A photo of Mir taken from a shuttle (STS-81) window.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

Mir's Long Journey Comes to an End
News story originally written on June 1, 1999

After 13 long years of service, the Mir Space Station will finally meet its end. The Russian spacecraft has been running well, but a low amount of money has forced the Russian government to halt the project.

Presently, the Mir costs $250 million a year to stay in operation, which is just too much for the Russian government. Unless private sources are found, the station will have its last crew in August. The station will slowly lose its orbit over the rest of the year. Sometime next year, around March, the Mir will be forced to descend and burn through the Earth's atmosphere.

Russian space officials are reluctant to give up the antique, which remains as the last piece of the country's history in space. The United States, however, is anxious for the Russians to give up on the Mir and concentrate on the International Space Station, which is already behind schedule.

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

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

Shuttle-Mir Program Comes to a Close

Commander Precourt and Pilot Gorie brought the shuttle Discovery in for a perfect landing yesterday. This ends the 11-day mission which included a 4-day docking with the space station Mir.While docked...more

International Space Station - Hopefully Coming Soon!

Well, the good news is that the first part of the International Space Station (ISS) is still on schedule for launch this November. The second U.S.-built module named Unity will launch in December. Ready...more

Russians Say Good-Bye to Mir

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 empty for...more

Final Flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis

The space shuttle Atlantis finished its last flight when it landed on May 26, 2010. NASA is retiring the whole fleet of space shuttle orbiters by the end of 2010. Discovery and Endeavor are the other two...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 on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...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

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