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Surviving Extremes -

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Good evening, I'm Virginia

Haussegger. In news tonight - fire

crews are keeping a close watch on

blazes still burning this evening.

Earlier today a fire threatened

forty houses at Eucumbene Cove in Earlier today a fire threatened about

snowy Mountains. And a major blaze forty houses at Eucumbene Cove in the

took hold in Namadgi National Park

the ACT-NSW border It's now within took hold in Namadgi National Park on

containment lines. The United states

has warned it won't stand by and

for North Korea to become nuclear. has warned it won't stand by and wait

The communist state has sparked

international alarm with its threat

to test a nuclear weapon at some

in the future. And there are fears to test a nuclear weapon at some time

could set off a regional atomic arms in the future. And there are fears it

race. Two people have been killed in

a plane crash near Bathurst. The

wreckage was only discovered when a

helicopter was called in to put out

bushfire caused by the crash. helicopter was called in to put out a

suspect that overly fastidious bushfire caused by the crash. Doctors

parents might be responsible for a

recent doubling of the number of

children suffering Crohn's disease.

Experts believe children's immune

systems are being exposed to fewer

bugs than they would have in past

decades. And Canberra's weather -

fine tomorrow with a top of 22 a low

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Adelaide - 22. More news in an hour.

isolated environment on earth. Antarctica is the harshest and most to being on another planet. It's the closest experience become a reality, As man's trips to Mars at Antarctic explorers scientists are looking sort of personalities to find out what could survive long missions in space.

measured in minutes in Antarctica MAN: Your life expectancy is the right kind of clothing. if you don't have if go outside in space And, of course, your life expectancy without adequate protection, is measured in seconds.

the physical dangers of space travel In the 1990s, astronauts confronted on the 'Mir' space station. when they lived

You're living on the edge. things can go wrong very quickly. Extreme environment, you've got blackout. You've got smoke billowing out, hustle to stay alive. And you've got to to fly humans to Mars. Soon the technology will be available with the extreme isolation But what will it take to cope of the two year journey? and unexpected dangers were regarded The early polar explorers as the astronauts of their day. very much that was uninhabited, They were going to a place

the people of that period and uninhabitable, and, I think,

by their adventures were just captivated

as much as many people today are of space travel. captivated by the idea Australian Antarctic expedition In 1911, an and inspiration would become a survival manual for future generations of explorers. geologist Douglas Mawson. Leading it was an Antarctic veteran. Although only 29, he was already

Mawson's party was a select bunch. Like astronauts today, leader from a thousand applicants. They'd been hand-picked by the young almost immediately. Their challenges would begin

everything with them ANDY THOMAS: They had to carry for their own survival. that they needed And that's very like space travel.

There is one fundamental difference and modern space travel, between Mawson and that is that he was truly alone. he could accommodate any scenario, So he had to make sure that in his expedition. any contingency plan as it did for him, And if something did go wrong, to react accordingly. he had to be ready an Australian research scientist, Andy Thomas, was the last NASA astronaut to fly the 'Mir' space station. the shuttle to Andy knew only too well Like Mawson before him, in exploration was getting there. that the first great difficulty 500 tonnes of explosive. He was literally sitting on you hear this enormous explosion. ANDY THOMAS: Suddenly,

And if you're by one of the windows, light up around you. you see everything

The vibration is just profound.

and everything's rattling. Everything starts to shake madly, Your teeth are jarring. see the launch tower next to you And if you look out the window, you pushed back into your seat, just fall away, and you're life for the next two minutes and you've got this ride of your to take you up into space. going higher and faster to spend four months in space. Andy Thomas was leaving earth shuttle docked with 'Mir', In the days before

to working in zero gravity. Andy and the crew acclimatised in this business ANDY THOMAS: I got my start and engineer. through my work as a scientist it was the great sense of adventure. Later on, I have to admit, few people would ever get to do The idea of doing something that so

was just enthralling. (Speaks into radio) a good astronaut. I think Mawson would have been

