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Re: MIR-disgard????



At 15:14 04/29/98 -0500, Buehrer, Arthur E. wrote:

>Yes...I read about this a few days ago. I'm shocked!!! I know it's a bit
>aged and space can be a harsh environment in many ways, but in a
>somewhat loose comparison I would not run a '87 volvo off a cliff that
>was in running condition just because the starter was sticking and it
>leaked radiator fluid. Can't they just leave it as a rescue station or
>supply store? Seems like such a waste. Sounds political!!!

Actually not Art. It takes a lot of money and resources to keep a vehicle
like Mir in orbit, powered, and under control. After next year the Russian
Space Agency will (we hope) be diverting its support to the International 
Space Station. If Mir were just abandoned in orbit, its orbit will decay
rapidly. Without power, attitude control, and propulsion there would be no
way to predict (or control!) where the 'big pieces' would land. By
de-orbiting the station in a controlled manner they can choose a nice big
empty spot in the middle of the Pacific and avoid everybodies house.

Ron, wa4sir




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