Habitation on the space station MIR


4 October 1991

After the kind reception – according to the traditions with bread and salt – the new attained cosmonauts were given the goodwill telegrams of the state president of the former UdSSR, Michail Gorbatschov, and the president of the RSFSR, Boris Jelzin.

One earth orbit after the reception a live talk between Franz Viehboeck and the Austrian Federal President Dr. Kurt Waldheim was planned. The Austrian Federal President could see for himself that Franz Viehboeck attained safe on the MIR.

Live-talk between Franz Viehboeck and the Austrian Federal President Dr. Kurt Waldheim. Photo: BMBWK, Vienna

Franz Viehboeck spent the first hours on board together with his soviet colleagues by accomodating goods from the Soyuz TM-13 into the space station and make himself familiar with his new adjacencies.

In the afternoon of his first day in space Franz Viehboeck started with the accomplishment of the first experiment. This was the Experiment COGIMIR prepared from the university clinic for neurology Innsbruck about the changes of the cognitive performance of humans in space.

5 October 1991

On 5 October the working day on board of the orbital complex MIR started at 8:00 a.m. ZUP-time, and lasted till 11:00 p.m. Franz Viehboeck as well as the soviet cosmonauts attended primary on medical experiments.

Franz Viehboeck during an experiment break. Photo: BMBWK, Vienna

The medical experiments were prior enquiries of physiological reactions of the organism to weightlessness, which had at this time only been explored insufficient.

The main part of the medical experiments – designated as Block I and Block II – were accomplished on the second and on the fifth day of the space flight. Block I included the coeval accomplished experiments AUDIMIR, MONIMIR and OPTOVERT centralised, and Block II the also coeval accomplished experiments MIKROVIB, PULSTRANS, and MOTOMIR.

6 October 1991

The physical-technological experiments LOGION and MIGMAS-A were the scientific emphases of the third day. Alongside Franz Viehboeck had to fullfill a series of social commitments.

After the completion of the scientific problems the public relation was on the program. In the forenoon the total crew had a press conference with soviet and foreign newsmen in the flight routing center. A short time before the transmission ended a contact by the help of VIDEOMIR with Vienna and Graz was made.

The assembled cosmonaut crew: T. Aubakirov, F. Viehboeck, A. Arzebarskij, A. Volkov, S. Krikaljov (clockwise from down middle). Photo: BMBWK, Vienna

Franz Viehboeck had brought a series of symbolic objects, among other things streamers, present- and campaign medals, facsimiles of the Ostarrichi-papers and selected pages from nine valuable Mozart scores from the 19th and 20th century. These objects will be conserved for the future as witnesses of the unique space flight.

On his third day on the MIR Franz Viehboeck packed out the score pages and uncoiled them. After that he stamped the ten facsimiles of the Ostarrichi-papers and presented one of them in front of ab background of the on a wall of the space station fixed red-white-red flag.

Following the tradition the guest cosmonaut invited the crew of the space station to a common banquet. Franz Viehboeck served his colleagues a lusty Austrian meal: Bread and Styrian bacon, Viennese rice meat, mineral water from Lower Austria and for dessert Salzburger Mozart balls with coffee.

Franz Viehboeck unpacking the Austrian banquet. Photo: BMBWK, Vienna
7 October 1991

In the forenoon of the fourth day Franz Viehboeck had the second chance to photograph the area of Austria with the help of the remote sensing equipment of the space station MIR. The photos were evaluated in line with the experiment FEM.

After the realization of the remote sensing experiment FEM Franz Viehboeck became a post office clerk for a short time. He stamped the thirty envelopes he brought with him with the AUSTROMIR-special issue stamps, twentyfive QSL-cards and ten papers for the at the project AREMIR involved schools. These documents got a special AUSTROMIR-stamp with the name TROMIR and the original MIR-board-stamp.

Aleksandr Volkov and Franz Viehboeck postmarking the board post with the AUSTROMIR-chop TROMIR. Photo: BMBWK, Vienna

In the afternoon the experiment BODYFLUIDS was on the program. But there occured some snags during the planning. A soviet colleague should take a blood sample from Viehboeck. But this was according to the former soviet regulations illegal, and so Franz Viehboeck was, after a short instruction and a test through the commission of the Austrian medical association allowed to take the bloodsample himself.

8 October 1991

The penultimate day on board of the MIR was again planned with medical experiments. In the hours of the morning Franz Viehboeck was allowed to fullfill his tasks sleeping. His sleep was monitored. In the forenoon he accomplished together with Alexandr Volkov the second pass of the experiment AUDIMIR, MONIMIR and OPTOVERT (BLOCK I). After lunch they continued with BLOCK II of the medical experioments. The experiments MIKROVIB, PULSTRANS and MOTOMIR had allready been accomplished on the second flightday, too.

9 October 1991

On 9 October the cosmonauts on board prepared the space transporter Soyuz TM-12 for the return to the earth. In the strict sense started these preparations directly after the arrival on the MIR. This was an precaution, so that the crew was able to leave the space station at any time in case of an emergency. At first the for each spaceman individual designed seats were completed from TM-13 and brought on board, then one after the other the for the return specified payload. Then the cosmonauts stored the last parts of the equipment in the landing machine, the apostasies was scheduled for the part of the transporter which would die down during the re-entry into the earth atmosphere. Franz Viehboeck completed again the experiment COGIMIR. Afterwards the crew spoke with a soviet TV-annotator about the balance of the space mission.

Franz Viehboeck transfering his space suit from Soyuz TM-13 to Soyuz TM-12. Photo: BMBWK, Vienna
10 October 1991

On 9 October after lunch the cosmonauts relaxed for the arduous return to earth. At 10:00 p.m.ZUP-time (10:00 p.m. CET) they prepared the transporter Soyuz TM-12, for the return of Franz Viehboeck and the Soviet cosmonauts Arzebarskij and Aubakirov. Franz Viehboeck had to adopt from his commander Aleksandr Volkov, who abided on the MIR until March 1992.

On 10 October from ab 00:30 ZUP-time (10:30 p.m. CET) TV broadcasted the adoption of the crew and the last preparations of the “homecomer crew”. The cosmonauts closed the hatch between the transporter and the space station and controlled the impermeability of the hatch. They got dressed in their spacesuits and went from the living quarters to the Soyuz TM-12 into the landing machine. The unhitch of the transporter from the space station MIR occured at 03:52 ZUP-time (01:52 a.m. CET).