Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2001
The launch of this tanker has been delayed for 4 or 5 days due to serious problems aboard the MIR-space station. MIR: Insufficient power supply to one of the Modules caused a malfunction in the attitude control system of the complex. The huge gyroscopes (called gyrodynes) stopped, and the TsVM-1 (Main Computer) and the SUD (control of movements) switched themselves off.
Now the complex is in the so called ‚"free drift". The BUPO, the analogue back-up system, needed to achieve the necessary stable attitude for the activation of the digital attitude control system, does not function at this point. TsUP will do all what is possible to activate all systems today.
Telemetry: Today (18.01) during the pass of the MIR-station in orbit 85308, I could monitor the telemetry transmitters on 638.085.7 and 637.829.0 mc between 10.28.29 and 10.30.10UTC. The signals were very weak. I did not hear the telemetry transmissions in the 166 and 165 mc bands.
Consequencies: The Russians have to do all what is possible to cope with this problem. In my opinion a manned maintenance mission inevitable. This crew will have to take care for a thorough overhaul of all crucial systems. I would not be surprised if we get an official announcement about such a mission today or tomorrow.
Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202
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