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Cablegate: Observations On Soviet "Mir" Space Station

O 211410Z FEB 86
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1025
INFO DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
EASTERN EUROPEAN POSTS
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD
USIA WASHDC 3599
NASA WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MOSCOW 02889

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

NASA FOR LIB

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: KSCA TSPA UR
SUBJECT: OBSERVATIONS ON SOVIET "MIR" SPACE STATION

1. DEPARTMENT HAS NO DOUBT SEEN MASSIVE PRESS
COVERAGE OF LAUNCH FEBRUARY 20 OF SOVIET "MIR"
(PEACE) SPACE STATION. PROUD OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT,
THE SOVIETS HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE OPEN IN THEIR
COVERAGE OF THE EVENT IN LINE WITH A TREND WE HAVE
OBSERVED IN RECENT MONTHS. FEBRUARY 20 VREMYA
NEWSCAST SHOWED, BESIDES FOOTAGE OF THE LAUNCH ITSELF,
DETAILS OF THE SPACE FLIGHT CONTROL CENTER OUTSIDE
MOSCOW, INCLUDING A LARGE DETAILED DIAGRAM OF THE
OUTSIDE OF THE STATION. VIDEOTAPE OF THE LAUNCH
SHOWS THAT THE STATION WAS LAUNCHED ON THE SOVIETS'
NEW LARGE "PROTON" BOOSTER.

2. INTERVIEWED DURING THE NEWSCAST, PROFESSOR AND
PILOT-COSMONAUT K. FEOKTISTOV CALLED THE "MIR"
SPACE STATION A "NEW GENERATION" STATION. HE
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE SOVIETS INTEND TO MAN THE
STATION PERMANENTLY, BUT "NOT RIGHT AWAY." AFTER
SHAKE-DOWN AND TESTING, A FIRST CREW WILL BE SENT
UP FOR A "NOT LENGTHY" STAY TO CHECK THE STATION'S
SYSTEM, TO BE FOLLOWED BY A BREAK FOR FURTHER
"ADJUSTMENTS." AFTER THIS THE STATION WILL BE
PERMANENTLY MANNED, WITH ROTATING SHIFTS.

3. ACCORDING TO A. IVAKHNOV, WRITING IN FEBRUARY 20
IZVESTIYA, THE METHOD OF CARRYING OUT EXPERIMENTS
AND TRANSPORTING EQUIPMENT TO THE NEW STATION
REPRESENTS A CHANGE OVER THE SALYUT STATIONS. RATHER
THAN TRANSPORTING EQUIPMENT TO THE STATION AND
PERFORMING EXPERIMENTS INSIDE THE STATION ITSELF
(WHICH MADE SALYUT RESEMBLE AN "INSTRUMENT WAREHOUSE,"
IZVESTIYA SAYS), THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR
EXPERIMENTS WILL BE TRANSPORTED IN SPECIALLY OUTFITTED
MODULES TO BE DOCKED WITH THE CRAFT, AND THE
EXPERIMENTS CARRIED OUT IN THE MODULES THEMSELVES.
"MIR" CAN DOCK SIX MODULES AT A TIME, AND THUS,
ACCORDING TO FEOKTISTOV, WILL PERMIT "A MUCH
WIDER PROGRAM OF RESEARCH WORK."

4. EMBASSY DAO WILL FORWARD BY SEPTEL TECHNICAL
OBSERVATIONS OF THE "MIR" STATION AND IS FORWARDING
TO DIA VIDEO TAPE OF "VREMYA" COVERAGE OF THE
LAUNCH.

HARTMAN

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