Aleksandr Lazutkin

Credit: www.spacefacts.de

Aleksandr Ivanovich Lazutkin (Александр Иванович Лазуткин), Russian Cosmonaut engineer at NPO Energiya. He was on board the MIR station for a period of six months (10 February – 14 August 1997). He and his Russian partner, Vasily Tshibilyev, flew to the MIR station on the Soyuz TM-25 together with German astronaut Reinhold Ewald, who spent almost three weeks with them.

A physiological facility the Modular Physiological Laboratory, MEDEX, was flown on this mission, and whose testing was a key scientific and technical operation for the German-Russian collaborative effort on this mission. Dr Kass lead a team who trained the crew to operate this complex facility; a key part of the training was carried out in Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center in preparation for this mission.

During this period the station suffered major set-backs, such as a collision resulting in the decompression of the Spektr module. Lazutkin performed the critical task of closing off the leaking module in order to stop pressure air escaping. Shortly afterwards the power went down, leaving the station in darkness. Earlier on, there was also a fire on board, which the crew put out not without difficulty (some fire extinguishers did not work properly), and which required a major clean-up and the wearing of gas-masks for a while.

Sharing the station during this period was also the NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who was already on the station when the Soyuz TM-25 crew boarded, and later with Colin Michael Foale, a British-American NASA astronaut, who exchanged with him with the Shuttle STS-84.