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Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 13:31 GMT
Mir: A timeline
Mir has been visited by around 100 people
Mir has been circling the Earth for more than 15 years. It has had an eventful life, including a near-fatal collision with cargo ship in June 1997 and an on-board fire earlier that year.

February, 1986 - The core module, Mir's first building block, is launched.

March 1986 - The first crew, the Russian cosmonauts Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov, arrive on the Soyuz T-15 spacecraft.

August 1988 - Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov begins his record breaking 438-day stay on Mir.

February 1991 - Five years after the launch, Mir passes its predicted lifespan in space.

May 1991 - Helen Sharman becomes the first British astronaut on Mir.

May 1995 - Spektr module, carrying Earth observation equipment, is launched.

June 1995 - Atlantis becomes the first US shuttle to dock with Mir. It carries two cosmonauts to Mir and brings two cosmonauts and an astronaut back to Earth.

September 1996 - US astronaut Shannon Lucid returns to Earth from a 188-day mission to Mir and becomes the female world record holder for time spent in space.

February 1997 - A fire breaks out after an oxygen-generating canister malfunctions. The crew almost abandon ship.

June 1997 - The unmanned cargo ship Progress M-34 collides with Mir, causing extensive damage to the Spektr module and solar panels.

June 1997 - On-board computer crashes. An electrical fault is blamed.

July 1997 - Russian cosmonaut Alexander Lazutkin accidentally disconnects a power plug prematurely, setting Mir adrift.

March 1998 - A spacewalk is postponed after a spanner used to unlock an exit hatch breaks.

June 1998 - Last US Shuttle mission to Mir. Discovery picks up Andrew Thomas, the seventh and last American to serve on Mir.

November 1998 - The Russians launch the first module of the new International Space Station (ISS).

June 1999 - Mir cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev becomes the person with the longest total stay in space, 681 days.

August 1999 - Cosmonauts Sergei Avdeyev, Viktor Afanasyev and French astronaut Jean-Pierre Haignere crew leave Mir and the space station is mothballed.

February 2000 - Private company MirCorp announces $20m investment in Mir to turn it into hotel.

April 2000 - Two Russian cosmonauts arrive at Mir to plug air leaks and restore craft to working order.

November 2000 - Russian Government takes final decision to abandon the station.

22 March 2001 - The empty Mir is scheduled to be taken out of orbit and ditched into the Pacific Ocean.

2000 and beyond - The ISS will become humankind's one, permanent base in space.


Fiery descent

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