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On This Day in Space! Feb. 19, 1986: Russia’s Mir space station launched into orbit

On Feb. 19, 1986, the Soviet Union launched the Mir space station. While this wasn’t the primary space station launched into orbit, it was the primary one which needed to be assembled piece-by-piece in space. 

Mir enabled the primary long-duration human spaceflight missions. The present document for the longest keep in space was set aboard the Mir space station by cosmonaut Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov, who spent 437 consecutive days in orbit. 

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The Mir Space Station and Earth limb observed from the Orbiter Endeavour during NASA's STS-89 mission in 1998.

The Mir Space Station and Earth limb noticed from the Orbiter Endeavour throughout NASA’s STS-89 mission in 1998. (Image credit score: NASA)
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Space Shuttle Atlantis is connected to Russia's Mir Space Station.

Space Shuttle Atlantis is linked to Russia’s Mir Space Station. (Image credit score: Mir Crew.)
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The Russian space station Mir as seen from NASA's space shuttle Endeavour during a Shuttle/Mir mission on Jan. 29, 1998.

The Russian space station Mir as seen from NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour throughout a Shuttle/Mir mission on Jan. 29, 1998. (Image credit score: NASA)

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