ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS013 (1997)

ARLS013 STS-83 refly is a "go" for July with SAREX on board

Space Bulletin 013  ARLS013
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  April 25, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLS013 STS-83 refly is a ''go'' for July with SAREX on board

Word from NASA this week is that shuttle mission STS-83--cut short
in early April because of a fuel cell problem aboard the
spacecraft--will be reflown in July with the Shuttle Amateur Radio
EXperiment--SAREX--aboard. The new mission will be dubbed STS-94.
The space shuttle Columbia prematurely returned to Earth April 8
without making any of the scheduled QSOs with 18 schools in the US,
the People's Republic of China, and Japan. Sixteen schools want to
arrange new schedules for the July mission, which will again carry
the microgravity science lab. Three hams were aboard STS-83: Jim
Halsell, KC5RNI, the mission commander; Janice Voss, KC5BTK; and
Donald Thomas, KC5FVF. The same crew likely will be tapped for
STS-94, set to launch on July 1 for a 16-day mission.

In the meantime, more QSOs of a scheduled round of ten MIREX school
contacts have taken place with Jerry Linenger, KC5HBR, aboard the
Russian Mir space station. Students at Holy Angels School in Dayton,
Ohio, got a chance to chat with Linenger April 21. The ground
station, W8DOZ, was running 35 W into a turnstile antenna. On April
23, students at Jerling Junior High School in Orland Park,
Illinois--a Chicago suburb--had a 10-minute contact with Linenger.
More than a dozen students got to speak directly to Linenger as an
audience of 800 students and 200 visitors looked on. Nearly 2500
students in other schools also got to listen in.

Linenger and his cosmonaut flight companions, Mir-23 Commander
Vasily Tsibliev and Flight Engineer Alexander Lazutkin, managed to
restore one of two Elektron oxygen generators aboard Mir. The repair
ended a serious problem for the Russian space outpost. The three
used equipment shipped to Mir April 8 aboard a Progress resupply
rocket.  With the Elektron electrolysis system at least partially
back in operation and the Mir's primary carbon dioxide scrubber also
operational once more, the air aboard the Mir is healthier than it
has been in weeks. Because the system is not producing oxygen at a
rate sufficient for three crew members, however, the crew is
supplementing the Mir's atmosphere with gaseous oxygen. The Mir also
has a healthy stock of oxygen-generating candles to use if
necessary.  Wire service reports say the Mir crew has, for the time
being, given up efforts to track down an elusive cooling system leak
that's allowing ethylene glycol coolant to leak into the atmosphere
of one spacecraft module.

NASA reportedly intends to go ahead with plans for astronaut Michael
Foale, KB5UAC,  ADD  to  replace Linenger in mid-May. Foale, who
will arrive on the shuttle Atlantis, is scheduled to be replaced in
September by astronaut Wendy Lawrence, KC5KII. The last US astronaut
scheduled for a tour of duty on Mir is David Wolf, KC5VPF, in early
1998. The 11-year-old Mir space station eventually will be replaced
by the International Space Station--a cooperative venture between
Russia and the US.