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MIRNEWS.444                                                                 27 OCTOBER 1998


This freighter linked up with the MIR-space station on 27.10.1998 at 05.43.42UTC. Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode with the system Kurs. 
During the pass for my position (the Hague) could be heard how the cosmonauts observed the approaching Progress-M40. They also took images with the LIV camera.  At the beginning of this pass (in orb. MIR.72476)  from 0530-0537UTC the distance to MIR's aft docking port was 152 Meters,  at LOS this distance was approx. 113 Meters. 

A calm Padalka regularly reported that all was going well. During this  pass the beacon transmitter of Pr-M40 on 922.755 mc could be heard, so  obviously this transmitter does not interfere with the  Kurstransponders. 

During the next pass in orb. 72477, 0702-0712UTC, it was clear that the docking had been a success and that the hatches to the Pr-M40 already were open. These  had been opened between 0620 and 0630UTC.  The crew enjoyed a nice winterly smell of the air which reached them from the Progress-M40. The cosmonauts already had installed the protection caps  and TsUP gave them permission to load some orientation commands in the control computer. They also loaded commands for the aiming of the ONA (the narrow beam antenna for contact with the geostationary satellite). This had something to  do with the fact that communications via Luch-1/Gelios  had not been satisfactory. The cosmonauts also started   unloading  the Pr-M40.  

Communications: During passes of Pr-M40 on 26.10.1998 the transmitters in the 166, 165 and 922.755 mc bands  easily  could be monitored. 


Radio-amateur equipment: TsUP reported that the mini-sputnik, almost the same as the Sputnik-40 and the promised gear for SSTV experiment could not be transported to MIR with this Pr-M. Other items, for instance the experiments for the French- and Slovak  expeditions and a French device for the measurement of meteorite streams had a higher priority. 


2nd Spacewalk (EVA),   (the 1st one was an IVA,  the internal spacewalk in the Spektr): 

The French sensors for the detection of meteorites  must  be installed at the outer surface of the MIR-complex.  This  EVA was put forward  to have this experiment operational during the Leonid meteorites around 17.11.1998.  The EVA will be made in the night from 10 to 11.11.1998 and  will last approx. 5 hours.  A second task during this EVA will be the dismantling and retrieving of Russian experiments from outside. 

Progress-M39: This old freighter undocked from MIR on 25.10.1998 at 23.03.24UTC.   Indeed  the Russians manoeuvred a lot with this ship after the undocking. The ship flawlessly responded on steering commands and the crew made video-images and measurements with spectrometers. On 29.10.1998 at about 0630UTC deorbit  impulses will be given   for burning up over a designated area in the Pacific East of New Zealand. 

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

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