A solar array segment was recently removed from the Mir core module and returned for ground-based analysis. The segment, which is similar to the ones the Russians have provided for the FGB and Service Modules, was microscopically examined and disassembled by US and Russian science teams. Laboratory analyses have shown the segment to he heavily contaminated by an organic silicone coating, which was converted to an organic silicate film by reactions with atomic oxygen within the. orbital flight environment. The source of the contaminant was a silicone polymer used by the Russians as an adhesive and bonding agent during segment construction. During its life cycle, the array experienced a reduction in power performance from approx. 12%, when it was new and first deployed, to approx. 5%, when it was taken out of service. However, current-voltage measurements of three contaminated cells and three pristine, Russian standard cells have shown that very little degradation in solar array performance was due to the silicate contaminants on the solar cell surfaces. The primary sources of performance degradation is attributed to "thermal hot-spotting" or electrical arcing; orbital debris and micrometeoroid impacts; and possibly to the degradation of the solar cells and interconnects caused by radiation damage from high energy protons and electrons.