The Spektr module of the Mir spacestation. Notice the broken solar panel (Source: NASA).

On June 25, 1997, the Progress M-34 spacecraft crashed into Spektr while maneuvering for a docking with the Kvant-1 module. The collision damaged one of Spektr’s solar arrays, caused a fracture that depressurized the module. The module was sealed off and isolated from the rest of the station to prevent loss of pressure of the entire station. The operation required cutting off the power cables coming from Sepctr’s solar panels. Power restoration required two internal spacewalk in August and October 1997, which restored about 70% of the power capability previously available. The module was left isolated from the Mir complex until the end of the space station’s life.

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About the author

Andrea Gini

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a scientific journalist and a professional of the space industry, working as a contractor on ISS Payload Safety. He is the Editor-in-chief of the Space Safety Magazine. Andrea is also Chairman of the Information and Communication Committee of the International Association for Advancement in Space Safety (IAASS), publisher of the Space Safety Magazine, and he is responsible for the communication strategy of the association, Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in scientific journalism from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.