the right leadership qualities. I think he had strong individual. He was obviously a very fit, physical strength And I think you need to undertake space exploration. from Australia, After a 3,000km voyage unexplored Antarctic continent. Mawson arrived at the still largely He found a sheltered anchorage, and named the area Commonwealth Bay. allowed Mawson to build a hut The relatively mild summer weather in Antarctica - and set up the first radio their only fragile link with home. with an unexpected ferocity. Then the weather changed from the high Antarctic Plateau. Hurricane-force winds hurtled down funnelled into Commonwealth Bay, Day after day, the blizzards raging around the hut. not anticipated this. MAN: Mawson had simply they were trapped, essentially, And what it meant was happening outside. with this raging wind quite frightening to hear And it must have been and to be in constant fear of, say, the roof lifting off,

which would have been disastrous. In the confined conditions of the hut, the mix of characters that Mawson had chosen proved vital. It was good that they had Murphy, who was a bit eccentric and told stories, and they had Hurley, who was a joker, as well as personalities that were quieter and more serious. So, there's a kind of balance. And clearly these were all men who were prepared to live and let live. They were all highly motivated. And they all had a sense of humour. The meteorologist, Cecil Madigan, had to record the weather every three hours. ADRIAN CAESAR: He had the extraordinary task of getting out of the hut and getting to another tiny hut where they were making various scientific readings to do with the weather conditions. But getting there was fantastically difficult because of the force of the wind. It proved to be the windiest place on earth. Mawson realised their equipment had to be strengthened for the coming expeditions.

He personally oversaw all the preparations. There are stories about his enthusiastic practical support

of the men as they're doing their tasks. He was a great doer, and I think that his leadership was in taking a lead in doing things, rather than in producing great rhetorical speeches.

Celebrations were a safety valve for tensions in the hut.

He'd let them have a glass of wine and a glass of brandy. I mean, everybody's birthday Midwinter Day was celebrated. And then they started up making excuses for celebrations. Only 85 years after Mawson built his Antarctic base, 'Mir' orbited high above earth. The Russians built 'Mir' to research long-term space missions - essential groundwork for future trips to Mars. In the 1990s, the Americans had no equivalent to 'Mir', so they began sending astronauts to the space station to work alongside their Russian colleagues. Andy Thomas was to be the last of them. ANDY THOMAS: The crew did some thruster firings to catch up with the 'Mir' space station, which was way, way ahead of us. It appeared in the distance, initially, as a very small point of light. And as we drew closer, it grew larger and larger. Eventually you could see the solar panels, and you could make it out as a space station. MAN: It's just amazing, it's been described as a big mosquito or dragonfly, and it's right, it's got all kinds of wings on it - it's an incredible sight. And then, of course, we flew right up to it, slowed down our approach rate so the two vehicles could be mated on orbit. Docking is a delicate and dangerous procedure. Even a slight collision would be disastrous. ANDY THOMAS: Once we had docked and made sure that we had a good seal, we opened the hatches between the two vehicles and we met the Russians who were onboard, who'd been there for some months, as well as my American colleague who had been there for four months. And I got to float down the docking fixture

in to 'Mir' for the first time. That was kind of an "Oh, gosh" moment. The amount of equipment that was stowed haphazardly in that vehicle just left me speechless. I was pulling myself down this tiny tunnel, feeling everything closing in, thinking, "Oh, there's got to be more space than this. "It's got to open up." And finally, of course, it did, into a fairly nice, habitable area, but that first reaction was like, "Wow, I don't know about this." Once the changeover was completed, the shuttle returned home. Its mission was just a short 10-day bus trip, while Andy's 4-month stay on 'Mir' would be more like being cooped up for the winter in Mawson's hut. ANDY THOMAS: I watched at the window as the shuttle pulled away, and saw it fire its thrusters, and then it went behind one of the solar panels, and was gone.

with two Russian colleagues At that point, I was there of what the future was gonna be, who didn't speak English, unsure going to be a great adventure. but knowing that it was certainly own adventure was about to begin. In November 1912, Mawson's at Commonwealth Bay, After 10 months confined in the hut

were keen to get away. the scientific teams he wrote to his fiancee, Paquita. Before Mawson left, any harm will happen to us. (Man reads) "It is unlikely that "But should I not return,

that I truly loved you." "please know

the most ambitious, As Mawson's trip was to be and the men who trained them. he commandeered the dogs

