The Mir-1 and Mir-2 manned submersibles take two international crews on submersions in Central Baikal. The Mir-2 begins the submersions with a crew of pilot and Hero of Russia Y. S. Chernyayev, scientific observer T. Han-Erdene, who serves as Director of the Mongolian Foundation of Science and Technology, and A. K. Tulokhonov, Director of the Baikal Institute of Nature Management and Members of the Scientific Board of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal. Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj and Guardianship Board Chairman of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal M. V. Slipenchuk spend two hours inspecting the depth of Baikal on a Mir-1 craft that is being piloted by Hero of Russia and President of the Fund’s Technical Board A. M. Sagalevich. The submersions – which occur five kilometers off Turka Port in Buryatia’s Pribaikalsky (Baikal Area) District – are monitored by the Republic of Buryatia President Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn and his wife. They two are accompanied by scientists, politicians and the Mongol president’s family. Elbegdorj contacts his wife and child from the depths of Baikal on several occasions. “I feel an enormous happiness and a very acute proximity to nature,” Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj reports on one occasion. “I feel like I am a part of Baikal.”
The Mir-1 craft’s mission comes to a successful end at 11:20 am Moscow time, with the crew immediately briefing Russian and Mongolian reporters on board the Metropoliya special-purpose ship. “I have never been to space, but I feel like a cosmonaut,” the president of Mongolia declares. Guardianship Board Chairman of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal M. V. Slipenchuk officially hands Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj a commemorative plaque reading “Hydronaut 2010,” as well as a Certificate of Submersion.