Mir seen from Space Shuttle Endeavour during STS-89 (28 January 1998)
Mir insignia
Station statistics
COSPAR ID1986-017A
SATCAT no.16609Edit this on Wikidata
Call signMir
Launch20 February 1986 – 23 April 1996
Launch padLC-200/39, and LC-81/23, Baikonur Cosmodrome
Launch Complex 39A,
Kennedy Space Center
Reentry23 March 2001
05:59 UTC
Mass129,700 kg
(285,940 lb)
Length19 m (62.3 ft)
from core module to Kvant-1
Width31 m (101.7 ft)
from Priroda to docking module
Height27.5 m (90.2 ft)
from Kvant-2 to Spektr
Pressurised volume350 m3
Atmospheric pressurec. 101.3 kPa (29.91 inHg, 1 atm)
Periapsis altitude354 km (189 nmi) AMSL
Apoapsis altitude374 km (216 nmi) AMSL
Orbital inclination51.6 degrees
Orbital speed7.7 km/s
(27,700 km/h, 17,200 mph)
Orbital period91.9 minutes
Orbits per day15.7
Days in orbit5,511 (15 years and 32 days)
Days occupied4,592
No. of orbits86,331
Statistics as of 23 March 2001
(unless noted otherwise)
References:[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][unreliable source?][11][unreliable source?][12]
The main components of Mir shown as a line diagram, with each module highlighted in a different colour
Station elements as of May 1996
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Mir (Russian: Мир, IPA: [ˈmʲir]; lit.'peace' or 'world') was a space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, operated by the Soviet Union and later by Russia. Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996. It had a greater mass than any previous spacecraft. At the time it was the largest artificial satellite in orbit, succeeded by the International Space Station (ISS) after Mir's orbit decayed. The station served as a microgravity research laboratory in which crews conducted experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and spacecraft systems with a goal of developing technologies required for permanent occupation of space.

Mir was the first continuously inhabited long-term research station in orbit and held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at 3,644 days, until it was surpassed by the ISS on 23 October 2010.[13] It holds the record for the longest single human spaceflight, with Valeri Polyakov spending 437 days and 18 hours on the station between 1994 and 1995. 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.

Following the success of the Salyut programme, Mir represented the next stage in the Soviet Union's space station programme. The first module of the station, known as the core module or base block, was launched in 1986 and followed by six further modules. Proton rockets were used to launch all of its components except for the docking module, which was installed by US Space Shuttle mission STS-74 in 1995. When complete, the station consisted of seven pressurised modules and several unpressurised components. Power was provided by several photovoltaic arrays attached directly to the modules. The station was maintained at an orbit between 296 km (184 mi) and 421 km (262 mi) altitude and travelled at an average speed of 27,700 km/h (17,200 mph), completing 15.7 orbits per day.[6][page needed][7][page needed][8]

The station was launched as part of the Soviet Union's crewed spaceflight programme effort to maintain a long-term research outpost in space, and following the collapse of the USSR, was operated by the new Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA). As a result, most of the station's occupants were Soviet; through international collaborations such as the Interkosmos, Euromir and Shuttle–Mir programmes, the station was made accessible to space travellers from several Asian, European and North American nations. Mir was deorbited in March 2001 after funding was cut off. The cost of the Mir programme was estimated by former RKA General Director Yuri Koptev in 2001 as $4.2 billion over its lifetime (including development, assembly and orbital operation).[14]

  1. ^ "Mir-Orbit Data". Heavens-Above.com. 23 March 2001. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Mir FAQ – Facts and history". European Space Agency. 21 February 2001. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Mir Space Station – Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. 23 March 2001. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  4. ^ "NASA – NSSDC – Spacecraft – Details – Mir". NASA. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Soviet/Russian space programmes Q&A". NASASpaceflight.com. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  6. ^ a b Hall, R., ed. (2000). The History of Mir 1986–2000. British Interplanetary Society. ISBN 978-0-9506597-4-9.[page needed]
  7. ^ a b Hall, R., ed. (2001). Mir: The Final Year. British Interplanetary Society. ISBN 978-0-9506597-5-6.[page needed]
  8. ^ a b "Orbital period of a planet". CalcTool. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Mir Space Station Observing". Satobs.org. 28 March 2001. Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  10. ^ Mark Wade (4 September 2010). "Baikonur LC200/39". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.[unreliable source?]
  11. ^ Mark Wade (4 September 2010). "Baikonur LC81/23". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.[unreliable source?]
  12. ^ Macatangay, A.V. & Perry, J.L. (22 January 2007). Cabin Air Quality On Board Mir and the International Space Station—A Comparison (PDF) (Report). Johnson Space Center & Marshall Spaceflight Center: NASA. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013.
  13. ^ Jackman, Frank (29 October 2010). "ISS Passing Old Russian Mir In Crewed Time". Aviation Week.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Patrick E. Tyler (24 March 2001). "Russians Find Pride, and Regret, in Mir's Splashdown". New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2011.