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Russia: Officials Say Mir Stabilizing After Power Outage


Moscow, 17 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian space officials say the situation on the Mir space station is stabilizing after a massive power outage earlier today caused a breakdown in the station's on-board computer system and disrupted its orbit.

Mission ground control said that several hours after the outage the spacecraft's batteries were recharging and the crew planned to begin switching back on various life-support systems. It's hoped the batteries will be recharged by this evening.

The power supply failure was caused by one of the crew mistakenly disconnecting a vital cable. After the incident most systems had to be shut down to save energy. As part of the emergency procedures the crew briefly evacuated to the Soyuz rescue capsule.

NASA spokesman Dom Sickorez said the three-men crew later returned to the main station. Tricky repairs are still planned next week to reconnect cables to one of Mir's modules damaged in a collision with a supply craft last month.

In Washington, U.S. President Bill Clinton said he was briefed this morning about the situation on the Mir space station.

Clinton said, however, he does not have enough information on the most recent problems aboard Mir to decide on future U.S. cooperation with Russia on use of the orbiting station.

Clinton said Russian space officials "have got control of things" and that there seems to be no immediate crisis on board the space station.
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