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The Dangers on Mir Revealed



Thanks to Dave Alpert of ABC Radio News for the advance notice. 

Larry Van Horn
Managing Editor
Satellite Times magazine

==================
May 26, 1998


ABC NEWS "PRIMETIME LIVE" CO-ANCHOR SAM DONALDSON REVEALS EXCLUSIVE
DOCUMENTS ON DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ON THE RUSSIAN SPACE STATION MIR,
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

	ABC News "PrimeTime Live" co-anchor Sam Donaldson reports on the dangerous
conditions on the 12-year-old Russian space station, Mir, on "PrimeTime
Live," WEDNESDAY, MAY 27 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television
Network. Mr. Donaldson obtained confidential documents by a NASA astronaut
in charge of safety, which call the Mir mission "a disaster waiting to
happen." In addition, the report by Mr. Donaldson reveals a previous fire
aboard Mir, which Russian officials have apparently kept a secret even from
NASA.

	A former NASA official, who wrote a series of critical letters to the space
agency about Mir, discusses his concerns about the aging space craft, which
was designed to last only five years. The letters outline such perilous
problems as communications blackouts, coolant leaks, computer failures and
fires.

	Astronaut Jerry Linenger, who spent months on Mir last year, talks about
his ordeal in space fighting a near-fatal fire, and the communications
problems between the spaceship and mission control in Moscow.

	"Every orbit, you only have maybe a five or six minute window to talk, and
then remaining 90 minutes, you're out of communication," states Linenger.
"The bottom line is you are on your own up there, and during the fire, there
was actually a moment, I looked out the window and noticed we were flying
over the New York-Boston area, and I had a thought I should go on the ham
radio at least, give a distress call, and tell them to please contact
Mission Control Moscow. Tell them that we are going to be abandoning the
spaceship. We have a severe fire. And I thought about doing it, and then I
told myself, 'No one is going to help us. We're up here, we are by
ourselves, we're going to live or die by our own abilities.' You are on your
own up there."

	Phyllis McGrady is the executive producer of ABC News "PrimeTime Live."


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