was nicknamed 'Cherub'. 23-year-old Belgrave Ninnis ADRIAN CAESAR: He was a tall man. in the British Army. He'd been an officer a huge chest of fancy clothes. They made fun of him because he had But everybody seemed to like him. the Swiss-born Xavier Mertz. The other member of the team was He had a doctor of laws. ADRIAN CAESAR: He'd been a ski champion. as a ladies man, And he had a reputation of joshing about that. and there was a lot to the Antarctic Plateau. Mawson's plan was to sledge on And then push east for some 500km and mapping the terrain. exploring for minerals 9km inland from the hut. A food depot had been established it was known as Aladdin's Cave. Dug into the ice, dogs had to pull was about a tonne. The combined weight that the

get on with Mertz and Ninnis. ADRIAN CAESAR: He felt that he could had that relaxed camaraderie. And, clearly, Ninnis and Mertz they were good friends, They got on together, and bond between them. there was a kind of emotional warmth their interaction together, And I think he observed and enjoyed that.

Mush, mush, mush! They had to carry everything. ADRIAN CAESAR: rations for the dogs, They had all their rations, fuel for the cooking, oil. cooking equipment, They had to be self-sufficient. And the idea was to map the terrain, to find geological samples, was like in all its detail. to discover what that terrain the weather turned against them. But from the start, in the bad conditions, They all found the going tough Belgrave Ninnis. especially the soldier,

Pull, boys! "A week after our departure, (Man reads) to approach a dark object "we changed course to the south-east. "which appeared on the horizon itself into an imposing mountain." "Within a few hours, it resolved by what the rocks could tell him Mawson, a geologist, was fascinated about the history of the Antarctic. Come on. Come on, boys. Pull! Come on! Mawson has a self-contained quality, it seems to me. a kind of self-sufficiency, was wary of emotion, And I think that Mawson of expressing emotion. and particularly explains his attraction to science. And that, in some senses, with a sense of beauty That science provided him and superior to and order that was apart from emotion and human interaction. the unpredictability of human

of the plateau, To complete his survey average 12km a day. Mawson knew he must

(Man yells) George! Thompson! But it became increasingly difficult over the treacherous surface. to sustain this rate the glacier was pressed up (Man reads) "All around us, and precipitous ice falls. "in great folds the loss of a sledge. "A slip could mean lay to the south, "The only safe route

"through a labyrinth of twisted ice. Pull, boys, pull!

of expenditure of energy ADRIAN CAESAR: The kinds in these circumstances is huge. as you can be. You need to be as physically fit

The slightest injury could have expedition, and for each other. serious consequences for the to the chilling wind Constant exposure their feet and hands. effected their faces, Ninnis had a problem ADRIAN CAESAR: As they went on, with a whitlow on his finger. and using your fingers in that cold, And, obviously, if you're hauling was extremely difficult. to have such an infection In the end, they had to lance it. The expedition was not going to plan. Bad weather was slowing them down, about getting back in time and they were worried to catch the only boat home. 'Mir II' had its problems. After several months onboard, becoming increasingly aware Andy Thomas was condition of the aging space station. of the rapidly deteriorating that the Russians ANDY THOMAS: It was very clear to me were very short of money, holding this thing together and they were

with everything they could find. a tough time doing it. And they were having an element of risk involved. I knew that there was of living on 'Mir' The physical dangers of astronaut Jerry Linenger, became apparent during the mission 12 months earlier. flight surgeon and pilot. Jerry was a US Naval and in submarines. He'd served on air craft carriers to go to 'Mir'. He was the fourth American astronaut is when they close that hatch. MAN: The tough day the little porthole, You look through

to the people on the shuttle, you wave goodbye

and when the shuttle departs, you know you're out there, you're by yourself. "Wow, it's just us, You get a real sense like, "the harsh environment." "the machine we're living inside, That's when you sort of get this feeling, "Now it all starts." It's sort of dark.

a lot of good power margins, We didn't have so the lighting was very low. you were going back in time. You had a feeling that a pretty old space station - Living in has been around for awhile. this place This is gonna be challenging. and we'll take you to... MAN: That's gonna work real well, like that of Mawson, Jerry realised that his challenge, his scientific experiments, was straightforward - to complete and to stay healthy. MAN: ..convenient.

over the US... And it looks like we're coming up He relaxed by looking at the earth's surface. We don't fly directly over the Antarctic, but you can see it from an angle, and, again, it sort of looks grey

and dark and...you know, it looks foreboding also. It looks like that's a part that you would not land your spacecraft for the first time if you were exploring the planet. In this foreboding landscape, Mawson and his party had covered 500km. Once again, he found himself in endless fields of crevices.

