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Mir was humanitiy's first successful attempt at growing mold in outer space. 
Mir was first conceived in the Soviet Union many years before its launch. The original part of it was launched on February 20, 1986 and was tiny compared with when it "came back" (covered in flames and disintegrating). Mir was designed to get bigger from the get-go, as it had to be able to compete with those capitalist bastards. Mir started its life as a big petrol station carying liquid oxygen for other space missions but with the ever growing arms race it quickly became a nuclear missile silo with over 200 ICBMs and 3 psychotically patriotic and stereotypical Russian cosmonauts.
Mir has grown over the years to the point where it had five more modules to supposedly to carry out new experiments, however most people know they were really only there to provide more storage for the ever more ICBMs necessary for "peace".
Mir was constructed first in Russia in the early 1980's, but after several years of sitting in the Siberian "desert" covered in ice, one of the cosmonauts realized that it didn't make much sense to have a "space" station on Earth and so he took upon himself the task of putting it into space. The first step taken was to separate the 6 compartments into modules. This was not hard as it was made of lead to allow for radiation shielding (this is also a lie, as the compartments were just missles, lots of missles). Then, in a single rocket, all the pieces were blasted off into space.
Unfortunately for the USSR, this failed because the modules, made of lead, all melted and now orbit as a solid blob, smashing other objects on contact. The Russians left it though, because they felt a melted blob of lead in a vacuum smashing into things for no reason was a pretty good metaphor for their country. They tried to place their nation's seal on it several years later, only to have yet another Soyez space capsule destroyed when it hit them at 34,000 miles per hour. The Russians subsequently clamored with their government for western "accurate" calculators.
So, after this massive failure, as well as the failure of the missions to Venus, the designers needed to get something that looked good into space before they got executed. They came up with the same design (how creative) in Aluminum (again, really creative). This model didn't melt (which was a plus) and was put in place over a period of 13.6897 years (it was only in 1999 that the Russian Federation admitted the USSR's aeronautic engineers had been secretly obsessed with Star Trek for 30 years, leading to rampant equipment, dating and communication failures on both numerical and interpersonal levels). Once the entire Mir behemoth was finally in space it was welded together by giant space robots ("SHHH!!! Don't tell them about them! Oh fuck, good job!") until it could be seen from New Zealand and subsequently scared all the sheep into running into the ocean, which was another reason for its being built.
Mir was built as a huge ICBM launch pad. It was designed to shoot down American interplanetary missions to prevent the Americans from learning the secrets of the universe. Many times it opened fire on the Space Shuttle, however due to shockingly bad engineering and pathetic maintenance it was never able to fire more than a single shot, and often hit itself (a fact which the Soviets quickly reclassified as tests of its revolutionary "self-destruct feature")
Despite the collapse of the U.S.S.R. Mir's psychotically patriotic cosmonauts attempted to fire an ICBM once more in 1996. It was aiming for a US probe near Jupiter and unsurprisingly missed its target. This incident was covered up and called Shoo Maker Levi nine. We all know this is code for 'Soviet foot print, crater 9 mega tonne. Fuck.' Unlike all other Soviet probes and space craft, Mir's primary goal was to stop the USA from making first contact, again.
Mir is basically a bunch of aluminium cans and it looks like it. It is a few meters long and a couple of meters wide. it sort of looks like sombody got half a slab and but ended it up into a big 3D 'T'. Russian engineers have apologized profusely for this, with several having committed suicide out of self-hate.
Mir has no future relations with Earth because during the 1986 First Anagram War an "accidental" detonation caused it to turn on its cosmonaut brethren. However, unlike in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the MIR 9000 supercomputer just opened a airlock and sucked all the cosmonauts out into space before they even knew what the hell was going on. It was a lot simpler that way, it figured.
Hopelessly bored and an attention seeker, Mir decided to go bezerk due to the war events of 1987 and fired several salvos of ICBMs toward Moscow. However, Moscow was saved at the last minute in order to uphold what little balance of power there was during the First Anagram War. Thanks to the USA, the Space Shuttle Atlantis opened fire on Mir with lasers and deflected all its warheads to hit Australia instead.
It has since been hoped that Mir would one day be able to grow into a super colony of ants and assist in the transport of the entire of the USSR to another galaxy. However this fell through when it was discovered that ants can't live in space, despite that awesome episode of the Simpsons.
It HATES the International Space Station
edit Related space installatoins
Mir made the world realise that it is posible for Humans to live for a while in space but not Ants.