Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

MirCorp funds Mir resupply, upcoming manned mission
Posted: Feb. 18, 2000

The Russian space station Mir photographed by an orbiting U.S. space shuttle. Photo: NASA
As part of its commitment to Mir's future commercial use, MirCorp helped fund the launch of a Progress unmanned re-supply spacecraft to the space station earlier this month. The Progress M-1 cargo vehicle lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 1, and automatically docked with Mir two days later.

It marked the first such mission organized with the support of private funding, and Progress M-1 provided a supply of fuel and air that will be used to prepare Mir for an upcoming manned mission in March. The manned flight is to last 45 days beginning the end of March or beginning of April. It will also be funded in part by MirCorp.

Since entering service in 1986, Mir has been visited by more than 100 cosmonauts and astronauts from countries that include Russia, the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Austria, the United Kingdom, Syria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Kazakhstan.

It an unparalleled orbital facility built over a decade through the assembly of individually launched modules. The massive multi-purpose platform offers more than 400 cubic meters of interior work area. The station is pressurized and temperature controlled, providing shirtsleeve working conditions for crewmembers on board.

The station was designed and developed by RSC Energia, which retains day-to-day operational control of the facility in orbit. RSC Energia is the world's oldest space company, having put the first satellite into orbit and performed the first manned space flight.

Today, RSC Energia retains a leadership role in Russian space, and is active in numerous international collaborative programs. The company has an industrial role in the Sea Launch and Proton commercial launch vehicles, and is the Russian prime contractor for the International space station.

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