Orbital Focus - International Spaceflight Facts and Figures
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Mir Re-entry

Tyneside, UK
2024 Feb 21
Wednesday, Day 52

Curated by:

2001 March 23 - The Event

After fifteen years of operations, Mir was finally closed down and 'demolished' in 2001. It was launched in 1986 with a projected lifetime of five years. This was extended to ten years as modules were added and systems continued to operate, albeit with some repairs. As the Soviet Union disintegrated, Mir continued to operate but its systems were ageing and construction of the International Space Station was starting. Finally, after 15 years, it had reached the end of its sustainable life.

Mir in Orbit
As the planned date for controlled re-entry approached, Russia was providing information about anticipated events but it was lacking detail in some areas. This section contains three articles.

The first is an analysis of the Progress M1-3 controlled re-entry, a starting point for working out the likely scenario for Mir.

The second is a first stab at the likely scenario based on early information provided by Russia about three months before the event. It was originally published on the Zarya web site 2001 January.

The final page is a refinement of the earlier analysis. Some of it was published here a few days before the event but it includes contemporary information on the actual re-entry that was added as the event occurred. The accuracy of the analysis was supported when eyewitness accounts of the event were forthcoming from Fiji. Maps from this article were reproduced in the Japanese science magazine "Newton" to illustrate its own coverage of the event.
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