Mir Space Station

Facts And Figures About Mir

Mir Space Station History

At the Mir blog, you’ll find tons of space-related information for people who love to find about man’s endeavours into the beyond. On this page find out about the Mir Space Station. And on subsequent pages, you can learn about other space stations. There’s information about Skylab 1 the first US Space station.

And there’s also information about the International Space Station. But let’s begin with Mir Station. The station was a feat of Russian space exploration and technology and is something not only of legend but something Russians are extremely proud of. Despite this, accidents dogged the spaceship, for which it became notorious.

The station was launched on 20 February 1986 and operated in low earth orbit. It was never intended to stay in space for the 15 years it did. Had it returned when planned in five years, certain incidents would never have taken place.

When the station was in space, it could be seen by many as a bright arching light in the night sky. And some compared it to a dragonfly with wings, outstretched. While others, compared the station to a hedgehog that would spike the suits of space walkers. 

mir space station

Mir Space Station Collision

Mir is unfortunately known for the collision that happened in June 1997. US astronaut Michael Foale described his terrifying account. Foale realised that the manual docking of Progress M34 was way off target. Sasha the flight engineer instructed Foale to head to the escape craft. Progress collided and Mir began to leak air giving those on board 23 minutes before they lost consciousness. 

The cosmonauts scrambled using a hatch to seal the leak. But the power was cut and there was no communication or carbon dioxide removal, while the station tumbled and rolled. Quick thinking over 6 hours saved the day, and the power came back on as the shuttle came into the sunlight. 

These are just a few pieces of information about the Mir space station crash. There is so much to tell about Mir space station and you can learn more about Mir in our blog and pages on this dedicated site. 

mir space station

Life On Board Mir Space Station

Mir had a limited capacity for crew and visitors with numbers varying from three to six. When American astronauts visited the station in the late 90s the ship was no longer what it used to be. Like any lived-in place, it began to show signs of wear and tear.

American astronauts commented that the presumably pristine ship now resembled a college dorm, with floating rubbish and broken equipment in a metal rabbit warren. 


International Space Station against starlight

Mir Space Station

    Facts & Figures

  • Length: 19 m
  • Width: 31 m 
  • Height: 27.5 m
  • Weight: 129,700 kg
  • Days In Orbit: 5,510 (15 years and 31 days)
  • Speed: 7.7 km/s (27,700 km/h)
  • Orbits Per day: 15.7

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Mir Space Station FAQs

The space station broke into pieces as planned in the southern Pacific Ocean. Many pieces were ablaze as they landed around 1,800 miles east of New Zealand.

Over the course of 15 years a total of 125 astronauts and cosmonauts came from 12 different countries. 

The cosmonaut Valery Polyakov stayed a record 438 days on the ship from January 1994 through to march 1995.