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Mir: Rest in Pieces

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the finally dept.

Space 212

This is, I hope, the last Mir story we'll be doing for a long while. Mir's dead. Controllers gave the de-orbit command at 12:08 AM EST, and it apparently came down just before 1 AM EST. Lots of stories out there, here are just a few: Space.com | AP | BBC. Remarkably, pieces of Mir are already being auctioned on Ebay. More information below.

Space.com is giving the splashdown time at 12:58 AM EST, which seems to agree with what everyone else is saying. Unless I can find a more precise time, I'll go with that.

Mir stats: first piece launched Feb. 20, 1986. Returned to Earth Mar. 23, 2001. Total orbits: 86,331 (that's a Trivial Pursuit question in the next edition, guaranteed). Longest stay: 438 days, Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, currently the record-holder for longest stay in space. Debris footprint: 120 miles by 3,600 miles, centered around 44 S latitude and 150 W longitude.

Jacek Fedorynski took a look at Guess When Mir Will Splash and drew up this nice histogram of the guesses. He also notes that the median guess for Mir's return to Mother Earth was 2001-03-19 10:11:01.

Good guesses:

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Re:Tacos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#344998)

God damn, enough with the freakin' tacos already!
In yesterday's MIR story, exactly 63% of the posts had some relation to that cheap-ass publicity ploy. Yeah, it was amusing, for about thirty seconds. And unlike "AYBABTU", it is not funnier if it's repeated 100 times.
They're a part of Pepsico, for God's sake.

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

Eg0r (704) | more than 13 years ago | (#345002)

CCCP times are over. Maybe now we can concentrate on Russian achievements rather than hanging on to our - somewhat not so glorious - past. I think our country still has an enormous potential on the space arena... who do you call when you can't afford losing a sat? nope, not ghostbusters! The Russians!

We still have a space station... that is if Junior B. has the mental ability to understand some basic rules of cooperation: For what I know, the in-ter-na-tio-nal space station doesn't belong to the yanks. It belongs to everybody who worked on the project. That being said, eventhough it is sad to see mir going down, I think we needed that to, who knows? maybe build another one?

VOT TAK! :-)


Ebay auction (2)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#345011)

Look at the timestamp on the start of the auction, versus the actual splashdown time. I doubt this is a legit auction....

Re:Piece of mir on eBay (2)

RayChuang (10181) | more than 13 years ago | (#345012)

I knew it wouldn't take long before someone thought up the bright idea (pun not intended) of putting the remains of Mir up on eBay. :-)

It'll be interesting to see how many verifiable pieces of Mir remains are posted on various eBay auctions. Some pieces could go for thousands of dollars.

No Free Tacos (1)

CodeMonky (10675) | more than 13 years ago | (#345013)

I guess it didn't hit the Taco Bell Free Taco target.
I was sooo looking forward to a free taco.

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#345014)

Techno and Rap do not qualify for being classified as music since they are only a collection of recompositions of the telophone dial tone!

Oh, and another song based on the same three freaking chords is any different.....

Movie of the reentry? (2)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 13 years ago | (#345015)

Anyone have an mpeg copy of the reentry movie? It seems everything on the net is either Quicktime, Real or AVI.

Re:It is sad (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#345017)

Or at least just preserve the orbit, and add on the pieces to the ISS instead. Launch costs being so high it seems almost criminal to just destroy such a costly investment. Sure, the parts of Mir may not be exactly right for the ISS, but at least you could keep them as unpressurized storage compartments. That's got to be cheaper than re-launching equivalent hardware from Earth.

Tacos? (1)

YeOldeGnurd (14524) | more than 13 years ago | (#345021)

So, did Mir hit the 40' X 40' floating "Free Taco" banner? Taco Bell set up this banner as a publicity stunt. If Mir, or a significant piece of Mir, I suppose, hit the banner, Taco Bell claimed they would give a free taco to every person in the USofA. I would think CmdrTaco would have been following this important story!

Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

thefallen (16891) | more than 13 years ago | (#345022)

  • Actually, a billion is a thousand million, not a million million.

I never understood the logic in that.

Million: 10^6
American Billion: 10^9
Real Billion: 10^12
American Trillion (?): 10^12 (is it?)
Real Trillion: 10^18

Did I get that right? And if I did, look at the progression and tell me which is more logical, 6k or 3+3k.

