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Cosmonaut Brings in Cargo Ship

By MARCIA DUNN
.c The Associated Press

  
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A Russian cosmonaut aboard the international 
space station had to bring in a cargo ship by remote control Friday night 
after an automatic system failed. 

Yuri Gidzenko used a joystick to guide the Russian Progress ship to a safe 
linkup with the space station, almost an hour later than planned. 

It was the first Progress docking for the three-man station crew, on board 
for just two weeks. 

Everything was going well earlier in the evening as the Progress, loaded with 
food, boots, brackets, cables, an air conditioner and other supplies, closed 
in on the space station. 

Once the cargo ship was within 300 feet, however, its automatic docking 
system would not lock onto the space station, and Gidzenko was forced to take 
over. 

He brought the cargo ship to within 15 feet of the space station, then 
stopped because of glaring sunlight and a camera lens fogged by ice. Some 40 
minutes later, he finished the job. Because the space station was out of 
communication at the time of contact, Mission Control had to wait another 40 
minutes before knowing whether the docking had been accomplished. 

``I would like to congratulate you for your bravery and heroism and your 
ability to be patient,'' a Russian flight controller radioed up. ``You guys 
have used a lot of adrenaline, huh? OK, well, you guys relax a bit. You've 
earned it.'' 

NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd, the station's first commander, moved into the 
space station for a four-month stay on Nov. 2, along with Gidzenko and 
Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. 

The three men have just two weeks to unload the cargo ship. Space shuttle 
Endeavour is scheduled to lift off Nov. 30 with new solar wings for the 
station, and the cargo ship must be gone by the time the shuttle arrives. 

On the Net: 

NASA: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov 
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