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The core module served as the heart of the space station. Launched in February 1986, the 13.1 meter-long, 20.4-ton core contained the primary living and working area, life support and power, as well as the main computer, communications and control equipment—all in 90 cubic meters of habitable volume. Mir's environment was generally maintained at temperatures of 64° to 82° F. and humidities of 20% to 70%. The core had a small airlock to the outside, four berthing ports for expansion modules, and two docking ports for Soyuz-TM manned transports and automated Progress-M supply ships. The core also had four main compartments.
The working compartment was basically two cylinders connected by a conical section. It provided operations and living areas. Operations included monitoring, command, and scientific activities. The living area provided the necessities for long-duration missions, including: a galley with a table, cooking elements, trash storage; a bicycle exerciser with medical monitoring equipment; video equipment, and individual crew cabins, each with a porthole, hinged chair and sleeping bag. The personal hygiene area with toilet, sink and shower was located in one end of the working compartment. Mir had many portholes with shutters to protect them from orbital debris impacts. Two television screens permited face-to-face communications with the ground. Four more TV screens permited monitoring of the other Mir modules.
The Transfer Compartment was a spherical structure providing one docking port for visiting space craft, plus four radial berthing ports, set in a 90 degree arrangement, for access to four of the station's added modules.
The non-pressurized Assembly Compartment contained the main engine and fuel tanks and supported antennas, lights and optical sensors.
The Intermediate Compartment was a 2-meter diameter pressurized tunnel going through the assembly compartment to connect the working compartment to the aft docking port, which was permanently occupied by the Kvant-1 module.
Mir Space Station
Life on Mir
Space Shuttle Orbiter | Mir Space Station
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty