Dale Ireland (direland@drdale.com)
Fri, 16 Apr 1999 09:44:09 -0700

Florida today reports that the RS-17 satellite was indeed hand launched from
MIR yesterday. Has anyone spotted it?
The satellite was the subject of controversy as it was to transmit
commercially sponsored messages from the Swatch Company in the amateur band.
After much pressure Swatch announced on their site at Swatch.com that the
satellite would not be launched because the batteries were needed as
replacements for another experiment on MIR. This seemed like a false excuse
to extricate them from an uncomfortable situation.
It is still unclear if the small satellite was actually launched without
batteries or not at all.
It should be about mag 7-8 and leading MIR by a few seconds.
Does anyone have another source that could confirm the launch?

Dale Ireland
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