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[jamsat-news:499] * SpaceNews 03-Mar-97 *

* SpaceNews 03-Mar-97 *

BID: $SPC0303


			  MONDAY MARCH 3, 1997

SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA.  It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.

A problem with an oxygen-generating device on the Mir space station on
the night of 23-Feb-97 set off fire alarms and caused minor damage to
some hardware on the station.  No injuries to any of the six crewmembers
on board were reported.  The fire was located in the Kvant 1 module.

The fire, which began at 10:35 p.m. Sunday, Moscow time, burned for about
90 seconds.  The crew was exposed to heavy smoke for five to seven minutes
and donned masks in response.  After completing physical exams of everyone
on board, U.S. astronaut Jerry Linenger, a physician, reported that all
crewmembers are in good health.  Medical personnel had directed them to
wear goggles and masks until an analysis of the Mir atmosphere had been 

Lithium perchlorate candles are burned to generate supplemental oxygen
when more than three people are on board the space station.  The oxygen-
generating candles usually burn for five to 20 minutes.  Russian officials
believe the problem began when a crack in the oxygen generator's shell
allowed the contents of the cartridge to leak into the hardware in which
it was located.  Crewmembers extinguished the fire with foam from three 
fire extinguishers, each containing two liters of a water-based liquid.

The damage to some of Mir's hardware resulted from excessive heat rather
than from open flame.  The heat destroyed the hardware in which the device,
known as a "candle," was burning, as well as the panel covering the device.
The crew also reported that the outer insulation layers on various cables
were melted by the heat.  It is reported by Russian flight controllers
that all Mir systems continue to operate normally, however.

"It is unfortunate that this incident occurred, but we are thankful that
there were no injuries," said Frank Culbertson, Director of the Phase One
Shuttle-Mir program.  "Russian management and operations specialists have
been very informative as to what happened, and we are working closely with
them on evaluating the health of the crew and how best to respond to the 
damage," added Culbertson.

"The crew did a great job handling the fire, and the ground support has
been excellent on both sides."

[Info via NASA]

The 2-meter packet station on Mir is designed to be used as a Personal Mail
System for the crews working on the Russian Space Station Mir.  The "PMS" as
it is called, is not to be used as a Bulletin Board Service (BBS).  The Chief
of the Cosmonaut Amateur Radio Department, Sergej Samburov RV3DR (MAREX), is
requesting users to stop sending CQ Mail messages and Third Party Traffic
messages (messages between to Amateur Radio Stations on the same planet)
via the Mir PMS.  Traffic should be limited to mail to and from the Mir
crew members.  The Mir crews are very busy and do not have a lot of time
to spend clearing out old third party messages.  Also, the storage capacity
of the Pac-Com Handi Packet TNC is limited to 15 Kb of RAM.  There were
several times last month when the PMS buffer overflowed, preventing the
loading of important information which the Mir crew was expecting.

Groundstations can still use the PMS to send short messages to the Mir crew,
but please keep in mind the crews are very busy and you are not guaranteed
a reply.

[Info via Miles Mann WF1F & Dr. Dave Larsen N6CO/N6JLH  MIREX]

* AO-10 NEWS *
AMSAT-OSCAR-10 is experiencing poor solar illumination at perigee.  Users
are asked to terminate their use of the transponder if downlink signals
show signs of frequency instability (FMing) with modulation.

Stacy Mills (W4SM) and Ken Ernandes (N2WWD) have brought an old Keplerian
data set for AO-10 up to date for greater accuracy with tracking programs.
This data set should be good for tracking AO-10 over the next several

1 14129U 83058B   97054.50000000  .00000010  00000-0  57107-5 0  5005  
2 14129  25.8792 163.0281 6052907  93.3854 313.1701  2.05882272103000

Any observations regarding the use of these elements should be directed to
Ken (n2wwd@amsat.org) and Stacy (w4sm@amsat.org).

Ken Ernandes reports that STS-83 pre-launch orbital data is now available
on the AMSAT Web page.  The Nominal OMS-2 (initial orbit) data is available
on the AMSAT Shuttle Orbital Data Page:


This data includes the time-independent State Vector and the corresponding
Keplerian elements, assuming the scheduled 03-APR-97 19:01 UTC launch date
and time.  If the launch date or time changes, the new Keplerian elements
can be computed from the State Vector after providing VEC2TLE the newi
launch time.  

The following Keplerian elements were computed by VEC2TLE from the state
vector for the scheduled launch time:

1 99983U          97093.82177810  .00013578  77361-9  42221-4 0    16
2 99983  28.4683 307.7046 0003453 327.0545 272.8833 15.90321993    15

A complete set of nominal State Vectors for the STS-83 mission are available
on the AMSAT State Vector Tutorial page.  This page is accessible from the
Shuttle Orbital Data page or directly at:


The current version of the VEC2TLE software may also be downloaded from the
Shuttle Orbital Data page.

On March 15, NASA Television will begin broadcasting via a new satellite
that will allow reception by a wider audience throughout the continental
United States, Alaska and Hawaii.  NASA Television is designed to provide
real-time coverage of Agency activities and missions as well as resource
video to the news media, and educational programming to teachers, students
and the general public. 

NTV currently is transmitted on the Spacenet 2 satellite, which is nearing
the end of its life cycle.  The GE-2 satellite, which was launched in
January and is operated by GE Americom, will provide NASA TV with a larger
"footprint," or coverage area.

Effective March 15, NTV will be available on GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85
degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz,
and audio of 6.8 MHz.

[Info via NASA News]

Thanks to the following who sent messages of appreciation to SpaceNews:


Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor (John,
KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW       : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
INTERNET  : kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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