In mid-March, a
few dozen lucky people will bear witness to a spectacular pyrotechnic
display as Russia’s legendary Mir Space Station re-enters the Earth’s
atmosphere in the remote South Pacific seas.

A small group of space exploration professionals and enthusiasts
are organizing the expedition on a specially chartered and equipped
jet to provide an ideal aerial vantage point for watching and
scientifically analyzing Mir’s luminous retirement.

Rick Citron, a Los Angeles attorney and space exploration
promoter, is so enthusiastic about witnessing the world’s first
controlled spaceship crash to earth that he and his brother Bob
Citron, engineer and founder of both SPACEHAB and Kistler Aerospace,
along with a consortium of partners, are inviting a select group, as
well as the general public to come along. “Besides our desire to have
fun witnessing an amazing and historic sight, we are all about
encouraging the private and commercial development of space
exploration which means including citizen-explorers in these
space-related events,” explains Rick Citron.

Expedition organizers also include Herring Media Group Inc., a
creative marketing agency that develops commercial communications for
space related initiatives. The historic reentry event is being filmed
by award winning documentarian Bob Tur. Certain live media will be
made available during the flight, via the Internet.

The expedition party is designed to include mission specialists,
scientists, cosmonauts, aerospace engineers, a documentary crew,
members of the international media, and the general public. The
expedition party will assemble in the South Pacific for a few days
prior to the projected re-entry date of March 12th. There, the group
will await precise timing and tracking data from Russia’s Mission
Control, NASA, and the European Space Agency. Expedition leaders will
then plot a flight plan for both the optimum and safest viewing route.
“We will be hundreds of miles from even the beginning of the debris
footprint so there is really no danger of being hit with Mir debris,”
said Bob Citron.

Among review data from the space station’s illustrious
fifteen-year career:

  • The word “Mir” means “community” in Russian
  • The Mir Space Station is the heaviest man-made object to be
    disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere

  • Under certain circumstances (after sunset or before sunrise),
    the Mir Space Station can be seen with the naked eye

  • In preparation of the construction of the International Space
    Station, 9 Space Shuttle missions visited Mir between 1995 and
    1998

The major scientific research conducted aboard the Mir Space
Station has focused around two areas:

  • Human Life in Space (e.g. microgravity sciences, life space
    sciences, and space technology development)

  • Observational Sciences (e.g. Earth Observation and Sciences,
    and Space Sciences)

The public is invited to submit applications for membership to the
expedition via www.MirReentry.com.