March 23, 2001 Korolev, Moscow region
Today, at 9 hours Moscow time, the program of space station
MIR was brought to an end with the finest degree of precision.
This was a program unparalleled in its richness of scientific
research, development and introduction of science-intensive
All the final operations of the closing phase of the space
station mission were performed at the same level of the
highest professionalism and a most delicate workmanship
as the rest of its 15-year program had been.
The first two adjusting burns formed a pre-descent orbit
before performing the third and final breaking burn to assure
its descent in the specified area of the Pacific. Both maneuvers
were carried out with the highest degree of accuracy - after
they were completed, the altitude of the pre-descent orbit
at the apogee differed from the target by only 3 km, and
at the perigee, which was especially important for the final
burn, it was exactly as planned.
This permitted to leave unchanged the de-orbiting data files
stored in the on-board computer system, as well as the programs
for the operation of the on-board systems for the third
At 8:07:36, Reaction Control System Jets (RCS Jets) and
Orbital Maneuvering Engine (OME) were fired on Progress
M1-5 logistics vehicle. After OME shutdown, RSC Jets burned
until they used up all the propellant, thus increasing the
reliability of the space station splashdown in the specified
area of the ocean.
MIR space station has completed the final phase of its mission
in the same trustworthy manner, which characterized its
entire life in orbit.
There can be no doubt that construction and operation of
space station MIR, a truly unique engineering structure
in space and the first international space station built
and flown at the turn of a new century, were a decisive
influence on the evolution of manned space flight in the
20th century paving the way for a steady manned exploration
of space in the 21st century.
S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation management and
staff, looking back with great pride and genuine sadness
on the 25 years which comprised the work on the MIR project
from its inception to its termination, wish to express their
gratitude to all their team-mates, to the contractors and
international partners for their cooperation, friendly support
and their single-minded desire to jointly explore space
for the benefit of the humankind and the civilization of
We wish you all good health, many years of creative work,
mutual understanding and joint successes in the implementation
of the future space projects, which will enable the humankind
to preserve life on planet Earth.
Once again, we extend our best thanks and deep gratitude
to all those who took part in the implementation of this
pivotal and unique project and to all those who cared about
the fate of MIR space station.