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Mir Amateur Radio Status

 Mir Amateur Radio Status: March 12, 2001
 By Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)
 Hi Everyone:
 It's been a few weeks since my last MAREX news.  A lot work here back
 And lots of snow (3 feet in 3 days, that's a lot for Boston).
 The Russian Space Station Mir will be retired some time between March
 20-28.  The controllers in Moscow have been slowly lowering the orbit of
 Mir from 250 miles down to approximately 150 miles above the earth's
 surface. The Russian controllers still have full control over the Mir
 Space Stations boosters.  Each day the orbit will lower by approximately
 1.2 miles per day, until it reached the 137-mile mark.  Then the
 on-board computers will take over and fire the engines for one last burn
 to dive the space station into the Pacific Ocean.
 When Mir reenters the earth atmosphere, it will look like a fiery
 meteorite.  Most of the 140-ton space station will burn up in the
 earth's atmosphere.  A few of the smaller chunks will splash down in the
 South Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand.
 People living in Japan and New Zealand may be able to see the station as
 it makes is last fiery decent.  Amateur Radio stations living along the
 Pacific Rim, will be able to bounce radio signals off the Ion trail of
 the Mir station and may be able to have a few minutes of "meteor bounce"
 propagation.  In that trail of Ions will not only be tons of expensive
 test equipment but it will also include several amateur radio projects,
 Icom 228h 2-meter transceiver
 Icom 70cm Repeater (SAFEX II)
 Kenwood TM-733 dual band transceiver
 Kewnood TM-V7A dual band transceiver (Marex SSTV system)
 Kantronics KPC-9612 TNC (Marex Email system)
 PacCom TNC
 When Mir goes, I will be sad.  She served us well during her historic 15
 year Mission.  The Mir Station reminds me a little of the fictional TV
 series, Star Trek.  Mir boldly went where no one has gone before and
 paved the way for her little child, Space Station Alpha. Do you remember
 Start Trek 3, In search of Spok?  At the end of the Movie, we all shed a
 tear, when the Enterprise NCC-1701 burnt up in the atmosphere of the
 Genesis planet.  So too will Mir bun up as she head for her splash down
 in the pacific.
 I found a web page seems to have a good plot of Mir and its final orbit.
 Insurance Policy:
 The Russians have take out an Insurance polity on Mir for 200,000,000. 
 Just in the remote case a few chunks reach land can cause damage.  If
 anyone does find a chuck, it would be nice to find one to the fragments
 of the Amateur Radio stations, especially the ones with my name written
 on the bottom.  
 Copyright 2001 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
 distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers),
 and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for profit including, but
 limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without
 written consent from the author.

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