Mir Computer Crashes Again
Nov. 24, 1997
MOSCOW (AP) _ The Mir space station suffered yet another computer breakdown that knocked out power, but Russian space officials didn't report the problem until today _ after it was fixed.
A new computer was installed Saturday night and Sunday morning, and officials maintained all was well today aboard the Mir.
``Now everything is fine _ no problem,'' said spokesman Vera Medvedkova.
As recently as September, the Mir's worn-out computer broke down almost weekly until the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis delivered a new unit. Those breakdowns received worldwide attention in the wake of a June collision with a cargo ship that severely hampered the Mir's functions.
The replacement computer had operated faultlessly until the weekend breakdown. Although the space station now has no complete computer in storage in the event of another breakdown, officials said numerous spare parts are at hand for the computer.
The nearly 12-year-old Mir has limped through a difficult 1997, still needed until a new international space station is constructed and launched into orbit.
Yuri Koptev, general director of the Russian Space Agency, told the ITAR-Tass news agency today that there should be no problem keeping the Mir _ intended initially to last only five years _ functioning until late 1999 or early 2000.
Medvedkova also said a NASA-requested spacewalk that had been scheduled for Dec. 5 has been tentatively postponed until January.
U.S. astronaut David Wolf has been studying flight manuals to prepare for the spacewalk with Mir commander Anatoly Solovyov.
But Medvedkova said it would likely be put off because of preparations involving the Inspektor, a small satellite to be released from the Mir on Dec. 17. The Inspektor is designed to check the exterior of space station.
According to the Interfax news agency, Solovyov and cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov asked for the delay so they can repair the depressurized outer hatch of the Kvant-2 module, among other tasks.