The Priroda (TsM-I, 77KSI, 11F77I) module was the seventh and final module of the Mir Space Station
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

. Its primary purpose was to conduct Earth resource experiments through remote sensing and to develop and verify remote sensing methods. The control system of Priroda was developed by the Khartron
JSC "Khartron" is a one of the leading design engineering bureaus of CIS , which develops and produces spacecraft control systems.- History and achievements :Khartron Corp...

Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...



Priroda was originally designed to carry a deployable solar array. However, due to delays, and the fact that solar arrays were planned for other parts of Mir, a solar array was not included in the launch configuration. Instead, during free flight, Priroda was powered by two redundant sets of batteries totaling 168. Priroda had an unpressurized instrument compartment and a habitable instrument/payload compartment. The unpressurized compartment contains propulsion system components, EVA handrails, and scientific equipment. The instrument/payload compartment was divided into two sections: an outer instrument section and an inner habitation and work compartment. Experiments on Priroda were provided by twelve different nations. These experiments covered microwave, visible, near infrared, and infrared spectral regions using both passive and active sounding methods.
Remote sensing instruments:
  • Alissa lidar - measured cloud height, structure, optical properties. 150 m vertical resolution, 1 km horizontal resolution
  • Centaur 400 MHz receiver - used to gather ocean buoy data
  • DOPI interferometer - studies gases and aerosols. 2.4-20 micrometer
  • Greben ocean altimeter - 10 cm resolution, 13.76 GHz, 2.5 km swath, nadir viewing
  • Ikar N nadir microwave radiometers - 0.3, 0.8, 1.35, 2.25, 6.0 cm wavelengths, 60 km swath, resolution 60 km and 0.15 K
  • Ikar Delta scanning microwave radiometer system - scanned 40° off track with a 400 km swath. 4.0, 0.3, 0.8, 1.35 cm wavelengths, resolution 8 – 50 km and 0.15 - 0.5 K
    The kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature. It is one of the seven base units in the International System of Units and is assigned the unit symbol K. The Kelvin scale is an absolute, thermodynamic temperature scale using as its null point absolute zero, the temperature at which all...

  • Ikar P panoramic microwave radiometers - 2.25, 6.0 cm wavelengths, 750 km swath, resolution 75 km and 0.15 K
  • Istok 1 IR spectroradiometer - wavelengths between 4.0-16.0 micrometer, 7 km swath, 0.7 x 2.8 km resolution
  • MOS-Obzor spectrometer - measured aerosol profile and ocean reflectance. 17 channels between 0.750-1.01 micrometer, 80 km swath, 700 m resolution
  • MOMS 02P Earth imager - 4 channels between 0.440-0.810 micrometer. Multi spectral, stereo or high resolution data, 6 km resolution. German instrument, initially flown aboard Spacelab D2 on Shuttle.
  • MSU-E2 high resolution optical scanner - 10 m resolution, 3 channels between 0.5 and 0.9 micrometer, nadir viewing, 2 x 24.5 km swaths
  • Ozon M spectrometer - used for ozone/aerosol profiles. 160 channels between 0.257-1.155 micrometer, 1 km altitude resolution
  • Travers Synthetic Aperture Radar - 1.28/3.28 GHz, 50 km swath, 38° look angle, 50 m resolution.

Launch and docking

Priroda was launched on April 23, 1996 on a Proton rocket
Proton rocket
Proton is an expendable launch system used for both commercial and Russian government space launches. The first Proton rocket was launched in 1965 and the launch system is still in use as of 2011, which makes it one of the most successful heavy boosters in the history of spaceflight...

. After reaching orbit, an electrical connector failure caused the amount of power available on Priroda to be cut in half. Due to the electrical problem, Priroda would only have one attempt at docking before power would be lost. This caused some concern for ground controllers because most other modules failed to dock on their first attempt. However, Priroda docked with no problems on April 26. After being moved to its permanent location at the +Z docking port on the base block, Priroda was connected to the rest of the station's electrical system which allowed to run off power from solar arrays on other modules. The crew onboard then removed the batteries from Priroda and stored them in Progress M-31 for a destructive re-entry.

During the last expedition to Mir in 2000, power loads were reportedly so high, that the crew was not able to activate any of Priroda's payloads.

Priroda, along with the other Mir components were destroyed when the Mir station was de-orbited in March 2001, entering the Earth's atmosphere.

External links

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