NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mir space station seen above the Earth. The Russian space station Mir was launched by the USSR in 1986, and spent 15 years in orbit. A wide variety of scientific experiments were carried out onboard Mir. On 23rd March 2001 it was allowed to fall back to Earth, breaking up in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Photographed on 24th September 1996 from space shuttle Atlantis, during mission STS-79. The mission's main purpose was to transport astronaut John Blaha to Mir, return Shannon Lucid to Earth and deliver supplies to the space station.
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