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Progress launched to Mir
Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001, 11:25 AM ET (1625 GMT)
Mir space station A Progress cargo spacecraft was successfully launched early Wednesday on a mission to deorbit the Russian space station Mir. A Soyuz rocket lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 11:28 pm EST Tuesday (0428 GMT Wednesday) and placed into orbit the Progress M1-5 spacecraft. The spacecraft will dock with Mir in three days, a day longer than usual in order to conserve propellant that will be used later to lower Mir's orbit. Several engine firings in early March by the Progress will lower the station's orbit so that it reenters the Earth's atmosphere over the south Pacific on March 6. No additional piloted missions to Mir are planned prior to the deorbiting unless the Progress is unable to dock with the station or fire its engines, in which case an emergency crew will be sent to the station. The launch was scheduled for last week but delayed when a power failure shut down the station's guidance system, making a docking by the Progress impossible.
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