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Russia: Mir Replacement Crew To Launch Today

Moscow, 5 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Preparations continue at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of this evening's planned liftoff of a rocket carrying a replacement crew for the orbiting Mir station.

Launch is scheduled for 19:35 Moscow time (17:35 Prague time). Soon after they board the Mir, Commander Anatoly Solovyov and flight engineer Pavel Vinogradov will conduct repairs inside the Spektr module, which was punctured when the spacecraft collided with a supply ship in June.

Solovyov told reporters yesterday that when the repairs are completed on August 20, Mir will resume its work "almost as it was before."

The present crew aboard the Mir continues to try to repair an oxygen generator which failed overnight. Russian mission control says the latest mishap has not put the crew in danger.