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Fwd = Mir descends below 300 kilometers

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl URL: http://www.russianspaceweb.com Original Date: 1 Feb 2001 21:05:07 -0000==========================
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2001
      Forwarded by: fwestra@...
      URL: http://www.russianspaceweb.com
      Original Date: 1 Feb 2001 21:05:07 -0000

      ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

      Mir descends below 300 kilometers

      Published: Feb. 1

      The Mir space station slowly looses its orbital altitude as ground
      controllers preparing for the station's de-orbiting this March.

      Although Russian space officials express full confidence in their
      ability to control the station during its final days in orbit, they
      also say that the wild fluctuations in the density of the Earth
      atmosphere make it more difficult to predict exact date of Mir's

      Currently, the regular peak of solar activity, which takes place
      approximately every 11 years, causes the Earth atmosphere to "bulge,"
      increasing atmospheric drag. As a result, low-orbiting spacecraft,
      including Mir, spiral down toward denser atmosphere faster and less
      evenly than usual.

      According to high-ranking officials at RKK Energia, the company which
      operates Mir, the station's altitude currently drops as little as 200
      meters one day and as much as 650 meters on another, which complicates
      the work of the team monitoring the station's orbit.

      On January 30, Mir descended to the altitude of 294 kilometers and it
      was expected to go as low as 291-292 kilometers above the Earth
      surface on Friday, February 1.


      Copyright � 2001 by Anatoly Zak

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