"Mir was simultaneously regarded as a resilient survivor and a derelict piece of junk."

A brief history of the MIR space station


Tue, Feb 23rd, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Motherboard looks back at the MIR space station with both surprise and admiration. Surprise that something that looked like a frat house, smelled just as bad, and was held together with "baling wire, duct tape, and healthy doses of WD-40" somehow managed not to get anyone killed despite the plethora of problems and accidents it experienced. Admiration, because despite all of its misadventures and eventual demise, the MIR space station was "a pivotal stepping stone in human spaceflight." Above, a picture of the MIR space station from the article on Wikipedia.

Indeed, the scruffy nature of Mir has become one of its most defining—and endearing—qualities in retrospect. It is legitimately astonishing that nobody was killed or seriously injured on this accident-prone ragamuffin of a station, when you consider the all the wild cards that were in play. If astronauts had died, of course, we would construct a very different legacy around its tenure in space, tempered by that grim reality.

But because Mir managed to lackadaisically extricate itself out of every scrape it got into like some spacefaring Bugs Bunny, it’s now remembered as a plucky trailblazer that always beat the odds rather than the “death trap” some considered it to be at the time. We love lucky heroes, and Mir hit that archetype out of the park.



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