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Russia: Mir Crew Readies For Repair Mission

Moscow, 17 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Russian-American crew of the Mir space station rehearsed today for a second repair mission into the damaged Spektr science module. Russian commander Anatoly Solovyov and flight engineer Pavel Vinogradov spent three hours in bulky spacesuits for the rehearsal.

The mission into the airless and powerless Spektr module is scheduled for Monday. The cosmonauts will spend 5 1/2 hours trying to connect Spektr's solar panels to an ocomputer located in another part of the station. Spektr was struck and pierced by a cargo ship in a June 25 collision.

In their previous repair mission into Spektr, Solovyov and Vinogradov reconnected 11 power cables which significantly increased Mir's power supply, cut by half after the collision. Monday's spacewalk will be the third for Solovyov and the second for Vinogradov. American David Wolf will remain behind the Mir craft.