Status Report

ESA TV Exchanges — info on feed 19 March (Mir deorbit and ISS)

By SpaceRef Editor
March 16, 2001
Filed under ,

The next ESA TV Exchanges feed will be transmitted on

19 March 2001

11:20-11:30 GMT

Please note the transmission parameters below.

The feed will include one item:

Six months on Mir–Europe’s astronauts tell the story.

The four-minute A-roll (split audio, English voiceover, script below) is followed by a B-roll.


10:00:00 Arrival at MIR. The modules of the space station are familiar to the astronauts from their training on earth. And yet unfamiliar. Because during the long time that Mir has been operational, many things were moved. New arrivals must get used to them. Nobody has yet had the time to make a list of what is where.

10:00:25 Chaos like that must not be allowed to happen on the International Space Station. For this reason that the experimental facilities, for example, are mounted into the so-called instrument racks. These racks can be exchanged in orbit. In this way, the equipment of the space station is maintained at the forefront of technology.

10:00:50 An operational life of fifteen years is planned. New technologies cannot be planned for such a long time.

10:01:00 On a space station the astronauts undertake not just scientific experiments. They also have to take on maintenance, and not unlike plumbers and electricians they check the systems which keep them alive. On MIR many of astronauts have already trained for such tasks under realistic conditions. These long-term missions provided valuable experience for the future operation of the International Space Station.

10:01:23 I/V Jean-Pierre Haignerè, ESA astronaut: “Being in space in three weeks or six months is not the same. Three weeks is working hard all the time. And six months is living in space for six months. Which is a big part of the life of a man.”

10:01:40 The difficult conditions of living in space can in time become a stress factor. The absence of social contacts, the lack of stimuli, the permanent noise level of the ventilating fans, the cramped conditions in the modules of MIRÖ Taking a breath of fresh air outside the door – impossible! The selection of the astronauts for long-term missions pays greater attention than hitherto to their psychological fitness.

10:02:08 I/V Michel Tognini, ESA astronaut: “We have some people that are more leader. Some that are more follower. And – it’s very important when you have a crew of three or six people – to have a good psychological behaviour.”

10:02:23 The International Space Station is a complex structure. Technologies from all the participating countries are brought together in it. During training astronauts have a lot to learn. They have to be familiar with all the systems, and know how to operate them. That includes the transport vehicles. It is for this reason that ESA astronauts learn all about the Shuttle.

10:02:55 They have also learnt how to fly the Sojus capsule, which they know from the EUROMIR missions. The Russian capsule is to serve as a rescue boat in years to come, in case of an accident. Until the dedicated crew rescue vehicle is ready for the International Space Station.

10:03:15 Work has also started on ESA’s ATV Logistic Vehicle. Its role is to provide the Station with consumables and propellant. The rendez-vous and docking equipment of the ATV has already been tested by an ESA astronaut in space. When linking up the Space Shuttle to the MIR space station in 1997, he was able to check its operating capabilities in space conditions. Mir also provided valuable experience for today’s use of the International Space Station. Working on Mir was a training period for worldwide cooperation in space.

10:03:45 I/V Jean-Pierre Haignerè, ESA astronaut: “In the International Space Station the European astronaut will be very much like fish in aquarium. Very happy and very easy working. Because we spent our time to try to understand the other and adapt to the other.”

10:04.05 The Italian Umberto Guidoni will be the first ESA astronaut to fly in spring of this year to the International Space Station. An important mission. The crew will have with them two key components for the Station – the Canadian-built robot arm, and a pressurised logistic module made in Europe – in Italy.

Transmission details:

Eutelsat W1 at 10 degrees east

Transponder B5, digital channel 2 (SCPC), horizontal

F=11.144 MHz, SR=5.632MSeyb/sec, FEC=3/4

For further information and a daily update of the transmission schedule, visit our website at For all enquires, contact Claus Habfast, Tel +31 71 565 3838, Fax +31 71 565 6340, e-mail

SpaceRef staff editor.