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January 12, 2004

Searching For The Leak

As Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale celebrated his 47th birthday on aboard the International Space Station Wednesday and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri observed the Russian Orthodox Christmas, they both concentrated on troubleshooting a small decay in the Station cabin’s atmospheric pressure. The pressure decay poses no threat to the crew's safety or to the continued operation of the Station and its systems, but Russian and US engineers are conducting a thorough investigation of the decrease, which appears to have begun about Dec. 22. The decline occurs at a rate so small, only a few hundredths of a pound per square inch (psi) of pressure per day, that it is difficult to detect.

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Sea Launch Successful: Loral Comsat In Orbit

Sea Launch Company successfully deployed Loral's Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1 communications satellite into orbit tonight. All systems aboard the Space Systems/Loral 1300- series spacecraft are reported in excellent condition. The Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off at 8:13 pm PDT from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude, on the Equator. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight. The Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 4,694 kg (10,350 lb) spacecraft into a high perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit right on target. As planned, a ground station in Western Australia received the spacecraft's first signal, shortly after spacecraft separation. The spacecraft's final orbital position will be 63 degrees West Longitude.

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