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Russia: Preparations Continue For Repair Of Mir

Korolyov, Russia; 2 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Mission Control says preparations are continuing for repairs to the Mir space station.

Vsevolod Latyshev, a mission control spokesman at the Korolyov center near Moscow, said today that an underwater pool is being used near the Russian capital to simulate repair work. Actual repairs are tentatively scheduled for July 14.

Mir, manned by two Russians and an American, was damaged last week when it was rammed by an unmanned cargo craft. The collision punctured one of Mir's modules, forcing its closure after pressure and oxygen escaped into space. It also reduced electricity supplies to the rest of Mir.

The underwater work is meant to minimize problems when cosmonauts aboard Mir enter the damaged module to attempt repairs.

First, repair supplies must be sent from Earth. Latyshev said that a team of experts had departed for Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch site to oversee the loading of an unmanned cargo craft due to lift off with repair supplies on Saturday.