Mir Space Station

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The Mir Space Station was the first permanent space station in space. It was officially built to conduct studies and experiments of interest to science and the Soviet/Russian economy.

When the Mir program began, the station's lifetime was estimated to be five years. It was in service till 2001.



Currently the Russian Aviation and Space Agency is examining Mir to see if it may be salvaged as a private industry research post and tourist retreat for wealthy vacationers. The proposal to resurrect the space station was made in January 2000 by Walt Anderson, a Washington-based venture capitalist, who is said to plan to invest $21 million into attempts to renovate the station.

Crew members have been ferried to Mir using the Soyuz-TM spacecraft and the NASA space shuttle. Space Station Mir has been visited by over 100 cosmonauts and astronauts during its more than 13 years in orbit. In all, 43 space travelers have called Mir "home," and 59 others have visited for periods of time less than one month. Sixteen space travelers stayed on Mir for multiple long duration missions. The Mir Core, the base unit of the station, was launched on Feb. 20, 1986. It has a mass of 20,100 kilograms, a length of 13.13 meters and a maximum diameter of 4.15 meters. Its pressurized volume equals 90 cubic meters. The solar panels have a total area of 76 square meters. Five modules are attached to the core.

The Progress resupply craft ferried supplies to the crews from 1986 to 1989. After that time, an improved Progress-M resupply craft was used. Both types of resupply spacecraft were launched using Soyuz rocket launch vehicles. They each had a total mass of 7,450 kilograms, a maximum diameter of 2.7 meters and a length of 7.2 meters.

First Privately Funded Manned Space Mission to Mir

A Soyuz rocket blasted off at launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Tuesday, April 4, 2000. Two Russian cosmonauts are visiting Mir space station on the first-ever piloted space mission funded by private investment.

The crew are: Commander Sergei Zalyotin and flight engineer Alexander Kaleri. Progress M1-1 supply ship has already docked with Mir and resupplied the station with fuel and water.

The mission is funded by Netherlands-based MirCorp, which hopes to turn a profit operating the 14-year-old orbiting outpost. The company is in discussions with several corporations about possible advertising deals and scientists interested in flying experiments. MirCorp plans to keep the two cosmonauts on board for at least 45 days to investigate the station and assess any need for repairs. If more funds are not forthcoming, the crew would again put Mir on autopilot and be the last crew to live on Mir.

The space station has been empty since it was placed on autopilot seven months ago. Russia seems determined to pursue an independent space program. It has decided to go ahead with a new mission after getting $20 million from international investors. Mir, plagued by accidents in recent years, was to have been scrapped this year. The plan was to send it plunging toward Earth so that it burned up in the atmosphere.

Company officials also said they are in active talks with a potential space tourist who would pay a travel fare of roughly $15 million.

Current Status of Mir Space Station:

The Russian
Space Agency has announced that Space Station Mir is to be destroyed in a controlled descent on March 8th,  2001. If you want to keep up to date, then join the mailing list and notified of the Event.

Mir was replaced by the International Space Station.


Constructing Space Station Mir

The scientific and technological modules must provide easy access and state-of-the-art facilities. The Mir complex, composed of 6 individual modules: KVANT-1, KVANT-2, KRISTALL, PRIRODA and SPEKTR.

Mir Core 

The core station contains all the necessities for human habitation. It is consists of four compartments: working, transfer, intermediate and assembly compartments (only the assembly compartment is not pressurized).

The core section of the station houses the working compartment made up of living and operational quarters and is the main habitable section for the crew. The living area contains personal spaces, hygiene areas and the galley (eating area), as well as the key monitoring systems (science equipment and facilities and propulsion). Crew members cabins each contain a chair, a sleeping bag, and a porthole. The personal hygiene area holds a toilet, sink, and shower, and the galley consists of a table, cooking elements, and trash storage.

The operations area is the control area for the entire Mir complex. Here the crew can monitor and command core systems, science equipment and facilities and the piloting station. Inside this 43-foot-long Module are also medical monitoring equipment and a bicycle ergometer for exercise.

The multiple docking ports of the transfer compartment allow for the addition of secondary station modules or transport craft. The intermediate compartment is a pressurized tunnel 6 feet in diameter that connects the working module to the aft docking port. Main engine and fuel tanks are located in the non-pressurized assembly compartment.

To make the station a more humane environment, the Mir complex has distinct floors, walls, and ceilings, carpet on the floor, colored walls, and a white ceiling with fluorescent lighting. From dark green carpet and light green walls to a living area with soft pastel colors, the station provides cosmonauts with a homey atmosphere.

