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.


About the author

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a content strategy consultant specialized in companies of the space sector. He is founder of Space Safety Magazine, where he held the position of Editor-in-Chief until March 2015. Between 2011 and 2013 he worked in the European Space Agency in the Independent Safety Office, which overviews the utilization of the International Space Station. He previously worked as Software Developer, IT Consultant, and trainer of Java-related technologies. Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in Communication of Science from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.

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