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Mir's final day
Posted: Thu, Mar 22, 2001, 12:41 PM ET (1741 GMT)
Mir reentry illustration by AGI The Russian space station Mir entered its final day in orbit Thursday as plans to orbit the station proceeded as planned. The first of three deorbiting burns by the Progress spacecraft attached to Mir is scheduled to begin at 7:33 pm EST (0033 GMT) Thursday evening, followed 90 minutes later by the second burn. The final burn, which will put Mir on a reentry trajectory, is planned for 12:30 am EST (0530 GMT) Friday, with impact taking place no more than a hour later. Russian mission control officials say the preparations for the reentry are continuing as planned, with no problems reported that could jeopardize the reentry. While debris from Mir that survives reentry is scheduled to impact in a remote portion of the South Pacific Ocean, government officials from Japan to Fiji are urging residents to remain indoors during the reentry time. Also complicating matters are about two dozen fishing boats that are within the reentry area. "Nobody warned us that a 140-ton space station would be smashing into the fishing grounds until last week," said Wayne Heikkila, general manager of a Western Fishboat Owners Association. "We would have warned our members months ago if we'd heard about it before." Apparently Wayne and his colleagues haven't been following the news in recent months...
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