Components of MIR
The current Mir station is a combination of various modules that have been joined together.
Core module - The core module consists of the operational zones and living zones.
The operational zone is the area where the crew can monitor and command the activities of the space station. Scientific equipments are placed in this zone.
Living zone is made up of crew quarter, galley and personal hygiene area. The habitable parts of the Mir complex have carpet on the floor, colored walls, and a white ceiling with fluorescent lighting.
Kvant-1- is the Astrophysics module, and is located on the aft docking port of Mir . It provides information for research into the physics of active galaxies, quasars, and neutron stars by measuring electromagnetic spectra and X-ray emissions. The dimensions of Kvant-1 are 19 feet long and 14 feet in diameter.
Kvant-2- is the Scientific and Airlock module. It provides biotechnology research data, photographic equipments for observing earth, and EVA capability. It is over 40 feet long and 14 feet in diameter. The airlock allows access to the outside of Mir. Thus experiments for studying the effects of space exposure on electronics and construction materials can be conducted.
Kristall - Technological module is equipped with instruments that can be used for developing materials in the space environment. It contains equipment that produces semiconductors and other high-tech materials that benefit from the low gravity environment of space. Other apparatus includes a greenhouse designed to cultivate plants in zero-g.
Spektr - This module was attached to the Mir complex in June, 1995. It contains equipment for atmospheric research and surface studies .
The core module was the first module that was placed in orbit. It has five docking ports for attaching other modules to it. The various modules attached to the docking port can be moved around in different configurations.
For transporting crew and cargo, soyuz-TM spacecraft was used. The Progress-M spacecraft is a cargo and resupply vehicle used to send science equipment and data to and from Mir. It can also be used to conduct experiments either while attached to the complex, or during free flight. When sent back to Earth, it can also be used to remove waste materials from the Space Station.
Docking compartment was attached in 1995.
Mir re-entered the earth's atmosphere on March 23, 2001 . The reentry was observed from the south-pacific island of Fiji . The modules of Mir separated at re-entry due to the atmospheric pressure at the height of 74.1 km.
Let us see some of the factors which bought Mir back to earth.