Mir Emergency Escape Profile
The Soyuz-TM spacecraft typically ferried three crewmembers to and from Mir from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It remained docked with Mir to be available as an escape vehicle in case of emergency, and was sometimes used to make "fly-around" inspections of the station.
Mir Emergency Escape Profile -
MPEG (8.7 M) (No Audio)
Progress Collision with Mir
On June 25, 1997, the Progress resupply vehicle, under manual control, collided with the Mir solar array on the Spektr module. Then, the spacecraft hit Spektr itself, punched a hole in a solar panel, buckled a radiator, and breached the integrity of Spektrís hull.
Progress Collision with Mir -
MPEG (13 M) (No Audio)
Mir Uncontrolled Spin
The collision of the Progress resupply vehicle on June 25, 1997 knocked Mir into a spin and the resulting power outage shut down the gyrodynes so that the spin went uncontrolled. To stop the spin and face the arrays toward the Sun, the crew needed to know the spin rate of Mir. However, the computer and other instruments were out of operation. So, in the dark and in the silence, Foale went to the windows in the airlock and held his thumb up to the field of stars. Combining a sailorís technique with a scientistís knowledge of physics, Foale estimated the spin rate of the space station. Then, he and Lazutkin radioed the estimates down to the Moscow Control Center. The ground controllers fired Mirís engines, and that stopped the spinócertainly not perfectly, and in no way permanently; but it showed that it could be done.
Mir Uncontolled Spin -
MPEG (8 M) (No Audio)
STS-86 Fly-around Inspection
On October 3, 1997, the Atlantis, carrying Mike Foale and the STS-86 crewmembers, undocked from the Mir space station and performed a 46-minute flyaround visual inspection of Mir. During this maneuver, Anatoly Solovyev and Pavel Vinogradov opened a pressure regulation valve to allow air into the Spektr module to determine if STS-86 crewmembers could detect seepage or debris particles that could indicate the location of the breach in the damaged module's hull.
STS-86 Fly-around Inspection -
MPEG (16.5 M) (No Audio)
The journey of the 15-year-old Russian space station ended March 23, 2001, as Mir re-entered the Earth's atmosphere near Nadi, Fiji, and fell into the South Pacific. Its downfall - planned and controlled - began around 8 a.m. Moscow time. Engines of a cargo ship docked to Mir were fired causing the station's orbit to brake, starting the Mir's descent. At approximately 100km, Mir entered the atmosphere and friction began to heat the outer surfaces. The initial breakup began at about 95 km, when aerodynamic forces tore off the solar panels. At 85 km, all peripheral pieces were torn away, and the main modules began to buckle. The surviving fragments fell into the South Pacific east of New Zealand. Witnesses to the fiery downfall attributed sonic booms to the estimated 20 to 25 tons of remnants moving quickly toward the Earth's surface.
The computer generated animation below illustrates the breakup of the 143-ton station as it descended to Earth.
Mir Deorbit animation
(11.8 M) (No Audio)
See the Cable News Network (CNN)
footage of the Mir Deorbit -
MPEG (5.3 M) (No Audio)
The computer generated animation segments were provided by Analytical Graphics, Inc.
Text only version available
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