The Question of the day is Mir powered by highly radioactive material and if so have nations in it's path made contingeny to monitor it.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
The Mir was first a product of the Soviet Cold war era, designed for alternate uses beside scientific. It would be honorable for them to make disclosure before Mir falls out of the sky and not after incase their is problems that need to be handled after the fact. If this is not a concern they need to state it, if it is they need to state it to so the proper monitoring can be in place to limit exposure. I dont know for sure if it will be a problem , but it is time to bring some light on this matter. Some of these low orbiting space relics are possibly powered by highly radioactive power plants. This is a wake up call to get it checked out.
-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware @ conservation .com), March 09, 2001
I think its unlikely thet Mir has radioactive power. The weight of the shielding needed to protect people on board would prevent it from being launched.
-- John Littmann (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2001.
This is a valid good question if you ask me. We have no idea what kind of secret technology this spacecraft has on board. What has kept it "alive" so long?
-- Ken (email@example.com), March 10, 2001.
Solar panels, big batteries, chewing gum, bailing wire, and probably the Russian version of duct tape.
See picture at http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast10mar_1.htm? list19904 for a nice view of the panels. The station has been called "Dragonfly" due to the massive solar panels sticking out like wings. They are a major reason Mir is so bright and can be seen from Earth so easily, as I noted in a recent post.
The new International Space Station also has big solar panels, as did Skylab.
I don't know that nuclear power sources have *ever* been used for manned space vessels...anyone know if this is correct?
-- Andre Weltman (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 12, 2001.