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Space News



(Note:  This mission will not go on the air with amateur radio but will
deliver ARISS hardware.  Look for Space Station activity on the next
flight, in November which we plan to report in this space)


               Sept. 1, 2000

               NASA deems spacewalking spacesuits safe

               By Steven Siceloff
               FLORIDA TODAY

               CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - With the launch of shuttle
Atlantis to the
               International Space Station a week away, NASA officials
are satisfied that the
               spacesuits to be used on a spacewalk during the 11-day
mission are safe.

               "Everybody is very happy with (the suits)," NASA
spokesman James Hartsfield
               said Thursday from Johnson Space Center in Houston,
adding three of the
               suits have been loaded onto Atlantis.

               The safety of the spacewalking suits sparked concerns
earlier this summer
               after NASA disclosed that an oily residue on the suits
could have started a fire.
               The residue, which was found on emergency oxygen systems
attached to the
               suits, was cleaned from three of the suits to prepare for
this mission.

               Two of the suits aboard Atlantis will be used by
astronaut Ed Lu and Russian
               cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko during a 6 1/2-hour
station-construction
               spacewalk scheduled for late Sept. 10 and early Sept. 11.
The third suit is a
               backup.

               The other nine suits are being cleaned for future
missions, including the
               scheduled launch of shuttle Discovery on Oct. 5,
Hartsfield said.

               The suits should be ready in plenty of time for the
Discovery journey and
               missions after that, including shuttle Endeavour's late
November station flight.

               The suits, which cost $12 million each, should not be
confused with the orange
               spacesuits astronauts wear at launches and landings. NASA
needs all 12
               spacewalking suits to complete construction of the space
station, with at least
               20 spacewalks planned during the next 18 months.

               Meanwhile, the Atlantis crew was gearing up to travel to
Kennedy Space
               Center on Monday in preparation for a launch Friday
morning. The launch is
               scheduled for a window that runs from 8:45 and 8:47 a.m.,
with Atlantis
               scheduled to return to KSC on Sept. 19.

               During their mission, the seven-member Atlantis crew will
deliver 5,000
               pounds of food, supplies and clothing to the station in
preparation for the
               arrival of the first crew in November.

               In addition to Lu and Malenchenko, other crew members
include commander
               Terry Wilcutt, pilot Scott Altman, astronauts Rick
Mastracchio and Dan
               Burbank and Russian cosmonaut Boris Morukov.

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