Re: Use for Mir

From: Vitek, Antonin (
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 06:52:02 PST

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    > At 06:03 PM 3/7/01 -0800, you wrote:
    > >Does anyone know why ISS and MIR could not be
    > >combined??
    The Russians proposed incorporation of Mir orbital complex into the ISS
    in early stages of Russian cooperation on ISS, but the Americans (and
    under American pressure other international participants too). It is
    noteworthy that RAKA and Energiya proposed shifting the launch window of
    the first module FGB aka Zarya (only few days before lift-off) is such a
    way, to put the Zarya in the orbital plane of Mir to allow either
    transfering of some Mir's module or at least of some equipment (eg.
    experiments etc.) from Mir to the ISS. But also this proposal was
    rejected, NASA arguing that in the case of some disaster onboard Mir,
    the resulting debris cloud moving in the same orbital plane will be
    dangerous to the ISS. 
    My opinion is that the truth is (as allways) somewere in the middle. 
    The Mir was old in the beginning of ISS's construction, three times
    older  than its previously given lifetime at the end of (then projected)
    final date of ISS completion. The basic systems (as guidance, control,
    power systems) were outdated and suffering failures very frequently.
    This is the "real" reason.
    But also - incorporating Mir modules into the ISS should overweight the
    American part of ISS and therefore the Americans feared of Russian's
    (probable) leading role in the ISS project. The national pride is very
    very strong issue...
    Therefore ISS and Mir are flying in different planes, divided by such an
    amount of degrees in RA of ascending node (exast number se TLEs), that
    it is impossible now (and also in the future) to transfer any tiny piece
    of Mir to the ISS.
    Sorry for an off-topic e-mail (and my poor English)!
    Mgr. Antonin Vitek, CSc.
    Office: Main Library, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
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