Though we usually see them from the air, crevices are invisible at ground level. Splits in the ice treacherously hidden by a thin layer of snow. Ninnis was driving the rear sledge, with most of their food and equipment onboard. Mawson had done this deliberately, reasoning that the most likely sledge to go down would be the leading one, his. Mush. Mush, boys, mush! If his sledge were lost, they'd still have enough supplies to get back to base. Mertz skied on ahead to warn of possible dangers. (Man reads) "When I saw Mertz halt and look back enquiringly... Doctor, look! "..I looked around and there was no sign of Ninnis.

"I hurried back along the trail, thinking that a rise in the ground "obscured my view of Ninnis and his sledge. "There was no such good fortune." ADRIAN CAESAR: They found a crevice had opened up, and they couldn't even see Ninnis at all. Belgrave! Of course, they shouted, and, irrationally, I think, they thought about what ropes and harness they had. Belgrave! But really there was nothing they could do. Of course, this was a disaster. Belgrave!

Cherub! Belgrave!

Cherub!

ADRIAN CAESAR: They stayed there for hours shouting down this cavernous hole. And they could hear a bit of whining from one of the dogs, which must have been an awful sound in that silence. DOG WHINES And nothing else. Belgrave!

And, of course, most of their food, their tent, their utensils were lost as well. So they were in a very difficult situation.

Xavier, we must go. ADRIAN CAESAR:: It seems to me that it was really Mertz's emotional distress that meant that they stayed for hours and hours and hours hoping to hear something.

My sense is that Mawson, being the practical man he was, might not have spent quite so long

if it hadn't been for Mertz's distress. They were at least five weeks from base.

And despite Mawson's safety plan, they'd lost their tent, their best dogs, and most of their food. A critical situation can develop just as unexpectedly in space. While Jerry Linenger had another three months on 'Mir', his two Russian colleagues would be replaced by new crew. They were to be blasted into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Central Asia.

The Russians fly their cosmonauts up in a Soyuz capsule. A tiny vehicle compared to the American shuttle. Soyuz is steered from Mission Control, near Moscow. The cosmonauts are just passengers. Even the docking of Soyuz is controlled from the ground - a routine the Russians have perfected. Vasili Tsibliyev will be the new commanders. He's a space veteran, having spent seven months on 'Mir' on a previous mission. MAN: Which is interesting, and Commander Vasili's here. (Both speak Russian)

MAN: And Vasili says 'hello' to everybody. They celebrate the arrival of the new crew by having a party. Vasili and his engineer, Sasha Lazutkin, a rookie on his first mission, are elated to be in space. But with six people onboard, the station's life support systems were overstretched, and the oxygen supply ran low. Sasha slipped away to activate an extra oxygen canister. But this time the canister split, releasing oxygen into the electronics. Jerry had already returned to his experiments. I'm actually in a different module. I'm on the laptop computer entering some data. I hear "Blang, blang, blang, blang, blang," you know, master alarm blaring. I literally, you know, typed my last bit of data in and hit the 'enter' button, and then I think to myself, "Well, I'd better go look at caution and warning panel." So I push off, Vasili Tsibliyev comes flying around the corner fast, and I yell out, "Is it serious," he said "Yes, very, fire." He didn't really have to answer me, because before he could answer me, I see smoke just billowing out of the module. At that point, realising very quickly I need to get a personal respirator on and the oxygen tank activated, or I'm not gonna make it. Worked my way along the bulkhead - smoke everywhere, can't see anything. Find that respirator, felt as if I had sort of swum maybe 50m under water, really starting to need oxygen. Pull the respirator off, full rubber mask over my head. I flicked the lever over... breath in, and the mask just collapses around my face, got a failed respirator. Throw that off my head. You know, next 60 seconds of my life just frame by frame, feeling my way along the bulkhead to the blackness,

