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Mir, 1 year ago today

Mir Amateur Radio Status: March 23, 2002

Mir Retires, 1 year ago today

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

Mir's Retirement date March 23 2001

The Russian Space Station Mir was retired on March 23 2001, one year

Who will push the Button?

Cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyov, who was a flight engineer on the very first
Mir mission
(March 13, 1986), who helped bring Mir alive in 1986, will be
responsible for bringing the
Mir project to an end. At approximately 0600 UTC on the 23rd, Vladimir
Solovyov issued the command to 
fire the Mir engines for one last time. Then approximately 30-45 minutes
later, Mir splashed
 down Pacific Ocean. 

The chief of the Amateur Radio Cosmonaut Department, Sergej Samburov
"I have been working on Mir for 20 years,most of my life. It's like
loosing a close relative." 
Samburov is responsible for approving all of the amateur radio
experiments on Mir and for several other Russian launched Amateur Radio

The main parts of the Mir Station dived into a specific 50 x 100
miles spot in the Pacific Ocean.  Some of the smaller lighter parts,
such as the solar panels will fragment into smaller pebble size chunks
and land over a wider area.


People living in Japan and New Zealand were be able to see the station
it made is last fiery decent.  In fiery trail of Ions will include not
tons of expensive test equipment but it also included several amateur
radio projects,

Icom 228h 2-meter transceiver (SAFEX project)
Icom 70cm Repeater (SAFEX II)
Kenwood TM-733 dual band transceiver (SAFEX project)
Kenwood TM-V7A dual band transceiver (Marex SSTV system)
Kantronics KPC-9612 TNC (Marex Email system)
PacCom TNC (MIREX project)
And the first joint project between MIREX/MAREX/SAREX/ARRL/AMSAT was the
DCI RF Filter project.

The Mir Space Station may be gone, however her new Sibling, ISS Alpha
is doing very well.  So when you look up in the sky, don't sad,
Mir's legacy will live on.

Post Card from Space
Amateur Radio operators frequently exchange postcards between radio
stations to confirm the 2-way radio contact. These
post cards are called QSL cards. I received a very special QSL card,
which came directly from the Russian Space Station Mir.

In 1999, on of my QSL cards flew into space on a Progress cargo rocket. 
The three Mir crew members then signed the WF1F
QSL card and placed ink post-mark stamps on the back of the card, 
indicating the card was actually on the Russian Space
Station Mir. One of the stamps has the date August 28, 1999, 
which is the date the Mir crew undocked and left the Space
Station and came home to Earth. The card spent over a month in 
space (over 39 days) and traveled around the world 585
times (over 21 million miles in space).

The QSL card was signed by :

    French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere 
    Russian Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev 
    Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev 

I would like to thank all of the Mir crew, Sergej Avdeyev, Viktro
Afanasyev and 
Jean-Pierre and the engineers at Energia,
including Sergej Samburov for making it possible for me to receive this
once in a 
life time gift. I am very pleased and proud
to have been a part of the successful and valuable Russian Space Amateur
Radio program.


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.

Until we meet again

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