The Mir Space Station
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Mir floated above us for 15 years. It completed almost 87,000 trips around the Earth. In its fifteen years in orbit, cosmonauts and astronauts from dozens of nations lived on the station and performed experiments of historical significance.

Alexander Kaleri Mir is the culmination of the Russian space program's efforts to maintain long-duration human presence in space. The permanently manned space station regularly hosted 2 to 3 cosmonauts (on occasion up to 6, for shorter periods of up to a month). Mir is a complex of different modules that have been through many mutations; modules get added and moved around, like a giant tinker toy in the sky.

Living in space, scientists performed scientific and technical experiments, and are able to record real-data on life in space. Mir provided the facilities for wide-reaching research ranging from space life sciences, microgravity, and space technology experiments, to earth observation and sciences, and space sciences.

Mir Space Station Activities on Mir have included NASA shuttle missions (STS-60, STS-63, STS-71, STS-74, STS-76, STS-79, STS-81, STS-84, STS-86, STS-89, and STS-91) each of which docked with Mir, all of which form the stepping stones to creating the International Space Station (ISS). Mir's seven year life-span was extended by ISS's need for a home base. Mir's design is the inspiration for this multilateral cooperation.

Mir endured 15 years in orbit, three times its planned lifetime. Over its lifetime, the space station hosted 125 cosmonauts and astronauts from 12 different nations. It supported 17 space expeditions, including 28 long-term crews. After more than 86,000 total orbits, Mir re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Friday, March 23, 2001, at 9 a.m. Moscow time. The 134-ton space structure broke up over the southern Pacific Ocean.

There was an exact duplicate (or "Sister" ship) built of the MIR in Moscow. It was used for cosmonaut/astronaut training as well as for technical analysis while the MIR was in orbit. After the MIR burned up reentering the Earth's atmosphere, the sister ship was dismantled. We have been fortunate enough to acquire several pieces of the space station and have them on display at several museums. Click Here for Info

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