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This Day in History: Mir Space Station Launched (February 19th, 1986)


It would be a Russian space station that would be operational for over a decade, and the first part of the orbiting laboratory was launched into space on this day in history.

It would be a Russian space station that would be operational for over a decade, and the first part of the orbiting laboratory was launched into space on this day in history.

It would be a Russian space station that would be operational for over a decade, and the first part of the orbiting laboratory was launched into space on this day in history.

Following in the steps of the previous Salyut space stations from the Soviet Union, the “core module” of Mir was launched into space on February 19th, 1986. This main module included the main crew quarters, along with airlocks for docking and more.

Throughout the years, new modules would be added to expand the Mir space station, including a US-built module for space shuttle dockings in the mid 1990s. Expansions finished in 1996, and it remained operational for many more years.

In the end, astronauts and cosmonauts from a dozen different countries visited and stayed aboard Mir, where numerous scientific experiments and studies took place.

While Mir was still in orbit, the International Space Station was constructed, with modules from the Soviet Union, Canada, Russia, Japan, the United States and help from even more nations.

The final mission to Mir was launched in 2000, and in March of 2001, the station broke up in the atmosphere as part of planned and controlled deorbit.


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