trying to get to a second respirator. Amazing what thoughts go through your head. You know, I thought about my wife. I said, "Goodbye, Katherine." You know, "Looks like I'm not gonna be making it back. "Love you a lot." Thought about my son. He's about a year and a half years old. I said, "Goodbye, John." Finally get to a second respirator. Mask over my head, I activate, I say, "God help me." You know, breath in, oxygen flows. And then it's just screaming out, you know. We're gonna get that fire out, gonna see my boy again. And your training kicks in. And you get methodical. Worked my way over to a fire extinguisher. Pull, the pin, Vasili and I go and start fighting the fire. We hit a big fire, and we get a flame 3ft, 4ft in length, this big in diameter, blowtorch-like in intensity, smoke billowing out. Went through about 14 minutes of fighting this fire, finally get the flame out - actually, it pretty much ate itself up. So you're next task is to try and get a breathable atmosphere again. We turn on fans, filters. You try to breath slowly. You try to preserve that little bit of oxygen that you have, make every breath count. And then you've got a lot of work to do. You got to clean that mess up, you got burns on people. And you just count your blessings at that point. You say, you know, "We made it." We got a crew that does not panic. Got people that are trained properly. You know, great moment to overcome adversity like that. Basically, other than the smoke in the air, us breathing some toxic products for a day or two, damage pretty minimal. And the very interesting thing about that whole fire is, you know, by the next day, it's behind you. You don't don't worry about what happened yesterday, you just get ready for the next challenge. There's a real skill in being able to respond to a threatening situation in such a way as to resolve it as compared to giving in, panicking, and perhaps dying. The best thing you can have is a sense

that it's possible to deal with situations that most of us would find frightening, and would leave us feeling panicked to helpless. Mawson now had to deal with a critical situation, where Ninnis was dead and most of their provisions were gone. ADRIAN CAESAR: He began to make practical decisions. How could they best use what they've got left to see how they could improvise a tent using ski sticks and canvas. He weighed up how much food they'd got. He realised that they'd have to use the dogs for food. And so he prepared to do the best they could. (Man reads) "With only one and a half week's food left,

"if we eat the dogs to eke out our provisions, "we might just win through till winter quarters. "It was a happy relief when the liver appeared, "for even if little else could be said in its favour, "it could be easily chewed and demolished. What they didn't know was that eating the dog's liver would slowly poison them. Two weeks after the death of Ninnis, they were only halfway back to the hut. And already Mertz was failing. ADRIAN CAESAR: When they lost the sledge down the crevice, crucially for Mertz, they lost his windproof and weatherproof trousers and his helmet. Mawson was in a terrifically difficult situation. He felt OK, and obviously he wanted to push forward and to make miles every day. And Mertz was becoming progressively weaker. After struggling on for another week, Mertz couldn't go any further. And Mawson nursed Mertz through the final days, which were horrible.

Mertz kept fouling his clothes, Mawson had to keep cleaning him up. In the end, Mertz became delirious and was shouting and screaming.

We now know that Mertz's decline was brought about by the toxic effects of massive amounts of vitamin A contained in the husky livers he'd eaten. It caused his dysentery and skin loss, and probably resulted in a fatal brain haemorrhage. Mertz was dead. I am the Resurrection...

Mawson was alone.

Ahead lay windswept fields of ice, fractured glaciers, and miles of wicked crevasses. Yet methodically, Mawson now planned for his own survival. "I shall spend a day remodelling my gear for one-man travel. "I shall cut down the sledge to carry half the load, "and repair the field equipment. "And with 100 miles still to go, "I shall doctor my worn body and broken skin." Mawson's body was in terrible condition, and he records in his diary that he feels that his body is rotting - that's the word he uses, 'rotting' -

His greatest concern was whether his body would hold together long enough to get back to the hut. Jerry Linenger had now been aloft in 'Mir' for three months, and he was becoming increasingly aware of how his body was being affected by zero-gravity. JERRY LINENGER: There are some physiological changes taking place. One is muscle loss - floating is effortless, very tough to keep your muscle strength up. More significantly, you had about 13% bone loss - hips, lower spine - disuse atrophy - bone says, "I'm overbuilt, don't need to be this strong," starts dumping calcium. Could be a show-stopper if you want to go to Mars someday. But a greater problem for travellers to Mars will be their long separation from Earth.

