Mir space station

The world's first modular space station used elements of the earliest civilian (DOS) Salyut stations, with additional laboratories and modules that were often based on Vladimir Chelomei's military TKS ferry design. The core module was based on the DOS design used in Salyuts 6 and 7, with a docking module offering five attachment points at one end and a single docking point at the other. The station grew in fits and starts, and the final modules, Spektr and Priroda, were only completed and docked to the station following an injection of NASA cash in the early 1990s.

atmospheric research instruments

crew

length

32.9m (108ft)

maximum diameter

4.35m (14ft 3in)

total mass

117,205kg (258,380lb)

habitable volume (core)

90 cubic m (3,175 cubic ft)

number of docking ports

2

date of launch

19 February 1986

date of re-entry

23 March 2001

main contractor

Energia/Chelomei

LAST SOVIET STATION

In its completed form, Mir incorporated six major modules, plus a docking module for Space Shuttle visits. One or two Russian spacecraft were also usually docked to the station.

solar array core module docking port

androgynous docking adapter intended for Buron shuttfe crew exercise treodmill airlock synthetic aperture equipment radar bays

Priroda additional solar array container

KRISTALL AT KRUNICHEV

Although Mir was designed by the Energio bureou (formerly OKB-1), some of its modules, such as Kristall, were built at the Krunichev factory in Moscow.

CONSTRUCTION HISTORY

MODULI

DOCKING DATE

PURPOSE

Core

n/a

Central control and living quarters

Kvant-1

April 1987

Astronomy

Kvant-2

December 1989

New life-support systems

Kristall

June 1990

Materials science, geophysics, and

astrophysics

Spektr

June 1995

Experiments for the Shuttle-Mir

programme

Docking

November 1995

Docking port for

Module

the Space Shuttle

Priroda

April 1996

Remote sensing module

solar array

Kvant-2 airlock gyrodynes for station attitude-control main station control desk

Station Mir Core Modul

MIR CORE MODULE

The core module contained living quarters and the station's main control console. Designed for use in weightless conditions, handles run along the walls and hatches are high up on the bulkheads. The unseen ceiling has exercise equipment attached. Cosmonauts could secure themselves to the chairs by folding their feet back under the seats.

INSIDE THE CONNECTING NODE

Voleri Korzun negotiates air-conditioning hoses snaking their way through the main connecting node, which linked the core module to five other areas of the station.

MIR IN USE

After a decade of use, the station's interior was a jumble of cables, experiments, and the ephemera of everyday life. However, the cosmonauts were still careful to make sure that floating objects were secured onto surfaces.

urinal funnel waste storage tank sleeping compartment hygiene area

Mir core module crew supplies and equipment storage

Progress M cargo ferry

SPACE TOILET

Cosmonauts travelling to and from Mir had to rely on some basic toilet facilities aboard their Soyuz taxis.

solid woste container crimper-pliers

EVA hammer onboard hammer

Kvant-1

rendezvous beacon astronomy equipment docking adapter mmj:

SPACE STATION TOOLS

A variety of different tools were devised for the Mir astronauts to use either inside or outside the station. Frequent spacewalks (EVAs) were used to service the station or install scientific experiments in open space.

Sofora truss

TIMEKEEPERS

Although the station had an orbital period of around 90 minutes, and so saw 16 sunrises every day, a normal daily rhythm was maintained with the help of onboard clocks.

VDU propulsion unit for attitude-control

Xyz Union Support

ON THE PAD

Buran awaits its maiden flight in the Kazakh desert. The or biter's resemblance to the US i Space Shuttle is obvious, but the rest of the assembly - the long Energia rocket with its four boosters - is unique.

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