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Russia: Launch Announced For Supply Shipment To Mir

Moscow, 27 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russia will launch an unmanned supply ship early next month to take repair materials to the damaged Mir space station.

Reuters quotes Russian Space Agency head Yuri Koptev as saying today that the launch will be on July 4, or July 5 at the latest. He spoke from Russian mission control for Mir at Korolyov, outside Moscow.

Koptev said that the supply ship, to be launched from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, will carry equipment allowing the Mir crew to recover the electric power they lost in an accident two days ago.

Damage to one of the station's six modules two days ago cut power aboard the station by about a third. The power loss has forced the crew of two Russians and one American to halt scientitific experiments and stop physical exercise to save energy.