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in the news

MOSCOW, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Russian authorities plan to de-orbit the Mir
space station in early March, the Itar-Tass news agency reported Friday.

 Yury Koptev, director of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, said,
"From the middle of February, we shall start to design the orbit of

 "About six corrections of the orbit need to be made for this," he told the
agency. "The supply ship Progress, which is launched on Jan. 18 from
Baikonur, will deliver to Mir fuel for the orbit lowering."

 He said the Russian foreign minister would provide full information to
countries that are concerned about the de-orbiting.

 Fragments of Mir that survive after its burns in the earth's atmosphere
are likely to fall into the South Pacific.

 On Jan. 5, Russia officially announced plans to de-orbit the trouble space
station. Mir has had several accidents, including a fire and a 1997
collision with an unmanned cargo ship.

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