Friday, February 19, 2010
Mir Space Station Launched
The first module of the Mir Space Station, known as the Base Block (Core Module), was launched aboard a Proton rocket February 20th Russian time.
The Mere Meaning of Mir
Does Mir REALLY mean peace? Maybe not... Frank Culbertson's extremely well-written letter to Congress in 1996 sheds a different light. Frank's letter also points out something amazing that is very timely in our current space wars of money and direction. The fact is Mir was done when they had NO resources! They cared enough about their foothold on space to make huge sacrifices in the eye of pride and mankind's absolute need to explore the unknown and achieve things some think impossible! At times I heard stories from my Russian counterparts in the NASA-Mir program that they had not been paid in months or often were paid in solid goods - like toilet paper that was found in a warehouse and recognized of value. Did the workers leave? Did they quit, mad about the wages owed to them? No, they did not! They found a way to survive to maintain that foothold. They found a way, utilizing every resource to its maximum - they sent one Soyuz to two different space stations at the beginning of Mir because they did not have enough Soyuz spacecraft! Not only did they do it, they maintained the life of that space station three times longer than intended. I had the fortune to be there for the 10th anniversary and a few proud office celebrations with chilled Zhelka... and they weren't done yet! Mir was not deorbited for another six years!
I strongly recommend Frank's letter, and especially the last paragraph and concluding lines!
Parent Site on Mir Space Station History - with even more moving thoughts!