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Soyuz spacecraft, Russian space station, American space program, Skylab, space shuttles

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Mir, Russian space station designed to provide long-term accommodations for crew members while in orbit around Earth. Launched into orbit on February 19, 1986, Mir was deliberately discarded in the Pacific Ocean on March 23, 2001. Crew members reached Mir aboard Soyuz spacecraft and, later, through the American space program aboard space shuttles. Mir, the first space station designed for expansion, was originally only a single core module, but it eventually consisted of seven modules. Mir replaced the Salyut series of space stations as the centerpiece of the Soviet (now Russian) manned space program. The Salyut series of space stations were smaller, simpler stations that helped develop much of the technology needed to build Mir.

Astronauts and cosmonauts from Afghanistan, Austria, Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Syria, and the United States worked aboard Mir beside their Russian colleagues. More people visited Mir than visited all previous space stations (U.S. Skylab and Soviet Salyut series) combined.


Portree, David S. F., B.A., M.S.

Freelance writer and space historian. Author of "Walking to Olympus: An EVA Chronology".

Article key phrases:

Soyuz spacecraft, Russian space station, American space program, Skylab, space shuttles, Mir, Pacific Ocean, orbit, centerpiece, Soviet, Afghanistan, Syria, crew members, Kazakhstan, expansion, Bulgaria, Austria, Earth, Britain, France, Germany, modules, February, March, technology

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