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Mir's last regular crew left the 13-year-old space station, on August 27, 1999. Plans at that time were to de-orbit Mir in early 2000 when a "funeral crew" of two cosmonauts would prepare Mir for a safe re-entry.
However, Russian hopes remained for possibly saving Mir. On a NASA television broadcast, Mir commander Viktor Afansyev was quoted as saying, "We undertake this with a heavy heart and anticipate the future arrival of other crews to renew the work that we're doing here." Costs are the main reason for bringing down Mir.
Afansyev, flight engineer Sergei Avdeyev, and French researcher Jean-Pierre Haignere made a safe landing in a Soyuz TM spacecraft, on August 28, 1999.
Mir Space Station
Space Shuttle Orbiter | Mir Space Station
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty