Shop Windows to the Universe

Dig into Montana Before History: 11K Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains by D. H. MacDonald, Ph.D. See our online store book collection.
The Mir space station has seen its last crew. Here it is pictured, docked to a United States shuttle.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

Russians Say Good-Bye to Mir
News story originally written on August 30, 1999

After 13 long years orbiting the Earth, the space station Mir has finally said good-bye to its last crew. The two cosmonauts along with one French astronaut landed on Earth, leaving the Mir uninhabitated for the first time in years. The Mir station was the world's space house for 3,641 consecutive days, which means this is the first time that no one has been in Earth's orbit since 1989.

"We went to the moon, but they elected to establish orbital space around the Earth as their domain, and Mir really is the culmination of that effort," said Jerry Grey, director of science and technology policy for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

A group of Russian scientists refuse to let the Mir go, and are still trying to raise money to keep it in operation. However, private investors haven't been found to cover the expensive price tag of $100 million. The group is currently lobbying in parliament, but the Russian government does not have any money to give the space station.

"It must become a national concern to prolong the life of the orbital complex, the pride of the Russian science," Nikolai Ryzhkov, one of the politicians that supports the station, said.

In the next six months, the spacecraft will slowly descend in Earth's atmosphere. In February or March of 2000, the station will be guided towards Earth and most of Mir will burn up. Some tv size chunks are expected to make it to the surface, so Russian scientists will bring down the station somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

Planetary Alignment 2002

In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA