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March 23, 2001The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
Mir's deorbit was carried out in three stages. The first stage involved waiting for atmospheric drag to reduce the station's orbit to an average of 220 kilometres (140 mi). This began with the docking of Progress M1-5, a modified version of the Progress-M carrying 2.5 times more fuel in place of supplies. The second stage was the transfer of the station into a 165 × 220 km (103 × 137 mi) orbit. This was achieved with two burns of Progress M1-5's control engines at 00:32 UTC and 02:01 UTC on 23 March 2001. After a two-orbit pause, the third and final stage of Mir's deorbit began with the burn of Progress M1-5's control engines and main engine at 05:08 UTC, lasting a little over 22 minutes. Reentry into Earth's atmosphere (100 km/60 mi AMSL) of the 15-year-old space station occurred at 05:44 UTC near Nadi, Fiji. Major destruction of the station began around 05:52 UTC and the unburned fragments fell into the South Pacific Ocean around 06:00 UTC.
January 30, 2001
Air Vice Marshal James Edgar "Johnnie" Johnson was a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot who, during the Second World War, claimed 34 victories over enemy aircraft, as well as seven shared victories, three shared probables, ten damaged, three shared damaged and one destroyed on the ground.
February 24, 2001
Claude Elwood Shannon was an American mathematician, electronic engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory".
March 22, 2001
William Denby Hanna was an American animator, director, producer, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century. When he was a young child, Hanna's family moved frequently, but they settled in Compton, California, by 1919. There, Hanna became an Eagle Scout. Hanna graduated from Compton High School in 1928. He briefly attended Compton City College but dropped out at the onset of the Great Depression.
May 31, 2001
Arlene Francis was an American actress, radio talk show host, and game show panelist. She is known for her long-standing role as a panelist on the television game show What's My Line?, on which she regularly appeared for 25 years, from 1950 through the mid-1970s.
June 30, 2001
Chester Burton Atkins, known as Chet Atkins, was an American guitarist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well.
November 10, 2001
Kenneth Elton "Ken" Kesey was an American author, best known for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), and as a counter-cultural figure who considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. "I was too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie," Kesey said in a 1999 interview with Robert K. Elder.
November 29, 2001
George Harrison was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles.