Mir to Earth: Oxygen Down

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Just for a moment the world held its breath, as Mir lost the use of both its primary and backup oxygen generators — in what might have proved a devastating malfunction for the disabled space station. Communications with Mir went down just as the crew reported the failure.

But it turned out to be just another technical glitch. The Russian Space Agency reported that the generators had overheated, but that the two cosmonauts and one astronaut had managed to cool them down again. After this latest mishap the crew settled down for a good night's sleep.

But things weren't so simple back on Earth, where news organizations seemed to be divided over whose account to trust, NASA or the Russian Space Agency. Russian Mission Control, who had had the most recent conversation with the cosmonauts and claimed everything was fine, did not seem to be quoted as often as NASA who were still fretting based on an earlier conversation with Michael Foale. We'll find out for sure on Tuesday, when Mir comes back into communication range.