ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Sergey Ryzhikov
Flight engineers:
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
Kathleen Rubins

leg Novitskiy
Petr Dubrov
Mark Vande Hei
Michael Hopkins
Victor Glover
Shannon Walker
Soichi Noguchi



35 years of the MIR Station

February 20, 2021

On February 20, 1986, the Proton-K launch vehicle carrying a core module of the Mir manned orbital research station was launched from the Baikonur launch site. This launch marked the beginning of construction and long-term operation in near-earth space of the world's first permanently inhabited multi-module on-orbit complex (OC), presenting the third generation of domestic permanent on-orbit stations (POS).

The development of the new station began in 1976 when NPO Energia (now S.P.Korolev RSC Energia) released the Technical Proposal for development of upgraded POS No.7 based on the design and onboard systems of the Salyut series stations already being in orbit. The key design feature was the use of a transfer compartment on the core module with one axial and four lateral docking ports, which provided the capability of docking additional modules. Since 1979 the industrial cooperation consisting of more than 280 enterprises and organizations on the POS complex No.7 was headed by NPO Energia led by General Designer, Academician V.P. Glushko followed by Yu.P. Semenov. The responsibility for development and production of the core module, resupply modules and their onboard service systems resided with Salyut Design Bureau and Khrunichev machine-building plant, subsequently merged into todays M.V. Khrunichev SSSPC. Later on, the executive order of January 2, 1985 finalized the development of a modular-designed permanently operating manned station for solving defense, scientific and economic tasks in the process of joint operation with the utilization modules and the Buran reusable space transportation system.

Therefore, the February launch of the core module into near-earth orbit marked a turning point of the program of the station phased deployment and outfitting with utilization modules with the crews and cargo being delivered by Soyuz and Progress transportation spacecraft. Over the next decade six more modules were docked to the core module, namely Kvant, Kvant-2, Kristall, Spektr, Priroda, and docking compartment 316GK for the US Space Shuttles arriving at the station. In addition, Soyuz T manned transportation spacecraft was routinely transformed to upgraded Soyuz TM, the Progress cargo transportation spacecraft was replaced by upgraded Progress M, and in February 2000 a new modified Progress M-1 was added to the complex with an increased propellant availability.

For fifteen years the Mir multipurpose OC having a total mass of over 130 tons remained a unique space laboratory for carrying out fundamental and applied science experiments, a flying checkout and testing facility for key technologies to be used in future manned stations and complexes. Since 1987 the international research programs have been carried out aboard the Mir OS with the participation of cosmonauts/astronauts from France, Syria, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Kazakhstan, Austria, the USA, Canada and member countries of the European Space Agency. In the period from 1995 through 1998 joint Russian-American works under the Mir/Shuttle and Mir/NASA programs were performed at the Mir station.

The design philosophy of multi-modular space objects and the unique experience of long-term operation of the Mir OS combined with the methods of maintaining its operability and ensuring a required reliability and safety were fully utilized in implementation of the modern design of the International Space Station.






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