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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS030 (1997)

ARLS030 NASA gives KC5VPF the green light for Mir stay

Space Bulletin 030  ARLS030
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  September 25, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLS030 NASA gives KC5VPF the green light for Mir stay

Ham radio aboard Mir will continue at least for another four months.
US astronaut David Wolf, KC5VPF, will get to replace his colleague
Mike Foale, KB5UAC, aboard the Russian space station.  Under intense
political pressure to consider discontinuing the presence of US
astronauts aboard the ailing and aging space station, NASA
Administrator Dan Goldin gave the okay September 25 for Wolf's Mir
stay.  Approval came only hours before the shuttle Atlantis was to
be launched from Cape Canaveral on mission STS-86 and a rendezvous
with Mir.  Wolf will continue the permanent US presence on the
station that began in 1996 with Shannon Lucid.

Goldin cited separate scientific reviews of the situation aboard Mir
in his decision to deliver Wolf to Mir as originally planned.  ''We
move forward not only because it is safe, but for the important
scientific and human experience we can gain only from Mir,'' Goldin
said.  He added that, as NASA looks toward next June's launch of the
first element of the International Space Station, ''nothing can beat
the hands-on, real-time training aboard Mir.''

Early this year, a fire broke out aboard Mir.  The spacecraft also
has had various mechanical problems, including malfunctions of its
oxygen-generating and carbon dioxide scrubbing systems.  In late
June, a collision with an unmanned Progress supply rocket during a
docking maneuver damaged the spacecraft's Spektr module and
disrupted scientific research.  Among subsequent problems, Mir has
suffered from repeated computer system failures, including a failure
earlier this week.  The Atlantis is to carry a new computer to Mir.

Wolf, 41, is both an electrical engineer and a medical doctor.  A
native of Indianapolis, Wolf is single.  He has been an astronaut
since 1990 and served as a mission specialist aboard the shuttle
Columbia in late 1993.

Meanwhile, astronaut Andy Thomas is scheduled to replace Wolf aboard
Mir in January.  Thomas just received his Amateur Radio call sign.
He's KD5CHF, which he says stands for ''Cosmonauts Having Fun.''  He
will take the place of Wendy Lawrence, KC5KII, in the Mir rotation.


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