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.
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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