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MAREX Mir news March 14, 2001

Mir Amateur Radio Status: March 14, 2001

By Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

Hi Everyone:
I just got off the phone with one of the engineers at TSUPs, (Moscow
Mission Control)

Mir's Retirement date adjusted to March 21 -23.

The Russian Space Station Mir will be retired some time between March
21-23.  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. When the Space station gets below 250 Kilometers, it will be at
the point of no return. The two Progress rocket boosters will not be
able to lift Mir back into orbit.  When Mir reaches the 220 Kilometer
point, that will be the signal for the controllers to pick the final
orbit.  Mir is currently at  about 240  kilometers.  The controllers
will then program the computers on Mir to fire the engines to make Mir
dive into a specific 50 x 100 miles spot in the Pacific Ocean.

There are still many people in Russian, who are protesting to try to
keep Mir flying.  Unfortunately it may now be too late.  The orbit  of
Mir may have just crossed the point of no return.

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
And almost forgot the first joint project between

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.  

New MAREX Web pages.
Check out our future ISS Projects.


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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