The
first module of the Mir Space Station, known as the Base Block (Core
Module), was launched aboard a Proton rocket today in 1986 (February 20th Russian time).

The Mere Meaning of Mir
Does
Mir REALLY mean peace? Maybe not… Frank Culbertson’s extremely
well-written letter to Congress in 1996 sheds a different light.  Frank’s
letter also points out something amazing that is very timely in our
current space wars of money and direction.  The fact is Mir was done
when they had NO resources!  They cared enough about their foothold on
space to make huge sacrifices in the eye of pride and mankind’s
absolute need to explore the unknown and achieve things some think
impossible!  At times I heard stories from my Russian counterparts in
the NASA-Mir program that they had not been paid in months or often
were paid in solid goods – like toilet paper that was found in a
warehouse and recognized of value.  Did the workers leave?  Did they
quit, mad about the wages owed to them?  No, they did not!  They found a
way to survive to maintain that foothold.  They found a way, utilizing
every resource to its maximum – they sent one Soyuz to two different
space stations at the beginning of Mir because they did not have enough
Soyuz spacecraft!  Not only did they do it, they maintained the life of
that space station three times longer than intended.  I had the fortune
to be there for the 10th anniversary and a few proud office
celebrations with chilled Zhelka… and they weren’t done yet!  Mir was
not deorbited for another six years!

I strongly recommend Frank’s letter, and especially the last paragraph and concluding lines!

Parent Site on Mir Space Station History – with even more moving thoughts!