific hypotheses and to be deprived of the most important component of science - the experimental demonstration of their researches.
It's necessary to use the experience, gained following many years' exploitation of the space station Mir, during the construction and putting into operation of the Russian segment of ISS, in order to prevent the loss of Russian's first place in many directions, connected with space exploration, and not to loose the acquired accumulations.
Copyrigth © CosmoWorld, 2001
© Дизайн и поддержка CosmoWorld.ru, 2001