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Progress docks with Mir
Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001, 12:26 PM ET (1726 GMT)
Mir space station A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft successfully docked with the Mir space station early Saturday, the next major step towards deorbiting the 15-year-old station. Progress M1-5 docked with Mir at 12:34 am EST (0534 GMT) Saturday, three days after its launch from Baikonur. The Progress is carrying a large supply of propellant that will be used to lower the station's orbit during a series of maneuvers. The final maneuver, on March 6, will cause the station to reenter the Earth's atmosphere over the South Pacific, with potentially large pieces of it surviving the fiery reentry and splashing down into the ocean. This has caused concern for some residents of islands in the region, particular after a Russian report claimed pieces would fall at least 2,000 km east of Australia -- the same distance from the continent that New Zealand and other islands are. A preferred reentry point is 3,500 km south of Easter Island, a point farther from land than any place else on the planet.
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