Orbital Focus - International Spaceflight Facts and Figures
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Mir Space Station

Tyneside, UK
2024 Jul 24
Wednesday, Day 206

Curated by:

Farewell to the Mir Orbital Complex

Mir's de-orbiting went ahead as planned 2001 March 23. Unless any of the lighter elements that survived re-entry are floating on the water, what remains of the station is now five kilometres below the southern part of Pacific Ocean.

Some Facts:

The time between the core module of the Mir Orbital Complex lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome 1986 February 19 at 2128 UTC to the major pieces hitting the Pacific Ocean 2001 March 23 at 0559 UTC amounted to 5510 days 8 hours 31 minutes

In that time it completed over 86,330 circuits of the Earth at an average rate of one every 91.91 minutes. It travelled 3,661,155,586 kilometres at an average speed of 7.69 kilometres per second. Its average height above the Earth's surface was 375 kilometres

Some of My Personal Memories of the Space Station:

The first time I saw it cross the sky1986 March 8 at 1924 UTC
My first radio transmission from MirReceived in Lincoln, UK 1986 March 15 between 2015 and 2017 UTC - Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov were talking on the VHF-1 channel (143.625 MHz)
My most spectacular sightingsWithin a few days of each other in 1986 - June 25 at 2229 UTC with Mir, Soyuz T-15 and Salyut 7 in procession and June 27 between 2250 and 2255 UTC - Mir and Salyut 7 crossing the sky, separated by 30 seconds (200 kilometres)
My most amusing moment1990 July 20 at 0717 UTC - standing on the balcony in mission control or 'TsUP' (Spaceflight Control Centre) and listening to the mechanical sounds from behind the big screen as a technician moved the orbit trace westward by 23 degrees and wound the little white light back to the start!
My most disappointing momentSometime 1986 spring/summer when the realisation dawned that Mir did not carry the HF transmitters characteristic of the Salyut stations - no more sitting in England listening to it passing over South Africa
My final radio observation2001 February 15 between 2308:30 and 2309:30 UTC at 166 MHz (probably the Progress M1-5 transmitter). After then, the station was always below my horizon when it was in communication with Moscow
The last time I saw Mir2001 March 3, as I stopped the car and stood at the side of the A57 road, seven miles east of Lincoln, UK - the Mir orbital complex entered eclipse at 1937 UTC
The nearest I ever got to Mir2008 May 27 - I sat inside the Mir systems training analogue at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Zvezdny Gorodok, near Moscow
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