Mir Space Station Deorbit
2 Mar 2001
(Source: U.S. Department of State)
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
The Government of the Russian Federation has announced its plan to safely deorbit the Mir space station so it reenters the atmosphere over an uninhabited area of the South Pacific Ocean. The United States Government has agreed, within its capabilities, to provide Russia with tracking and trajectory data, as well as scientific data on atmospheric conditions, including solar activity, during the period of the deorbit, now scheduled for mid-March. The Government of the Russian Federation, through its Russian Aviation and Space Agency (RosAviaKosmos), has also asked the European Space Agency to contribute tracking and trajectory data to support the safe deorbit of Mir.
The U.S. Government, which constantly monitors thousands of objects orbiting earth with its limited worldwide array of radars and optical telescopes, will help track Mir's descent. It will share its tracking and trajectory data with the Russian Government to complement and expand Russia's own data. The United States and Russia have agreed to employ existing lines of communications between NASA and RosAviaKosmos to conduct routine data exchange during the deorbit period.
The Government of the Russian Federation has stated that it remains solely responsible for the deorbit of the Mir Space Station. The Russian Government has repeatedly stated its commitment to a controlled and safe deorbit of the space station.
RosAviaKosmos and Mission Control Moscow have established a website to offer daily updates on Mir's descent:
http://www.mcc.rsa.ru/deorbit/www/MIR/mir_main.htm [text in Russian]
http://www.mcc.rsa.ru/deorbit/www_eng/index.htm [text in English]
The official RosAviaKosmos website is:
http://www.rosaviakosmos.ru [text in English and Russian]
Also, for questions about the deorbit plan, RosAviaKosmos' Press Secretary is available in Moscow at (7) (095) 975-4586 or (7) (095) 975-4458.
For general questions on the background of the Mir Space Station, NASA Public Affairs can be reached at http://www.nasa.gov/. For matters related to the observation and tracking of Mir, Department of Defense Public Affairs may be reached at http://www.defenselink.mil/ and U.S. Space Command Public Affairs is available at http://www.spacecom.af.mil/usspace/.