Coincidence or Foreshadowing? (1)

Fapestniegd (34586) | more than 13 years ago | (#345037)

Isn't it ironic that the "Death of Mir" coincides with diplomats being sent back to the Russia? This could lead to a heightened level of distrust between Russia and the US, if not a peace breakdown altogether. "Mir" is Russian for "Peace."

Re:Throwaway accounts (1)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 13 years ago | (#345038)

Well, I'm not a throwaway account. But then,
I'm not American either. And I agree (and for
the record I know quite a few Americans who
agree) with minus23.

Such a cynical attempt to use an unprecedented
occurrence to manipulate the general media-sheep
populace into brand recognition is just a low
form of preying on the weak. Looks like you fell
for it.

Taco Bell (1)

nullset (39850) | more than 13 years ago | (#345043)

According to tacobell.com, Mir did not in fact hit their target.

All your free tacos are belong to us. (iow, no free tacos for americans)


Re:If it doesn't get said... (2)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 13 years ago | (#345048)

Actually, a billion is a thousand million, not a million million.

When I was a kid, a billion was a million million. But these days it seems that the definition of it as a thousand million is almost ubiquitous (I don't agree, but I go with the flow).

I think this is because it a politician and advertisers billion, looks impressive, everybody goes "wow! look at how many Billions! BillyG has!", and "look how our kind leaders are pumping Billions! into promoting thermonuclear destruction..", "Microsoft is great, Billions! of people buy Windows!!!!!!!"

I'm too cynical for this shit. 10^9 is quicker to type.


Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

aznel (50914) | more than 13 years ago | (#345051)

Actually, Pepsico spunoff [pepsico.com] their resturants off a few years ago. Now they are owned by "TriCon"

But I don't know what you are talking about... Cheetos rule, Tostitos rule, Sun Chips rule and god knows Pepsi rules. Therefore Pepsico rules.


WP has the AP pic & Video (2)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 13 years ago | (#345054)

The photo acompanies this article [washingtonpost.com] but it's much smaller (though better detailed).

They also have a link to a RealVideo Clip [rbn.com] which was obviously filmed on a camcorder but manages to catch quite a bit of the debris fly-over.

Re:Enough with the taco's already. (5)

birder (61402) | more than 13 years ago | (#345055)

If in 25 years Mir is mentioned along with a footnote to Taco Bell... then we (as Americans) have done a great evil.

It's already going to happen. Haven't you seen Demolition Man?

Kenny speaking from Chile. Again. (1)

locoluis (69948) | more than 13 years ago | (#345056)

> ... it didn't kill Kenny?

No this time. And you didn't get your free 74Q0. :-P


locoluis (69948) | more than 13 years ago | (#345057)

No damos tacos a los que no saben hablar bien castellano. (We don't give tacos to anyone who don't know how to speak spanish)

Requiem for a Star (2)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 13 years ago | (#345059)

To a Star:

Power of the Russians
Glory of the Skies
Oldest of man's Satellites
You have inspired the dreams of thousands
Fulfilled the hopes of many
Brightened the eyes of millions

Your trip is now finished
Your journey complete
You have done well
We salute you.

Rest in Peace
23 March 2001

If it doesn't get said... (4)

aidoneus (74503) | more than 13 years ago | (#345060)

CNN [cnn.com] is reporting at 05:58GMT the Russian Mir Space Station has splashed into the Pacific Ocean. Full details can be found here [cnn.com] . Personally, it was a little bittersweet to witness the end of an era. After all, Mir had spent somewhere near 3.5 billion (million million for the UKians in the audience) miles and 15 years in space. It really was a remarkable piece of technology, but Russians really should be applauded for the accuracy of the descent. From what I understand they only missed the targeted area by a few hundred miles. Maybe they had representatives from the Mars Polar Lander team... :)

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

Cplus (79286) | more than 13 years ago | (#345061)

You mean the Russians have done something other than starve and develop a kick-ass mafia since the breakup of the USSR? I had no idea.

Look up in the sky (2)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 13 years ago | (#345070)

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane! It's a really obvious although not very creative reference to Superman!

Mir, the Resurrection (1)

magi (91730) | more than 13 years ago | (#345071)

Great, if we now collect the "pieces of Mir" for a few centuries (or millenia), we can probably build a huge (Babylon 5 sized or bigger) space station out of them.

