|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1997 - Quarter 1|
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NASA selected MicroCraft Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., in March 1997 to fabricate the unpiloted research aircraft for the flight research missions, two flights at Mach 7 and one at Mach 10 beginning in 2000.
After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape). Additional Details: STS-81. References: 4 , 7 , 276 .
Geosynchronous. Stationed over 84.9W References: 4 .
Geosynchronous. Stationed over 71.8W References: 4 .
Israel provided US intelligence agencies with a copy of a $7 million contract between NPO Trud and Iran for equipment related to the R-12 IRBM. Other Russian contributions included wind tunnel, software, and mathematical modelling services from TsAGI, Polyus for laser gyro systems, and development of a solid-fuel capability.
Mir Expedition EO-23. Soyuz TM-25 docked with Mir at the forward port on February 12 at 15:51:13 GMT.
Following a mission that seemed to consist of an endless series of collisions, breakdowns, fires, and other emergencies, the EO-23 handed over the station and on August 14 entered Soyuz TM-25 landed in Kazakstan at 12:17 UTC, 170 km SE of Dzezkazgan. The Soyuz landing rockets failed to fire on touchdown, giving one of the roughest landings experienced by a returning Mir crew. Additional Details: Soyuz TM-25. References: 4 , 9 , 51 , 276 .
After a spectacular night launch, the Shuttle completed its rendezvous with Hubble Space Telescope on February 13. Over the next four days five spacewalks were undertaken to renovate Hubble.
The Hubble Space Telescope was released back into orbit at 06:41 GMT on February 19. Discovery landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 08:32 GMT on February 21. Additional Details: STS-82. References: 4 , 7 , 276 .
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - NICMOS installation. References: 66 .
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Guidance sensor replacement. References: 66 .
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Data interface unit replacement. References: 66 .
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Solar array drive replacement. References: 66 .
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Insulation blanket repair. References: 66 .
Geosynchronous. Stationed over 64.2E. The Intelsat 8 and 8A vehicles are the latest in the Intelsat satellite series. Spacecraft: 3-axis stabilised. Two large solar panels with 1-axis articulation. Payload: 38 C-Band and 6 Ku-Band transponders.22,000 telephone calls and 3 colour TV broadcasts simultaneously. Or up to 112,500 telephone circuits using digital circuit multiplication equipment (DCME). Two independently steerable Ku-band spot beams. Interconnected operation between C- and Ku-bands.
Lockheed/General Electric contract October 16 1992 $ 165 million for 2 units- potential 5 units. References: 4 .
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