The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 19, 1997 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Monday, May 19, 1997
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Page 9
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THE SALINA JOURNAL NEWS MONDAY, MAY 19, 1997 A8 The Associated Press U.S. astronaut Michael Foale is assisted Sunday into his Russian space suit by cosmonaut Vasili Tsibliyev aboard the space station Mir. Foale will spend 2V 2 months on Mir. Out of Space Mir appears safe, though cluttered, to astronauts By MARCIA DUNN Tlie^Associated Press • PACE CENTER, Houston — The cap- 1 tains of the orbiting Mir-Atlantis complex said Sunday that the patched I Russian space station is safe but could ' use a good spring cleaning. Atlantis commander Charles Precourt said he's satisfied with conditions on the 11-year- old Mir for astronaut Michael Foale, who just began a 4%-month tour of station duty. Foale is settling into his new home with help from his predecessor, astronaut Jerry Linenger, who will be aboard NASA's shuttle when it undocks Wednesday night after five days of linked flight. Foale is the fifth U.S. astronaut to live on Mir. During Linenger's four months on Mir, the station caught fire, overheated, leaked fumes, lost use of a couple oxygen generators, and accumulated too much carbon dioxide in the air. Mir commander Vasily Tsibliev said the situation has improved greatly in recent weeks. The repair equipment ferried up on Atlantis will help. '(•'You see I'm alive and healthy, smiling, so the condition of the station is just the same way," Tsibliev told a television interviewer. "Of course, we've got now quite a bit of cargo "and equipment that's old and outdated and we've either got to throw it away or take it away from the station." Precourt said except for the addition of two new modules, Mir looks pretty much like it did when he visited two years ago — cluttered. "They've had a lot more equipment delivered so there's not really that much more free space," he said. "One of the problems they have is trying to find space to work." To make more room on Mir, the astronauts and cosmonauts are unloading dirty clothes and garbage for return to Earth this Saturday on Atlantis. Other station stuff coming back on the shuttle: a broken oxygen generator, burned oxygen-producing canister, science samples, even a guitar. Among the supplies being moved from Atlantis into Mir: thousands of gallons of water and dozens of experiments, including 64 beetles to be observed as part of a sleep study and mustard plants to be grown in the station's mini-greenhouse. The most critical item — a new oxygen generator — was moved into Mir on Saturday, just hours after the hatches were opened. Russian space officials have decided to wait until Atlantis and its crew of seven leave before asking the Mir men to install and test the new unit. The 10 spacefarers took time out Sunday for a celebratory dinner with an international flair: Texas-style barbecue, French confit and foie gras, a Peruvian juice, and various Chinese and Russian specialties. JOHN PAUL 1 ~ RELIGION Paul celebrates birthday By The Associated Press ' ROME — Pope John Paul II celebrated his 77th birthday on Sunday, telling well-wishers gathered on a gaily decorated field in Rome that he was approaching the "sunset" of his life. John Paul, who has been slowed by illness in recent years, appeared upbeat as he celebrated an open air Mass and reflected on his birth in Wad- owice, Poland, on May 18,1920. ', He told the crowd he was born between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., "almost the same time 58 years later when ijwas elected pope." j "These are historic, moments, in the sense that each of us has a personal history," he said. "This personal history is written in the great history of salvation, which leads, to eternal life.". "After 77 years, I am closer to this &»ttset," John Paul said. Redlf yeUow and blue streamers festooned the bell tower of the San Atanasio Church and stretched to the sports field where John Paul addressed the crowd. . The children of the parish greeted him with a traditional birthday time from his native Poland. ! "May you live a hundred years," they sang. j "This means 1 have 23 more to go," the pope replied. "Let's hope fbr the best — time flies." , After the Mass, the children danced for the pope and sent aloft 77 red balloons bearing "Happy birthday" greetings in different languages. < The pope seemed to want to linger but rose from his chair say- ipg he had to return to the Vatican fj>r his customary Sunday noon appearance to tourists and pil- ffl-ims in St. Peter's Square. i No need to shop around Meet ShermLagergren. 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