Re:Mir Fungus comic, ...thanks Nitrozac! (1)

Molina the Bofh (99621) | more than 13 years ago | (#345077)

For those who speak Portuguese, there is this shockwave animation [molina.com.br] that shows the president of Petrobras on top of P-36, the largest offshore oil rig, that recently sank, singing a parody of the infamous Titanic music. When he says that nothing worse can happen, then the Mir falls upon his head. It's very interesting for those who understand Portuguese.

Re:That's it! (1)

Dr. Wonz (113953) | more than 13 years ago | (#345082)


I'm writing academic work...but I'm wearing jeans.

Must be some mad scientist fetish thing, I guess.

If encryption is outlawed, only

Dangerous precedent (2)

Kwelstr (114389) | more than 13 years ago | (#345083)

I think this makes for a very dangerous precedent. I am talking about all the mutant microbs and bacteria that Mir was carrying.

Who knows what survived the plunge into the ocean, or even went foating on earth's atmosphere?

They should have boost it out into the sun or empty space; but of course, that would've cost a lot more money, and as always, money is king in this world. Who cares about a healthy environment when we can save a buck.

Re:Dangerous precedent (2)

Kwelstr (114389) | more than 13 years ago | (#345084)

How about the money problem a strange new disease could bring? My point is, we will have more of this kind of objects coming back to earth in the future, and one day we could pay for being so careless.

Re:Dangerous precedent (1)

Maurice (114520) | more than 13 years ago | (#345085)

Apollo did not leave Earth orbit. They just went into a high earth orbit, to rendezvous with the moon (which incidentally is also in Earth orbit, duh). However, the energy (delta v) it takes to go into such an orbit is fairly close to the energy it takes to leave Earth orbit (delta v ~ 11000 m/s)

Piece of mir on e-bsy (?) (3)

tonyt (115436) | more than 13 years ago | (#345086)

here is a rather sketcthy auction for a piece of the space station:

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem& item=1126537064 [ebay.com]

this appeared very soon after splashdown, and by a user clearly created just to sell "mir-wreckage". could a boat really pick up pieces of mir? charred hunks of spacestation don't seem like they would be floating and easily spottable. also, this would be very easy to scam adequately, with a blowtorch and some twisted metal/plastic/fiberglass, although the experts could probably tell.

maybe someone can put up a bid, pain the slashdot logo over the char marks, and offer it as a second prize for people who didn't win the slashdot pt cruiser.

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

Svenne (117693) | more than 13 years ago | (#345089)

Actually, a billion is a thousand million, not a million million.


Re:Dangerous precedent (1)

andycal (127447) | more than 13 years ago | (#345094)

There's no way microbes could survive in space - how would they live?

Apollo 12 brought back pieces of the surveyor probe that had living microbes on them. These were left by improper decontamination of the probe before it left earth.

In that case, I believe the microbes were dormant while they stayed on the moon for ~18 months. With Mir, the "space fungus" is supposed to be active. I don't know what it's living on, probably something in the metal or some such.

but, clearly, whatever it was, it most likely came from earth. No big deal to return it there.

Re:Dangerous precedent (3)

andycal (127447) | more than 13 years ago | (#345096)

Do you have ANY clue how much power it would take to get something so big out of earth orbit. I don't have numbers but clearly the thing is several times larger than the largest objects ever tossed our of Earth Orbit. (Apollo Command Modules and Lunar Modules)

Are you suggesting that the current space budgets be hacked up even more to pay for a couple of Saturn Vs (Billions in today's dollars) to perform this task.

It would probably be cheaper to send 10 or so shuttle missions up to bring it down in pieces.. and I'll bet some of the pieces wouldn't fit in the shuttle bay.

besides, the bacteria was on the outside, which probably reaches autoclave temperatures on the way down. I doubt much could survive that.

Very impressive, but unfortunately no free taco's (3)

Manhigh (148034) | more than 13 years ago | (#345104)

Its nice when something in the space industry goes as well as this did. Unfortunately, hopes of free taco's have gone unfullfilled. [] If by some off chance you havent seen the video of it over Fiji yet, check it out. http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/03/23/mir.desce nt/index.html [cnn.com] Very cool stuff. Congratulations and condolences to everyone who helped to bring it down so successfully.

