What’s the Big Deal?

With all respect:  Was maintaining Salyut-7‘s orbit so as to prevent Earth-bound damage a big deal?  If so, what about Mir?  Its orbit was allowed to degrade into the atmosphere.  As I recall, Mir‘s re-entry caused no Earth-bound damage.  And I must believe Mir was larger than Salyut-7.

Or, have I got it all wrong?  Perhaps prevention of Earth-bound damage was not the reason for maintaining Salyut-7‘s orbit?


image © CTB Film Company, et al