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[jamsat-news:1028] * SpaceNews 15-Feb-99 *

* SpaceNews 15-Feb-99 *

BID: $SPC0215


		        MONDAY FEBRUARY 15, 1999

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

SUNSAT's launch attempt for Saturday 1999-Feb-13 was canceled due to a
power supply problem on the Delta II launch vehicle.  Repairs to the
power supply could take up to five days which will bring the time the
launch vehicle has been on the pad to 40 days.  The secondary stage
of the Delta II can only be fueled for 35 days after which it must be
"recycled", because of fuel tank corrosion caused by the propellant.
The next SUNSAT launch attempt isn't expected for at least another week.

A change in the operating schedule of FUJI-OSCAR-29 was recently announced.
The current schedule is as follows:

1999-Feb-08 to 1999-Feb-15  Mode JA
1999-Feb-15 to 1999-Feb-18  Mode JA
1999-Feb-19 to 1999-Feb-22  Digitalker (pre-recorded voice announcement)

The reason for the extended Mode JA period stems from the fact that
two bit errors were detected by the satellite's on-board computer on
1999-Feb-03, so the Mode JD seesion scheduled for earlier this month
has been canceled.

[Info via Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK]

Senior Russian space officials reported last week that efforts to find
private investors to keep Mir aloft are failing, and the station might
be dumped into a watery grave in the Pacific Ocean by late summer.

The Mir space station has been staffed almost continuously since its core
module was launched on 1986-Feb-20.  Sixty cosmonauts and astronauts from
around the world have conducted research there, including seven Americans
that visited the station between 1995 and 1998.  Nine U.S. shuttle flights
were also flown to Mir as a precursor to construction of NASA's new
International Space Station.

Russian cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev along with crewmates Jean-Pierre
Heignere of France and Ivan Bella of Slovakia are expected to arrive on
Mir on its 13th birthday later this month.  Bella, the first Slovakian
to fly in space, is expected to return to Earth in early March with
Mir's current commander, Gennady Padalka.  Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev, the
station's current flight engineer, is to remain onboard with Afanasyev
and Heignere until August.

In the end, a pair of Progress space freighters are expected to be used
to gradually lower the station from its current orbit 250 miles above
Earth to one about 100 miles above the planet.  Second, a new, advanced
Progress freighter that can carry twice the fuel of earlier models would
be launched to Mir.  Once the new ship docked at Mir, the crew would
shut down most station systems before returning to Earth aboard a Soyuz
spacecraft.  Ground controllers then would fire the new Progress's
powerful engines, sending Mir on a destructive plunge through the
atmosphere.  Most the 130-ton outpost would burn up in the atmosphere.
Any remaining pieces would fall harmlessly into a remote area of the
Pacific Ocean.

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

      <<=- SpaceNews: The first amateur newsletter read in space! -=>>
	    <<=- Serving the planet (and beyond) since 1987 -=>>


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