Re:It is sad (2)

JimPooley (150814) | more than 13 years ago | (#345105)

There's one major reason why they don't send it out to space. It would cost too much in terms of fuel. It's a lot easier to slow the orbit so it falls to earth, than to escape the earth's gravity, when you're dealing with something that has as much mass as Mir. Also the thrust required may cause bits to drop off, adding to space junk threatening the ISS and anything else going into space.

Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems

Re:If it doesn't get said... (2)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#345107)

It gave us experience and lessons for future missions, and you can't get experience in something without doing it.


Rust In Pieces (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 13 years ago | (#345110)

To everyone making solemn remarks of taking the old wreck of a station out of its misery, remember 'mir' means peace. Finally the station has reached the state worthy of its name.


Re:Movie of the reentry? (2)

jargoone (166102) | more than 13 years ago | (#345111)

It seems everything on the net is either Quicktime, Real or AVI.

What, don't have a viewer? Oh, you must use Leenux. Too bad for you. Looks like it's time to h4x0r.

Taco Bell (1)

fogof (168191) | more than 13 years ago | (#345112)

Does anyone know if a piece hit the taco bell target ? Should I expect a cupon by mail ?

Re:Piece of mir on eBay (1)

termchimp (173199) | more than 13 years ago | (#345114)

You know, I've got a whole bridge in San Fransisco that I'll sell you for less than that piece of Mir. I'll be posting it on eBay shortly...

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

ukscott (176935) | more than 13 years ago | (#345117)

Wrong!! There is a piece of Mir smoldering in my backyard in downtown Auckland. I can see what is left of a solar pa!! o my there is something moving.. Arghhhhh... Its a triffed!!!!

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

zombieking (177383) | more than 13 years ago | (#345119)

Why do you think Taco Bell is so eager to give out free tacos? To deliver Brain eating space fungii of course.


Re:Dangerous precedent (1)

kunsan (189020) | more than 13 years ago | (#345128)

Are those the same "mutant" microbes that the Space Shuttle brings back to earth as well. What an assinign statement... and the sad part is someone modded it as insightful! MORON

billions and trillions (1)

ponxx (193567) | more than 13 years ago | (#345129)

As I understand originally a billion was 10^12, this is certainly still true in German (where 10^9 is called "Milliarde", whereas in the UK i believe it is a thousand millions).

For a list of numbers take a look at http://www.todd.demon.co.uk/encyc/million.htm [demon.co.uk] , which compares british and US usage.

it seems thought that today most people use the american billions (though this arguably is a less sensible system), but as long as we're not starting to quote pressures in psi or some equally silly unit i'm happy....

Re:Dangerous precedent (1)

sceptre1067 (197404) | more than 13 years ago | (#345130)

Yes but....

Mold/fungs that had been brought up had mutated (due to radiation) and was rather, mmm, tenacious. One astronout said that he didn't want to put his hand into certain areas (i.e. access panels to wiring and such) because it 'was so gross'. I think Wired had an article on this a while ago (thought the memory is fading.)

I honestly don't expect that anything on board was dangerous. Also I do expect that the heat of re-entry killed anything on boared. But its not as simple as, it came from earth so we can deal with it. Hell influenza comes from earth but mutates each year requiring new vaccines. HIV comes from earth but we don't know how to deal with it. As for more complex organisms (like mold) who knows what it can mutate into (from a surviveablity point of view)

just a $.02 rambling

This isn't the X-files (2)

kinnunen (197981) | more than 13 years ago | (#345131)

People have been living in MIR for 15 years, if there were some deadly bacteria in there you'd think we would have noticed it by now. Not to mention that things get REALLY HOT during re-entry, killing any microbs onboard.


Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

guinsu (198732) | more than 13 years ago | (#345132)

I don't see where the illogic is, every three 0's it gets a new name: thousand, million, billion, trillion, etc. So that way you don't get gaps where you have to say "thousand-something", we just give it a shorter name. Which is very useful considering how much more often large numbers need to be used in common language, especially when refering to money. Budgets and profits are regularly mentioned that are in the (American) billions or trillions.

No Deaths on Mir (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 13 years ago | (#345133)

I've never heard of a death on the Mir. James Oberg has cataloged what is known about the several deaths of Russian cosmonauts here [jamesoberg.com] , and Mir isn't mentioned once.

