Mir celebrated 15 years in space in 2001 - 10 years longer than the original projected lifespan of the station. But on 23 March, the final command was sent to the pride of the Russian space programme.
The command lit the engines of the Progress supply ship, which was docked to the platform, for one last time. The engines plunged the space station into a collision with the Earth's atmosphere.
The final manoeuvres all went according to plan and were a triumph for Russian ground controllers. Since 1978, 85 craft, including several previous space stations, have been safely brought to Earth in the South Pacific and Mir was no exception.