The Russian Mir space station was designed to provide long periods of accommodation to its crew members while they were in orbit around Earth. It was launched on February 20, 1986 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
At first, the crews reached the Mir on board the Soyuz spacecraft and, later, thanks to the US space program, aboard a space shuttle. It was the first space station designed with the capacity to expand. First it was constituted by a single central module. After a while, as the photo shows, it was composed of seven modules.
The lack of funding caused the astronauts who occupied the Mir to abandon it in August 1999; but Russia decided to extend the life of the space station and, in April 2000, the Soyuz PM-30 manned ship was launched with the mission to repair it. This last Mir crew returned on June 16, 2000. Finally it was decided to lower the station to the dense layers of the atmosphere, where it would mostly disintegrate, and sink its remains into the Pacific Ocean. The controlled fall of the Mir took place on March 23, 2001.
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