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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Test Fails To Find Mir Leak




During its last flight around the Mir space station, the crew of the U.S. space shuttle Discovery did not see the spot where the Spektr module was punctured during a collision with a supply spacecraft last summer, Interfax reported from mission control near Moscow.


After the shuttle undocked from the station, Mir commander Talgat Musabayev and flight engineer Nikolai Budarin filled Spektr with a mixture of nitrogen and acetone, which glows under ultraviolet rays and should be clearly seen against the dark backdrop of the module.


The test should have helped pinpoint the puncture on the craft.


However, preliminary reports say the experiment failed to achieve the desired result. The videotape made from the shuttle may help clarify the situation because special equipment will be used for the data processing.


At 9:28 p.m. Moscow time, Discovery got the go-ahead to leave Mir, and the crew began work on a NASA program. The space shuttle is due to land on Friday morning.


Discovery's crew is comprised of commander Charles Joseph Precourt, pilot Dominic Gorie and flight specialists Wendy Berrien Lawrence, Franklin Ramon Chang-Diaz and Janet Kavandi.


Also on board is Valery Ryumin, deputy general designer of Energiya space company. The shuttle picked up NASA astronaut Andrew Thomas, who completed his research program aboard Mir.


Musabayev and Budarin will remain on Mir until the end of 1999, when the station will be left to burn up in the atmosphere.