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The original International Space Station, often called Station Alpha, was mothballed in 2025, after a long and largely successful career. Mir-II was its successor. The basic design dated back to the 1990's, when the Russian space program was preparing a replacement for its aging space station, Mir. When the design was revisited and updated in 2020, it was originally going to be called Station Beta. After extensive lobbying, and an impressive write-in campaign, the name was officially changed to Mir-II by the participating nation states.

Most of the structure's components were constructed by Molenya Astronautics, and Mircorp, two long-time providers for the Russian and Soviet space programs. The first components were lofted in 2028, using the controversial USS Columbia, one of the United State's first "nuclear light bulb" rockets. The final components were installed in 2031, and the station operated continuously until 2051.

In spite of it's "retro" design, Mir-II carried the best space technology available at the time. It generally supported a crew of eight, but could house up to fourteen for short periods. Mir-II saw the first forays into fusion power research, and some of the first commercial applications of microgravity. It also hosted a variety of scientific projects in numerous fields, many of which yielded impressive results. One of the most important of these was the experiments of Japanese-American computer scientist Kimberly Usagi, who developed the first room-temperature silicon superconductor matrix. These matrices, later called Usagi crystals, ultimately revolutionized computer science.

Mir-II also continued the work of it's famous predecessors, by hosting research projects from all over the world. For example, in this 2036 image, service craft can be seen performing a number of tasks. On careful inspection, a Russian Kayjat capsule can be seen attached to the aft docking cog, while an American Apollo Mk. II is delivering a supply pod to the forward docking bay. Meanwhile, in the background, a Chinese Shenshou capsule is conducting scientific experiments in a free-floating science module.

Plans for a third major space station had to be suspended in 2051, due to the political and economic turmoil of the time. Mir-II was mothballed in 2052, but was hastily re-activated in 2058 to perform bio-medical research aimed at combating the Blue Blight. In 2065, the World Council reluctantly mothballed Mir-II for a second and final time. By this time the structure had become too old to adequately service any longer. Over the next fifteen years it was gradually dismantled. Several of it’s components ended up in museums.

In the mean time, smaller stations, usually handled by one or two nations, or small coalitions of research groups, were launched starting in 2067, and continued in varying numbers until 2083. It wasn't until 2090 that a true successor to the original ISS and Mir-II began construction.

- Citation: Eeq's technological history of the Solar Council, 6th ed.


Footnote one: The Solar Council, Eeq, and all other specifics belong to and are copyrighted by ME! 'Nuff said.

Footnote two: This was rendered using Space Station Manager, an open source space station simulation program.

Footnote three: Mir-II was an actual design and the Russian space program was prepared to build it before they joined the ISS project. The design actually did look something like this. Of all the stations I’ve designed in Space Station Manager, this is one of my favorites.
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NefariousDrO's avatar
Very cool! Nice plausible design.