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For Release: March 14, 1996
Catherine E. Watson
(757) 864-6122

Release No. 96-016

NOTE TO EDITORS:

NASA to Study Effects of Space Debris for One Year Aboard Mir

In late March, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-76) will attach a set of four experiments to the Russian space station Mir. The Mir Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP) will study the frequency and effects of space debris striking the Mir space station.

MEEP will also expose selected and proposed international space station materials to the effects of space and orbital debris. Because the international space station will be placed in approximately the same Earth orbit as Mir, flying MEEP aboard Mir will give researchers an opportunity to test materials for the international Space Station in a comparable orbital position.

MEEP will be attached to the Mir shuttle docking module during a spacewalk by mission specialists Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford. MEEP will remain attached to Mir until late 1997, when the four experiment containers will be retrieved by another space shuttle crew (STS-86) and returned to Earth for study.

A MEEP fact sheet, color photos, and b-roll video are available, as are interviews with the MEEP project manager. For more information please contact the NASA Langley Research Center Office of Public Affairs at (757) 864-6123 or view the MEEP home page on the World Wide Web at:

http://spocls.larc.nasa.gov/meep/meep.html

 

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