It is sad (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 13 years ago | (#345135)

I still do not see a need to deorbit a large vessel like MIRS (or ALPHA in 15 years). Why not pump it to a higher orbit and send towards MARS or the MOON. Where the interner space or at least the the materal would be of future use.

eBay Note (1)

cribcage (205308) | more than 13 years ago | (#345136)

It's worth noting that the current high-bidder in the eBay auction linked above, "jsider22," has an "About Me" page on the auction site which lists Slashdot as one of his three favorite sites.

...proving once again that the idiots of the world are closer than you think.


I want proof! (1)

Placido (209939) | more than 13 years ago | (#345139)

I say Taco Bell must provide proof that MIR missed the target. I want video footage showing MIR missing the target.

Pinky: What are we going to do tomorrow night Brain?

Space Mushrooms (1)

Malkoth (220772) | more than 13 years ago | (#345144)

Heh i wonder if there are any space shrooms still intact?? Quick! someone check them for psilocybe!

Re:Enough with the taco's already. (1)

Johnny Starrock (227040) | more than 13 years ago | (#345149)

I think that's kinda what Taco Bell was going for, besides having the ignorant get their hopes up for a free taco..

But the big question is... (1)

morie (227571) | more than 13 years ago | (#345150)

Did it hit the Taco Bell mark and will every american get a free stomach-ache?

Re:Should Have Come Down Sooner (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#345151)

I wouldn't call Mir an unmitigated disaster, but the Russians were certainly taking funds marked for their part of the International Space Station, and spending them on keeping Mir up. Now that Mir is down, maybe the Russians will start producing their space station components on-time again.

I never heard about the cosmonaut dying due to a fire in space - references, please?

Re:Tacos? (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#345152)

If Mir (or more specifically the "core" of Mir (if it had a recognizable core when it hit)) hit that target, don't you think you would have heard about it buy now?

Er... Well, y'know. You can't make an omelette without um... destroying a forest. Or something.

Re:Yahoo! had this pic (2)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#345153)

It did look a little funny, but I concluded that the camera was pointed straight up at the pieces as they moved by.

Er... Well, y'know. You can't make an omelette without um... destroying a forest. Or something.

Yahoo! had this pic (5)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#345154)

Here. [yahoo.com] Pretty good picture of Mir coming down in flaming chunks.

Er... Well, y'know. You can't make an omelette without um... destroying a forest. Or something.

Re:I want proof! (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#345157)

Well, there would be no good proof. MIR came in at 17,000 MPH +, so it's not like if it hit that floating piece of shit in the ocean, anything would be left. It would've disintegrated instantly. What I want is a good video shot of the water splash. It probably went 1/2 mile into the air.

Someone remembers Paco Rabanne ? (2)

Bug2000 (235500) | more than 13 years ago | (#345158)

Well now Paco Rabanne's last chance to see his predictions [scarysquirrel.org] come true have vanished in the Pacific. I want my money back for me lucky charms Paco!

Wonder what the next Mir story would be ? (5)

SirFlakey (237855) | more than 13 years ago | (#345160)

"Mir, after successfully entering the earth athmosphere and crashing into the ocean has resurfaced and is on a direct collision course with Tokyo (which holds a patent on catastrophic dinosaur distruction)"

Re:Should Have Come Down Sooner (1)

palmersperry (242842) | more than 13 years ago | (#345166)

> I think we can all agree Mir has been a disaster from day 1. Yeah ... and we can point the wonderfully successful space station programs run by other nations as .. Oh well, so much for that argument!

Re:Throwaway accounts (1)

minus23 (250338) | more than 13 years ago | (#345171)

Hmmm... well if someone is using throw-away accounts... it wasn't me... Heh.. I never made the post to troll... but I'm glad someone thought it was insightfull :)...

Hmmm you should calm-down tho with your always questioning how things happen the way they do... I learned a long time ago that some things just undergo the phenomenon of *actually occuring*.

It is strange stuff... but there is no stopping it.

Enough with the taco's already. (3)

minus23 (250338) | more than 13 years ago | (#345172)

If in 25 years Mir is mentioned along with a footnote to Taco Bell... then we (as Americans) have done a great evil.

