News

Mir Space Station Status Update

Thu, 24 Apr 1997 16:57:11 -0400
Chris Faranetta, Energia LTD. (703) 836-1999



The following update provides a brief summary on the present health of
the crew and status of the major systems aboard the Mir Space Station. 

Crew Health: All three crew members of the station have recently
completed and passed a rigorous physical examination which was conducted
by Russian flight surgeons from Mir Mission Control Center. The flight
surgeons have also cleared Mir-23 mission commander Vasily Tsibllyev and
U.S. astronaut Jerry Linenger for a space walk that is planned to start
at 8:55 AM Moscow time on April 29. 

Present Microclimate Conditions inside the Space Station: The oxygen,
carbon monoxide, temperature and humidity levels inside the space
station have all returned to normal. 
Cooling Systems: A small leak still remains in a pipe seal in the Kvant
module cooling system. The Kvant cooling system is presently not being
operated to facilitate repairs planned for the near future. 
Several small leaks still remain in the core module of the space station
and these leaks are scheduled to be repaired by the crew over the next
several weeks. Hydraulic thermal control systems located in the other
four research modules of the space station are all functioning normally
at this time. 
In general, Mir mission controllers are satisfied with the progress of
repairs to the space station's cooling systems. 

Oxygen Generation Systems: The Elektron oxygen generation system in the
Kvant 2 module has been repaired and is operating normally. A
malfunctioning Elektron unit which was located in the Kvant module has
been disassembled and packaged for return to Earth aboard the Space
Shuttle Atlantis. The Space Shuttle Atlantis will be delivering a new
Elektron unit to Mir to replace the faulty unit . 
Other Oxygen Reserves: The automated cargo vehicle Progress M-34 which
is presently docked to the space station has 52 man-days of gaseous
oxygen stored in its tanks. Progress M-34 delivered an additional supply
of oxygen canisters to the space station. The canisters, which store
oxygen in a solid form, make up a reserve totaling 223 man-days. 
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Absorption Systems: The Vozdukh carbon dioxide
absorption system in the Kvant module is operating normally without heat
regulation from the Kvant cooling system. A back up Vozdukh system will
be set-up in the core module using equipment delivered by the Space
Shuttle and Progress M-35. To augment the Vozdukh system, there is an
18-day reserve supply of solid CO2 absorber canisters aboard the space
station. 
In general the situation aboard the Mir has been improving since the
arrival of Progress M-34. 
Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia), formerly known as NPO
Energia, is Russia's oldest space organization. RSC Energia operates the
Mir Space Station, manufactures the Proton booster's Block D upperstage
and maintains other support facilities for the Russian Space Agency. The
company is also the prime contractor for the Russian segment of the
International Space Station which is headed by NASA.