re: STS-76 Early Landing...

Philip Chien (
Sat, 23 Mar 1996 19:38:22 -0400

"Josh R. Williams" <> naively asked:
>Is it true what I hear about the early landing of the STS-76 mission due
>to a problem with the Hydraulics? How soon after the docking will they be
>landing? Thanks,

foolish person!  Never ever take what you hear on the news at face value.
About two space reporters know what they're talking about (and for the life
of me I can't remember who the other one is) and most of them just know how
to blow smoke.

Yes, there was a problem with a leak of hydraulic fluid (synthetic oil)
from one ot the Auxilary Power Units during the launch.  But there are
three units on board, there's plenty of redundancy, the APUs are not needed
until preparations for landing begin.  NASA is planning on starting that
particular APU last, fulling expecting that it will begin to leak when it
goes to high pressure mode.  But the leak rate is low enough to permit a
completely safe landing, without any added risk or concerns.  The only
thing is a loss of some redundancy in the backup capabilities.

This information came from somebody who knew what he's talking about.
Modesty prevents me from telling you who ...

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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