Russia's Mission Control: International space station crew fixes faulty oxygen generator

Wednesday, November 1st 2006, 8:37 am
By: News On 6

MOSCOW (AP) _ The international space station's crew has fixed an oxygen generator that overheated and spilled a toxic irritant in September, Mission Control said Wednesday.

The station's crewmembers _ cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, U.S. astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and German astronaut Thomas Reiter _ have fixed the Elektron oxygen-generator using spare parts delivered last week by the Russian cargo ship Progress, Russian Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said.

``The crew has replaced several parts of Elektron and put it back to work,'' Lyndin told The Associated Press. ``Elektron has been working smoothly since Tuesday.''

The Russian-made Elektron overheated, leaking potassium hydroxide on Sept. 18, forcing the crew to don masks and gloves in the first-ever emergency declared aboard the 8-year-old orbiting outpost. But Russian and U.S. space officials played it down, saying crew members' lives were never in any danger.

Lyndin said the station had plenty of oxygen canisters, which the crew were using before the Elektron was fixed Tuesday. He said space officials also planned to put a U.S. oxygen-generator in service next year.