Mir Core Additions

Kvant-1 (first addition to the Mir core)

Research into the physics of active galaxies, quasars, and neutron stars, is undertaken using this Astrophysics module. Data is gathered with devices which measure the electromagnetic Spektra and x-ray emissions of these diverse objects. Kvant-1 is 19 feet long, and is divided into a pressurized laboratory compartment and a non-pressurized equipment compartment. It has gyrostabilizers that can change the station attitude without propulsive fuel.

Kvant-2 (second addition to the Mir core) 

The Scientific and Airlock module provides equipment for biological research data, Earth observation data, and EVA capability. Over 40 feet long, it is used for experiments in the effects of space exposure on electronics and construction materials. The Kvant-2 includes potable water and oxygen provisions, and motion control systems, as well as shower and washing facilities.

Kristall Technological module (third addition to the Mir core)

Used for biological and materials processing technology development in the space environment, Kristall has a docking port that can be used with the US Space Shuttle. Two storable solar arrays, and science and technology equipment are aboard the 39 feet long Kristall. There are also motion control, energy supply, electrical, environmental control and thermal control systems on this module.

Priroda Remote Sensing module (final addition arrived Apr. 26, 1996)

The equipment on Priroda includes: active, passive, and infrared radiometers, a synthetic aperture radar, and several types of spectrometers. The spectrometer is used for measuring ozone and aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere.

Spektr 

The Spektr Remote Sensing payload is used to study particles in Low Earth Orbit. Spektr carries four solar arrays as well as other scientific equipment.

Docking Module

The module, which arrived on the payload bay of Atlantis (STS-74, 1995), allows future Shuttle dockings with Mir.

Space Transport for Mir Space Station

Soyuz-TM Spacecraft

Used to transport crews and cargo to and from the Mir Space Station, the Soyuz-TM module is made up-of three compartments: the orbital module, the descent module and the instrumentation module.

Progress-M Cargo Transport:

A cargo and resupply vehicle used to send science equipment and data to and from Mir, as well as food supplies and crew mail. On the return trip to Earth, Progress-M takes care of removal of waste materials from the Space Station.


The Mir station core and modules were put in orbit by a Proton-K launch vehicle. 

Proton-K (three-stage) was designed in 1965 as a more capable follow-on to the two-stage Proton. Its total mass at the launch of Salyut 6 was 697.1 tons, and its total length was 59.8 meters. Its first flight was in 1968. The vehicle's first stage uses RD-253 engines, which provide 167,000 kgf in a vacuum. All three stages use Nitrogen tetroxide/UDMH propellants.

Mir Space Station Ideas

The following are ideas that be implemented for Mir, ISS and other Future Space Stations.

Lotto in Space 

The funds could be used for Space Research and Exploration and initial harware for Solar Sail Spacecraft.


TV Show Ideas:

Talk show and Questions and Answers (Q & A) Show

Cosmanauts and Ground Control could talk to people from around the world at certain times.

Worldathon 24 hour Special Show

Aim to help poor-either participate by doing a space walk 1/2 proceeds to charity and the other half to cover costs. Another idea is to do a concert in space-either group pays to go up and it can be broadcast via the internet.


Add New Modules:

1). Education Module:

Tie it in with World Spaqce Agencies (NASA,ESA,RSA,NASDA), Univerities, Sponsors and any other institution interested.

2). Consumer Module/People's Module

Experimenation with consumer goods and see how they work in space and tie them in with Sponsors and Manufactures. All this info can be shared via the internet and can be shown on Mir TV.


Other Program Ideas include:

Experiment and develop Space versions of Earth-based Products

-Growing Plants
-Dying Hair in Space
-Develop film from Camera on Mir
-Space Toothpaste
-Medical Operations and procedures in Space
-Performing Dental Filings and other dental procedures in Space
-Chicken to lay eggs and see if they hatch
-Try to grow Space Lawn

Mir TV:

Mir as a Internet Portal. The idea is to start a cable/satellite TV Station that is associated with Mir and other Space Projects. Mir TV can show historical programs, Business Shows related to the Space Industry, Science-Fiction Movies/TV Shows and Music Shows that play Space related music.

Mir TV can also be tied in with other Internet Endeavours. For example, place a probe on the moon and show live pictures and get sponsnors to participate and charge a fee to show it on the internet. A picture of the earth from the moon can be used as a test pattern.

Mir as a Launch Platform:

-Launching Satellites using a Space Gun

-A Commercial Solar Sail Race that could be sponsored by Commercial Enterprises.

Reference:

http://cnn.com/2000/TECH/space/04/04/russia.mir.01/
http://www.mirstation.com/
http://www.maximov.com/Mir/homepage.asp
 

Image extracted from:
http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/shuttle-mir/science/weekly/mir.jpg
 


More Mir information

Mir Space Shuttle:


Mir Space Station Links:

Mir Labs:
Space Station Mir :
Energia:
Mirwatch:
 
Keep Mir Alive!:


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