U.S. Department of State

Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC

March 2, 2001

Mir Space Station Deorbit

The Government of the Russian Federation has announced its plan to safely
deorbit the Mir space station so it reenters the atmosphere over an
uninhabited area of the South Pacific Ocean. The United States Government
has agreed, within its capabilities, to provide Russia with tracking and
trajectory data, as well as scientific data on atmospheric conditions,
including solar activity, during the period of the deorbit, now scheduled
for mid-March. The Government of the Russian Federation, through its
Russian Aviation and Space Agency (RosAviaKosmos), has also asked the
European Space Agency to contribute tracking and trajectory data to
support the safe deorbit of Mir.

The U.S. Government, which constantly monitors thousands of objects orbiting
earth with its limited worldwide array of radars and optical telescopes,
will help track Mir’s descent. It will share its tracking and trajectory
data with the Russian Government to complement and expand Russia’s own data.
The United States and Russia have agreed to employ existing lines of
communications between NASA and RosAviaKosmos to conduct routine data
exchange during the deorbit period.

The Government of the Russian Federation has stated that it remains solely
responsible for the deorbit of the Mir Space Station. The Russian Government
has repeatedly stated its commitment to a controlled and safe deorbit of
the space station.

RosAviaKosmos and Mission Control Moscow have established a website to offer
daily updates on Mir’s descent:
www.mcc.rsa.ru/deorbit/www/MIR/mir_main.htm [text in Russian] or
www.mcc.rsa.ru/deorbit/www_eng/index.htm [text in English]

The official RosAviaKosmos website is:www.rosaviakosmos.ru [text in English and Russian]

Also, for questions about the deorbit plan, RosAviaKosmos’ Press Secretary
is available in Moscow at (7) (095) 975-4586 or (7) (095) 975-4458.

For general questions on the background of the Mir Space Station, NASA
Public Affairs can be reached at http://www.nasa.gov/. For matters related
to the observation and tracking of Mir, Department of Defense Public Affairs
may be reached at http://www.defenselink.mil/ and U.S. Space Command Public
Affairs is available at http://www.spacecom.af.mil/usspace/.