More notes on Mir situation

Philip Chien (
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 22:46:08 -0400

this message is going to a couple of different folks, so some information
may or may not be of particular interest.

copyright 1997  Philip Chien Earth News.  All Rights reserved.  This
information is provided for informational purposes only, and may not be
redistributed or published without permission.

It seems incredible, but one of the items the Mir crew has powered back up
is its ham radio rig.  Apparently (and this is only my theory) the crew
feel that it's important enough for their moral, it's another form of
communications, and a relatively low power activity.

Obviously the same protocols apply as with any other ham radio conversation
with anybody aboard Mir.  Let the space traveller control how the
conversation goes, and when they want to move on to another ham, respect
their wishes.

The SAFEX rig is, and has always been in the Priroda module.  Any reports
otherwise are in error.  Where the confusion may have come from is how
systems are powered on Mir.  Priroda is the only major Mir module without
its own solar arrays.  By the point it was launched there was enough power
generated by Mir's existing arrays so Priroda didn't need its own power
generating source.  Power cables are hooked up between the different Mir
modules to distribute power from the other modules.  Spektr is one of Mir's
most recent modules and has its most efficient solar arrays (solar arrays
lose efficiency over time) so it powers much of the Mir complex.  The
confusion may have arised because of where SAFEX receives its power - not
where it's physically located.

Plans are being devised for an IVA (Intravehicular Activity) - a spacewalk
in reverse.  The cosmonauts would go in to Spektr to replace its hatch with
another one with pass through holes to permit the hookup of replacement
power cables from Spektr's solar arrays to the rest of Mir.  I believe this
will be the very first vacuum IVA in the space program.  A story will
appear in the Saturday June 28th Boston Globe about the plans for these
activities.  Modesty prevents me from saying anything more about that
particular article ...

After Progress 'bounced' off Spektr its Russian ground controllers were
able to regain control.  It's being tested to try to determine what
happened.  The flight controllers will instruct Progress to reenter over
the Pacific ocean and it will burn up on reentry.  As a rule whenever a
Progress reenters most of it will burn up, with the remaining pieces small
enough and scattered enough to have an insignificant potential for damage -
especially over very low population areas. I've heard June 29th as the
planned deorbit date.

I've been reminded that the 143.625 Mhz. downlink is wideband FM (+-50Khz)
which may not be completely intelligible on typical scanners and amateur

Philip Chien [M1959.05.31/31.145//]