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FWD: [ans] MIR Crew Returns to Earth - Nobody in Space

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  • Frits Westra
    MIR CREW RETURNS TO EARTHAMSAT NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN 241.01 FROM AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD, AUGUST 29, 1999 TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-241.01New
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 1999
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      MIR CREW RETURNS TO EARTH

      AMSAT NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN 241.01 FROM AMSAT HQ
      SILVER SPRING, MD, AUGUST 29, 1999
      TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS
      BID: $ANS-241.01

      New agencies around the world all reported the same story - for the
      first time in over 10 years, there's nobody in space. Todd Halvorson
      of the newspaper Florida Today told ANS that "in an emotional
      overture to a fiery grand finale, an international crew left Russia's
      aging space station Mir early Saturday morning, reducing Earth's
      orbital population to zero." The crew's departure also signaled an
      end to Amateur Radio operation aboard the Mir station.

      Mir had been occupied for 3,641 consecutive days.

      The departure followed a hectic two weeks in which the crew shut down
      station laboratories, filled up its garbage scow and switched off all but
      essential systems. A new crew, meanwhile, is being trained for a short
      mission that might be needed to make final preparations for what would
      amount to a burial-at-sea. The schedule calls for cosmonauts to fly to Mir
      in February or March of 2000 and to oversee the arrival of a fuel-filled
      Russian space freighter. The freighter would periodically fire onboard
      thrusters, nudging Mir into a lower orbit of about 125 to 135 miles above
      Earth. The crew then would abandon ship and return to Earth before the
      freighter gives Mir a powerful last push into the upper atmosphere.

      Mir has placed some incredible numbers in the record books, stating with
      orbits; Mir orbits the Earth about 16 times a day, for total of more than
      77,000 to date. The station has been aloft for almost 5,000 days going
      back to the core component launch and has seen nearly 100 passengers,
      including seven NASA astronauts, a Japanese journalist, a British
      candymaker and several other foreign visitors. Mir was also the setting
      for the longest stay in space by Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov (recording
      438 days in 1994-95). Many of the visitors were ham operators who were
      very 'radio-active' from the station during their stay.

      Many satellite operators posted comments on the AMSAT-BB about Mir.
      Jeff, W4JEF, essentially captured the thoughts of many with his posting;
      "may the memory of the fun we've all had with Mir remained etched in our
      minds for years to come."

      [ANS congratulates the Mir space station and all who flew on her for their
      outstanding achievements]

      ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
      America, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on the
      activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an
      active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating
      through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

      Information on AMSAT-NA is available at the following URL:
      http://www.amsat.org
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