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Russian Ground Crew Also Blamed for Mir Accident

September 05, 1997| From Associated Press

MOSCOW — Ground controllers and the Mir space station's former crew share responsibility for a June space collision, space officials said Thursday, contradicting an earlier verdict that blamed only the cosmonauts.

Several space agencies were on the latest commission, and they spread the blame more widely than a panel that reported its conclusions Tuesday.

Meanwhile, NASA gave the go-ahead for astronaut Michael Foale to participate in a six-hour spacewalk intended to patch holes on the outside of the Mir's Spektr module.

The decision to let Foale perform Saturday's mission with Mir commander Anatoly Solovev had been expected. Foale, whose only previous spacewalk was from a U.S. shuttle, has been rehearsing for the walk in a Russian spacesuit for weeks.

The mission is expected to be the first in a series of spacewalks to locate and patch holes in Spektr.

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