One of the more surprising things was the sense of isolation. Even though I thought I went in there with eyes wide open, I'll tell you, I never felt that cut off, isolated, in my life. I think the Antarctic explorers felt the same thing - down there and cut off. EMOTIVE MUSIC He was in terrible physical condition. ADRIAN CAESAR: I think he'd used every mental trick in the book. He'd be telling himself that, "I only have to put one foot in front of another, "that's all I've got to do." He may have given himself little targets to achieve, in terms of distance. images of home and Paquita. And I think that he would use about honour and obligation I think he would have thought

to push himself forward. (Struggles and pants) to break a large task down The ability and to reach each successive goal not just for Mawson, was very important Antarctic explorers, but for many of the other

made it psychologically manageable that it took an insurmountable task, they had to come back alive. and gave them the only chance of the hut, Now within striking distance turned to the possibilities Mawson's thoughts of a future life with his fiancee. ADRIAN CAESAR: Here was a young man who, I think, probably had little sexual experience, and that marriage to Paquita, family life with Paquita was something that held great promise for him. (Screams) MAWSON (VOICEOVER): "A few moments later, "I was dangling at the end of the rope. (Struggles)

"The sledge creeping towards the edge of the crevasse. 'So, this is the end.' "I had time to say to myself, (Struggles) uneaten on the sledge. "Then, I thought of the food Providence given me another chance. As it came to a stop, I thought of was helping me, "With the feeling that Providence "I made one last great struggle. (Struggles) was small, "The chance of climbing out into the overhang. "as the rope had sawed (Struggles) and I was weak. "My fingers were damaged, DRAMATIC MUSIC RISES (Groans)

Mawson couldn't recall For the rest of his life, how he made that climb from the crevasse. Nor did he know how long he lay unconscious.

With his tour of duty nearing an end, Jerry advised NASA to delay his replacement, because of the dangers on 'Mir'. Ethylene glycol, for example, leaking from our cooling system was a huge problem. Oxygen generators failing, carbon dioxide scrubbers not scrubbing the carbon dioxide out of the air. You know, up in space if the bathroom goes out

that need to use the bathroom, and you've got three guys a functioning toilet. you need to have

incident occurred Another potentially disastrous almost collided with 'Mir'. when an unmanned resupply vehicle Despite all these problems, Englishman Mike Foale. NASA decided to send up "Well, Jerry, you've had the fire, I thought, from this dangerous event, "they've learned a lot we're gonna have a fire again. "but that doesn't mean a fire again!" "In fact, probably we won't have about that event So, I was no more anxious about going to the 'Mir'. than I was in general We have a go for engine start. MISSION CONTROL: Any initial apprehension that Mike felt quickly disappeared when he sighted 'Mir'. It's bright, bright - it's so bright you can hardly look at it, because it's reflecting the sun. I could already see Jerry in one window, and Vasili in another, waving.

And they're waving and they're friendly, and so I begin to be excited about actually getting on board the 'Mir'. But up to that point, for a prison-like sentence. I'd been preparing myself BACKGROUND CHATTER glad to see his fellow astronauts. After Jerry's long isolation, he was Jerry's mood darkened. During the changeover, Jerry was extraordinarily serious duties that I would have to assume, in his tenor of handing over the taking his place. just told me, And he, in the midst of all this, "Watch out, what they're doing here is dangerous. "As soon as the space shuttle leaves, "you'll find all hell breaks loose, "everything gets ripped apart, it's not like a decent space station, "and you're on the edge." And as I found way through and got to the base block, took the left-hand turn, the smell struck me.

It was kind of an oily library smell. I still have pieces of 'Mir' that have that smell, and I kind of sniff and go, "That's Mir." It's not a bad smell, but it's a characteristic smell.

