Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

'Citizen explorer' might fly to Russian space station Mir
Posted: May 24, 2000

Mir orbiting Earth. Photo: NASA
MirCorp President Jeffrey Manber has confirmed that discussions are taking place with the Italian company Itali-Mir to send Carlo Vibert to the Mir as a guest cosmonaut.

Mr. Vibert was with the European Space Agency, and already has experience with Mir training. 

"We are delighted to be exploring this historic mission with Itali-Mir," Manber said. "Bringing together a wide range of Italian industry, media, banks and consumer companies to support a serious mission to Mir is exactly one of our primary goals. We believe this is a good commercial model for all nations with experienced space talent."

The Holland-based MirCorp was formed earlier this year to operate as a direct link between commercial users of Mir and the space station's Russian operators.

MirCorp acts as a facilitator, beginning with the establishment of business conditions for Mir's use, and continuing through successful completion of a user's activity on board the station.

The company signed a first-of-its kind commercial lease agreement for Mir in February with RSC Energia, the Russian space systems manufacturer that built and operates the space station. MirCorp is 60 percent owned by RSC Energia, while the remaining 40 percent held by its investors.