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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS020 (1997)

ARLS020 Mir crew safe after collision

Space Bulletin 020  ARLS020
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  June 25, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLS020 Mir crew safe after collision

The crew aboard the Mir space station--including US astronaut Mike
Foale, KB5UAC and two Russian cosmonauts--was reported safe and in
good shape today after an unmanned Progress M-34 cargo rocket struck
Mir as the crew was trying to re-dock the rocket during a practice
run.  NASA spokesman Rob Navias says there are no plans to abandon
Mir.  A Soyuz spacecraft is docked at the station to provide an
escape route.

Damage was confined to the Spektr module, which has been sealed off
from the rest of Mir.  That module reportedly contains the SAFEX 70
cm Amateur Radio repeater and most of the US experiments aboard Mir.
NASA reports the crew is closely monitoring the damaged module.

According to VideoCosmos Co of Moscow and Novosti Kosmonavtiki
magazine, the mishap occurred at approximately 0918 UTC.  The cargo
spacecraft sheared off half of a Spektr solar panel and damaged the
module itself.  The resulting leak caused the space station to begin
to lose pressure, but the crew was able to rapidly close the hatch
to the Spektr module and repressurize the unaffected compartments.
The crash also damaged thermal control radiators on the Spektr

Vera Medvedkova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Mission Control
Center near Moscow, said that at the time of the crash, the crew was
using manual control to practice docking the Progress rocket.  The
crew had released the trash-filled rocket Tuesday and was attempting
to re-dock it.  Russian space officials now are figuring out how to
fix the damaged Spektr module and what to do with the cargo ship,
which continues to orbit Earth near the space station.  NASA says
it's working closely with the Russian flight team to determine the
appropriate action.

In addition to Foale, the Mir is staffed by Russian cosmonauts
Vasily Tsibliyev and Alexander Lazutkin.  Foale has been aboard Mir
since mid-May, when he replaced Jerry Linenger, KC5HBR.  Linenger
had his share of problems during his four-month stay on Mir,
including a fire and coolant-system leaks.

For news updates, see


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