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MIR space station 1986 - 2001
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MIR space station A close-up of Mir's docking port
A close-up of Mir's docking port
This was a productive year for Mir with mission controllers thankful that the platform suffered no major dramas. It received visitors from the newly unified Germany as well as a French astronaut.

The Soyuz capsule docked with the station twice in March and July and cosmonauts performed three spacewalks in September.

Throughout the year, attempts were made to grow crystals in the weightlessness of Mir. Scientists had hoped that large crystals of important pharmaceutical compounds could be grown in space.

Such crystals would allow the compounds' molecular structures to be determined, providing information that could lead to new and better drugs.

Although the experiment went well and scientists said Mir was just as good as the US space shuttle for the task, it was later decided that such crystals did not grow that much better in space than they did on Earth.

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