21 Facts About Mir


Mir was occupied for a total of twelve and a half years out of its fifteen-year lifespan, having the capacity to support a resident crew of three, or larger crews for short visits.

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Mir was deorbited in March 2001 after funding was cut off.

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The cost of the Mir programme was estimated by former RKA General Director Yuri Koptev in 2001 as $4.

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Mir was authorised by a 17 February 1976 decree, to design an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space stations.

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Orbital assembly of Mir began on 19 February 1986 with the launch of the Proton-K rocket.

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The capability of Mir to be expanded with add-on modules meant that each could be designed with a specific purpose in mind, thus eliminating the need to install all the station's equipment in one module.

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Conversely, materials processing experiments required the minimisation of movement on board the station, and so Mir would be oriented in a gravity gradient attitude for stability.

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Inside, the 130-tonne Mir resembled a cramped labyrinth, crowded with hoses, cables and scientific instruments—as well as articles of everyday life, such as photos, children's drawings, books and a guitar.

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NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger related how life on board Mir was structured and lived according to the detailed itineraries provided by ground control.

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Mir decided to perform his tasks in an order that he felt enabled him to work more efficiently, be less fatigued, and suffer less from stress.

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Linenger noted that his comrades on Mir did not "improvise" in this way, and as a medical doctor he observed the effects of stress on his comrades that he believed was the outcome of following an itinerary without making modifications to it.

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The molds in Mir were found growing behind panels and inside air-conditioning equipment.

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Mir was visited by a total of 28 long-duration or "principal" crews, each of which was given a sequential expedition number formatted as EO-X.

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The EO-1 crew spent their last 20 days on Mir conducting Earth observations before returning to Earth on 16 July 1986, leaving the new station unoccupied.

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Alexander Viktorenko and Aleksandr Serebrov docked with Mir and brought the station out of its five-month hibernation.

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Kvant-2 added a second set of control moment gyroscopes to Mir, and brought the new life support systems for recycling water and generating oxygen, reducing dependence on ground resupply.

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All of Mir's ports were occupied, and so Soyuz TM-17 had to station-keep 200 metres away from the station for half an hour before docking while Progress M-18 vacated the core module's front port and departed.

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Mir's stay on the station improved operations in several areas, including transfer procedures for a docked space shuttle, "hand-over" procedures for long-duration American crew members and "ham" amateur radio communications, and saw two spacewalks to reconfigure the station's power grid.

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Mir was primarily supported by the Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft and had two ports available for docking them.

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Mir was visited by three separate models of Progress; the original 7K-TG variant equipped with Igla, the Progress-M model equipped with Kurs, and the modified Progress-M1 version, which together flew a total of 64 resupply missions.

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Mir says that it was especially noticeable after he had made a spacewalk and become used to the bottled air in his spacesuit.

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