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MIR space station 1986 - 2001
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MIR space station
More than 100 cosmonauts or astronauts from 12 different countries have visited Mir
Born in the Cold War, Mirís ultimate legacy is that it taught the two superpower enemies, the USSR and the USA, to co-operate in space. Mir showed man how to live and work in space; how to overcome unforeseen problems and survive potentially fatal situations. These were practical lessons that could only be learnt by spending long months in orbit.

In terms of science, Mir returned very little but in no way does that diminish its achievements. It was mankind's first true long-term home in space and many will lament its passing.

Having orbited the Earth for the past 15 years, Mir was given the final command by Russian ground control at 0507GMT on 23 March 2001.

The last impulse from the space station's engines thrust it into the Earth's atmosphere where most of its 135 tonnes were burnt up during re-entry.

BBC News Online looks back at the life and times of the remarkable Mir space station.

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