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Space Station Crash! - Windows to the Universe

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The crippled Mir space station.
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NASA

Mir Space Station Crippled By Collision!
News story originally written on June 27, 1997

The movie Apollo 13 showed the struggle of the crew to survive their mission. Right now, three men aboard the Mir space station are fighting for survival because of a recent accident.

On Wednesday, June 25, the space station Mir hit a cargo ship causing an air leak and power outage in the station. The men, U.S. astronaut Michael Foale, Mir commander Vasily Tsibiev, and flight engineer Alexander Lazutkin, were not hurt in the accident.

One of Mir's six labs was severely damaged and station power was decreased by 50%, so all but essential life-support systems have been turned off. The men do have enough food and water.

The leak in the station is very dangerous. It would have meant that the crew could not breathe. Fortunately, the crew was able to close a hatch leading to the module that contained the leak. A space walk outside of Mir to repair the coin-sized hole is being discussed.

The Russian news agency Novosti reports that the crew is safe and in no danger.Though the Soyuz escape craft is available, there are no plans for the crew to leave Mir at this time.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF