News

Voice of America 4/11/97

MIR/LINENGER NEWS CONF (L)


BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE
DATELINE=WASHINGTON 
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE CREW ON BOARD RUSSIA'S ORBITING MIR 
SPACE STATION IS STILL WORKING TO REPAIR 
OXYGEN-GENERATING AND COOLING EQUIPMENT THAT 
MALFUNCTIONED IN RECENT WEEKS.  ABOARD MIR IS 
AMERICAN ASTRONAUT JERRY LINENGER WHO TOLD 
REPORTERS THROUGH AN AUDIO HOOK-UP FRIDAY 
MUCH WORK REMAINS TO BE DONE UNDER WHAT CAN
BE DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.   MORE FROM EARTH-BOUND
CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE. 

TEXT:   ASTRONAUT LINENGER AND HIS TWO RUSSIAN 
CREW MATES HAVE BEEN UNLOADING A SUPPLY SHIP 
WITH TOOLS TO FIX LEAKY COOLANT PIPES AND A BROKEN
OXYGEN GENERATOR, TWO PROBLEMS THAT HE SAYS 
HAVE MADE CONDITIONS IN THE MIR CABIN A BIT 
UNCOMFORTABLE.

                       // LINENGER ACT //

WE'RE HAVING SOME CONGESTION, SECONDARY I'M SURE TO SOME
OF THE FUMES.  THE TEMPERATURE OF COURSE NOT ONLY 
AFFECTS US BUT ALSO AFFECTS SOME OF THE HARDWARE ON 
BOARD AND THE ABILITY TO REMOVE THE MOISTURE FROM THE 
AIR.    

                         // END ACT // 

THOSE PROBLEMS COME AFTER A FIRE THAT BROKE OUT 
ON BOARD MIR IN FEBRUARY, A MONTH AFTER ASTRONAUT
LINENGER ARRIVED ON MIR. AND ONEHE TOLD AMERICAN
REPORTERS THE FIRE NEARLY FORCED THE CREW TO 
ABANDON SHIP. 

                    // SECOND LINENGER ACT //

PROBABLY 15 MINUTES INTO THE FIRE, WE WERE PROBABLY 
DEFINITELY READY TO EVACUATE THE STATION AND THE MAJOR 
PROBLEM BEING THAT ONE OF THE SOYUZ (SPACECRAFT) WAS ON 
THE WRONG SIDE OF THE FOYER (THE MIR EXIT).  BUT THE 
COMMANDER HAD ALREADY CHECKED OUT THE ONE SOYUZ AND WE 
WERE DOING ALL THE NECESSARY ACTIONS TO EVACUATE. 

                         // END ACT // 

BOTH U-S AND RUSSIAN SPACE OFFICIALS WILL BE 
EXAMINING THE STATE OF MIR BEFORE A DECISION IS 
MADE ON WHETHER TO SEND UP ASTRONAUT LINENGER'S 
REPLACEMENT NEXT MONTH. 

THE 11 YEAR-OLD RUSSIAN SPACECRAFT WAS BUILT TO 
LAST ONLY FIVE YEARS AND IT MAY BE SHOWING ITS AGE.
BUT RUSSIAN SPACE OFFICIALS CALL THIS RECENT RUN 
OF BAD LUCK EXAGGERATED AND THEY WERE IRRITATED
OVER NASA'S CHARACTERIZATION OF RECENT OXYGEN 
PROBLEMS AS CRITICAL.   AFTER SIGNS OF STRAINED 
RELATIONS BETWEEN U-S AND RUSSIAN SPACE OFFICIALS, 
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN SAYS HE WILL 
RELEASE MONEY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF AN INTERNATIONAL
SPACE STATION -- ALREADY DELAYED.  HE ALSO LASHED
OUT IN PUBLIC AT HIS TOP SPACE OFFICIAL FOR ALLOWING
ONE OF RUSSIA'S PIONEERING PROJECTS TO LAPSE.  (SIGNED) 

NEB/NJS/KL 

11-Apr-97 12:20 PM EDT (1620 UTC)
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