And then as soon as you turn that corner into the 'Mir' base block, there was music - loud, loud music. And it was Russian, cheerful - I think it was popular disco music, actually. of homeliness, And the impression was one of a welcoming place. RUSSIAN MUSIC PLAYS A few weeks after Mike arrived, ordered Vasili Tsibliyev Russian Mission Control the manual docking procedure to once again test for an incoming cargo vehicle. was regularly used The unmanned 'Progress' vehicle with food and equipment. to resupply 'Mir' in the near-collision This same manoeuvre had resulted

reported earlier by Jerry Linenger. around the dinner table, The night before, I had asked them, I said, the last time you did this." "Jerry told me he'd had a near miss "Yeah, it was really bad, And Vasili said, "it was really dangerous." I said, "How do you feel about tomorrow?" 'Fine.' The next morning, the docking procedure began. A camera on the front of the incoming 'Progress' transmits an image of 'Mir' to Vasili's monitor, which he uses as a guide to manoeuvre the cargo vehicle. He took over command of the slowing-down of the 'Progress' as it comes down towards the space station, against the Earth. was 'Mir' in front of the Earth, The view he had on a screen with the 'Progress', and he's coming down on it he has to judge the speed and as he approaches, the little solar arrays only based on how quickly are growing in the TV screen. or he's allowed to use, That's all he has, to measure the speed of approach. they don't grow very much, Well, obviously when it's far away, very well. and so you can't tell the speed in the early stages. So he didn't do much braking he realises Then when he comes in close, and he starts firing thrusters he's coming too fast, to slow the 'Progress' down. Sasha, who'd been searching for 'Progress' from a window, saw it emerge from behind a solar panel, only 100m away. But already we're too close, and we have too much speed for the thrusters to be able to do that braking, and so he keeps pointing at the docking port, but in fact it's going by the docking port, towards the body of the space station. in the window, and he said, Sasha saw it go past underneath us "Michael, go to the 'Soyuz'." he shouted at me, to the 'Soyuz'. So I flew in the air of the 'Mir' the central node of the 'Mir', As I was passing through where the 'Soyuz' is located, on the walls as I was flying past. I just had my fingers very lightly of the 'Progress' was such I brushed past Vasili, the velocity straight into the base block, that it took it and then the Spektr module... CRASHING, GRINDING NOISES We heard a big crash, I wasn't touching the station, and I could see, even though shaking around me. I could see the station Then I moved on through towards the 'Soyuz'. The 'Soyuz' vehicle was permanently stationed on 'Mir'. It was the only means of escape back to Earth in case of an emergency. As passed through, I thought, "Well, we're either gonna die instantly," and I actually looked around to see if the walls of the node were ripping open. I thought to myself, "At this point, "air should rush out of your lungs if the pressure's falling."

It didn't, so I thought, "Not bad." So then I thought, as I was still moving towards the 'Soyuz', the pressure falling." "We should feel the next second I thought, the pressure was falling. And then I felt it in my ears, So I thought, "Oh. Not good." the klaxons and sirens went off, And then at the moment bang, I went into the 'Soyuz', and from that point onwards to be evacuated. I got the 'Soyuz' ready in the 'Soyuz'. Sasha wouldn't join me just at that point Nor would Vasili, and we had come in contact with the ground. NOT to abandon the station. And they told Vasili practiced, and do as we tell you. Throw away all the procedures you've Well, Sasha didn't even do that. only with the Spektr module, Sasha was just working trying to disconnect cables. hatchway had to be disconnected The cables that ran through the

before it could be sealed off. Mike and Sasha then succeeded in capping the leaking module was lost from the station. before a critical amount of air At that point, we went from critical emergency situation a serious, to one of survival. The collision had holed the superstructure, damaged the cooling system and smashed the solar panels.

knocked the station The impact had also off its alignment with the sun, through space. and it was slowly tumbling No power was being generated, and the batteries finally drained. We really were kind of stuck. collision, this horrible event, Alright, we'd survived now the but now we had a dead station. Completely, utterly silent, and colder. getting colder and colder of its own, Without a propulsion system to stop 'Mir' tumbling. there was no way station would have to be abandoned. There was a real possibility that the

Mike finally came up with the idea of using the thrusters on the 'Soyuz' escape capsule

to re-orient the station. It worked. It took several days to re-power all the systems, and 'Mir' slowly came back to life. The greatest skill an astronaut must have - and think this would be true of any explorer - is to be able to go from routine, and then rapidly and effectively respond to the unexpected calamity.