CNN Lame as Hell (1)

Alistair Graham (254201) | more than 13 years ago | (#345178)

so i wake up this morning turn on the tv and cnn is reporting how Mir has just past over Japan and how the goverment was issuing warnings , and im eating my flakes, and they are building the tention up for over a hour, interviewing the guy who used to be the plumber back in 87 to the guy who makes Mir Comenarative underpants and sells them on e-bay , i stategically time a quick trip to work, run inside and turn back on there satalite , and what does the short little American from CNN say ? " looks like Mir is in the drink " thats it all the hype the coverage and they get Beavis to say it's in the drink , where where the pictures ? the religios cults chanting the end id night , the pieces of the station breaking up and taking out Japanese fishing trawlers causeing massive movie explosions, a space virus comming down and causing a fog of death over japan ? i mean talk about a let down , and why where there no pictures ? and how much sea life did that thing crashing down kill this morning ?

Re:CNN Lame as Hell (1)

Alistair Graham (254201) | more than 13 years ago | (#345179)

im not a limey and CNN is Lame latelty , they used to have really good stuff on , but not of late , if i was a limey and i had satalite , i would be watching sky news or bbc anyway

Microsoft HQ destroyed! (1)

syncsync (267269) | more than 13 years ago | (#345183)

http://space.cnn.com@000321.000321.061.00000312/ne ws/mir.descent/index.html

Re:Should Have Come Down Sooner (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 13 years ago | (#345186)

Well at least they did not fuck up a simple conversion from meters to inches. DOOOOOOOOOOOH!

In 15 years shit is bound to happen on a pioneering space station designed to stay in orbit for 15 months and it is really amazing how well it went and how well the Russians dealt with it. Mir is arguably the greatest accomplishment in space so far greater than the Appollo missions and right up there with Hubble. Can you point to anyone who did better than Mir in the last 15 years with his space station? NASA perhaps? Oh... wait... Mir was the only Space Station in orbit after Skylab was scrapped. And darn it.. if it isn't the experiences with Mir that make the International Space Station possible in the first place! Dammn communists and their stupid ideas!

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 13 years ago | (#345188)

Ok lets sum up you basic Techno Trance super hit...

Get a musical keyboard, hit the keys randomly to produce a 3 second collection of noises. Record the noises in a .wav file join it N times until you have a several minutes of the same noises being repeated again and again. Then get some durnken slob to make bowel noises and add them to the sound track at regular intervals, PRESTO.. Thechno Trance....

Re:If it doesn't get said... (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 13 years ago | (#345189)

Space fungus...

Which explains the origins of Techno and Rap music! Brain eating space fungii...

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

romanski (311971) | more than 13 years ago | (#345190)

No, this is a point of confusion between U.S-ians and the rest of the world. Bilion appears in many languages and in all of them it is 10^12.

Re:Dangerous precedent (1)

tb3 (313150) | more than 13 years ago | (#345191)

Get a clue. On average, a man-made object re-enters the atmosphere once every day. This has been happening for yers now. There are twenty-some-odd thousand pieces of space junk in orbit as we speak.
If you're that worried, you might want to duck...

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 13 years ago | (#345192)

<i>After all, Mir had spent somewhere near 3.5 billion (million million for the UKians in the audience) miles and 15 years in space.</i>
Except a billion is a thousand million.

Re:If it doesn't get said... (1)

cats (316481) | more than 13 years ago | (#345193)

Everyone knows Twinkie the Kid is the antichrist!
Don't let his delectable cream filling throw you off. One day we'll all be under his delicious reign of terror!

Superstitions about mirrors (1)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 13 years ago | (#345196)

Uh oh! The russians broke the Mir! I guess that's 7 years bad luck for them!

One of the few remnants of communist Russia (2)

silent_poop (320948) | more than 13 years ago | (#345201)

In reading some articles and watching some of the news stories about MIR on TV it's become apparent that the Russians are looking upon this event as a solemn moment. With this being one of the few remnants of communist Russia, they view it as the end of the successful Russia, the Russia which rivaled the United States in it's space program. Being as I'm not Russian, I'm curious to see if there are any Russian slashdot readers that can confirm or shed some light on the mood in Russia. Part of me can see the logic behind what the media is saying but part of me sees some sensationalism as well.


Re:Dangerous precedent (1)

TikkaMassala (411282) | more than 13 years ago | (#345207)

There's no way microbes could survive in space - how would they live? They'd need air and food. You could argue that they could evolve, but if I put you in a swimming pool full of bleach, would you evolve gills and immunity before you died? nope. If there were any bacteria/microbes on Mir, we put them there, so they can safely return to earth. If you're worried about the terrestrial microbes mutating, then surely you're against Astronauts coming back to earth, in case they turn out to be x-men or something :)
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