On this day: February 19

POSTED: 04:31 PM PST Feb 18, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Feb 18, 2014 

Rescuers reach the Donner Party, Edison patents the phonograph, the Soviet Union launches the Mir space station, and Fidel Castro resigns as Cuban president, all on this day.

OTD February 19 - Mir
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NASA

1986: The Soviet Union launches the core module of its Mir space station. Weeks later, a crew of two cosmonauts would be sent to man the 56-foot long by 14-foot wide station, which would eventually be expanded with six more modules. The core module provided living quarters for the cosmonauts along with a working compartment for monitoring and commanding the core systems. Mir, which is Russian for peace, would be continually manned for 12 and a half of the 15 years it remained in space. The space station was deorbited on March 23, 2001, and burned up upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

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