Deal with it, and then get right back to the minimum, minimum expense of energy for the routine, so that you can survive that calamity. Three weeks after Mertz's death, Mawson staggered back to the shelter of Aladdin's Cave. It was now February 1, two weeks after the ship was due to pick up the party from Commonwealth Bay. A search party had left fresh food. ADRIAN CAESAR: He actually stayed at Aladdin's cave for nearly a full week. The weather was very, very bad, and he spent that time fashioning some crampons so he could get down this ice road back to Commonwealth Bay. While Mawson painfully improvised the vital equipment, the 'Aurora' was a mere nine kilometres away. It left before he could make his final dash.

The break in the weather, Mawson finally departed. It was too late.

He'd be marooned at Commonwealth Bay for another year. A rescue party had volunteered to stay behind. As they rushed forward to greet the lone figure, they couldn't make out which of the three it was. Mawson was barely recognisable. He'd lost 40% of his body weight.

ADRIAN CAESAR: There is a very moving account of the first few days when Mawson just walked around the hut following different men because he didn't want to be on his own. And it's an image which reveals Mawson's humanity, but also, I think, reveals the kind of appalling effect that the solo journey had on him. Without a program of work and exploration, another year in Antarctica tested the men's mental reserves. The radio operator from the first year had been replaced by Sidney Jeffreys.

For him, the isolation triggered a violent breakdown, and the party had to take turns watching him, 24 hours a day. Jeffreys, as the year went on, seems to have collapsed into a kind of paranoid, delusional,

psychotic state in which he was accusing the others of plotting against him, wanting to murder him, and Mawson of course was having to try and control this and deal with it - it's a nightmare scenario.

You sense that really, all they want to do is get back to Australia. Mawson returned to Australia in early 1914, after being away two and a half years. Within a month, he married Paquita. He had tremendous mental, physical and emotional toughness. A man who is not going to be defeated by negative thoughts or imagining the worst. And I think it's that attitude that enabled him to survive. Survival in space demands the same qualities. 'Mir' has now been replaced by the International Space Station, and research continues into how people are affected by long periods in space - a dress rehearsal for a trip to Mars. A journey to Mars will take about two years - the same time that Mawson spent in the Antarctic. Home will be a cramped cabin with three or four others. JERRY LINENGER: When you're seeing Earth in the rear-view mirror getting smaller and smaller, psychologically, that's gonna be tough. In my time on a space station when I could always look out and see the planet, I felt cut off, isolated, like I've never felt. You know, you truly are out there on your own at that point.

The crew will be 300 million kilometres from home, and even radio signals will take 20 minutes to reach Earth. The physical effects of solar radiation could be deadly. caused by the mental isolation. But the greatest problems will be Madness, medical emergencies are all possibilities. and even death of rescue if something goes wrong. There would be no prospects break-off from Earth And the sense of separation, could be very profound. EMOTIVE MUSIC But the crew will be well chosen. the experience of past missions. They'll be the inheritors of all the windswept surface, They'll spend a year exploring to minus 100 degrees. where temperatures plummet Drawn by the same sense of adventure the Antarctic explorers that inspired and astronauts before them, they too will need the physical and emotional strength to overcome the unexpected in this environment of extremes. CLOSING THEME Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling *

This program is captioned

live

Good evening. Political

events are moving quickly in

the Solomon Islands tonight.

The country's em battled

Attorney-General, Julian Moti,

has been suspended. He's been

sheltering in the Solomon

Islands High Commission in

Papua New Guinea for several

days. He's been trying to avoid

extradition to Australia on

child sex charges. The Solomons' Government is working

on getting Mr Moti a new

passport after his Australian

one was cancelled. The US has warned North Korea of dire

consequences if it proceeds

with the nuclear test.

Pyongyang says it will carry

out a test some time soon,

saying it's been put under

pressure by the US. America's

top negotiator on North Korea,

says the demunnist State has a

choice - it's future or nuclear

weapons. And a jet that crashed

into central NSW today killing

two people may have broken up

midair. A search was launched

when the strike master jet was

overdue from a joy flight. The

burning wreckage was found

16kms north of bafrt thurs. The

helicopter pilot who spotted ed the wreckage said there may

have been inflight break-up

because the tail of the

aircraft was some distance from

the fuselage. Investigator also

visit the crash site tomorrow.

A look at the weather now -

'Lateline' is on just after

10270, followed by 'Lateline

Business'. Goodnight.