On 4.04.2000 at 05.01.29UTC the Soyuz-TM30 was launched from Baykonur with on board the crew for the 28th Main Expedition (ME) to the MIR space station. The crew consists of Zalyotin (commander), who is making his first spaceflight and Kaleri, board engineer, who is entering orbit for the 3rd time.

After the flawless start the ship came in my range between 0804 and 0806UTC. This was during the 3rd orbit. The monitored traffic lasted very short for S-TM30 was still flying in a low orbit and the elevation here was only 7 degrees. The first sign of life had been the telemetry transmitter in the 166 mc band. After some minutes this was followed by the voice of commander Zalyotin who reported that ‘the test had been successful’. He referred to the charge-current which had been 29 (possibly Amperes) and during this report 27. He also told TsUP that the crew had left the SA (landing module) and entered the BO (life compartment).

He had a remark for at approx. 0730UTC there was a signal about the composition of the air. When they entered the BO the pressure was 814 mm, after 15-20 minutes 815 and just before this communications session 818 mm. Therefore they opened a valve.

During the 3rd orbit the first engine impulse for the correction of the orbit had been given. This impulse took place at 0837UTC. The duration was 49 seconds. The 2nd impulse was scheduled for 0923UTC, so during the 4th orbit.

The pass for my position during the 4th orbit was between 0933 and 0938UTC. I monitored good telemetry signals on 166 mc and with the use of the doppler effect in the frequency 922.755 mc I could determine the TCA (Time Closest Approach), being 0935UTC.

Zalyotin reported that they for 5 seconds flew in the ‘indicative regime’, so possible for a while in ‘free drift’. The parameters (obviously after the 2nd orbit correction) were good. Zalyotin said that they were working on the concluding operation.

During the pass in the next orbit Kaleri could be heard between 1104-1111UTC. He reported that all was well with the crew. In fact they almost freezed but now they were warming up again. He wrote down an instruction for the 6th orbit and after that he only confirmed that what TsUP was telling him.

The 3rd engine impulse, which will be needed for the correct flight to the MIR-complex, will be given on 5.04.2000 at 0557UTC.

MIR: While waiting for the arrival of the crew TsUP regularly checks MIR’s telemetry. The transmitters can be heard in the 166, 165, 634 and 640 mc bands.

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