Looking down on the Mir. Looks like it will still be flying for years to come.
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Image courtesy of NASA

Will the ISS Ever Be Done?
News story originally written on January 25, 2000

The International Space Station continues to float around in space without its service module. A private investor has decided to fund the Mir space station. The company which owns the spacecraft says it has already received almost half of the necessary funds to keep Mir aloft. The Russian government has decided to use the rockets and boosters that were originally for the ISS, for the Mir.

"There is no alternative to the ISS for Russia," said Yuri Koptev, head of the Russian space agency. "I would like once again to confirm Russia's adherence to this project."

The government will have a difficult time replacing the equipment because of a lack of funding. They plan to launch a ship carrying cargo and the module in late July. The U.S. is still asking Russia to give up on the 14 year old station and concentrate on the ISS. But Russian officials are determined to keep their last piece of space history in orbit as long as possible.

"There is no problem whatsoever to manufacture these rockets, the essential thing is financial resources," Koptev said.

The Mir has not had any guests since August, 1999. Unless funding was found, the ship was going to slowly fall through Earth's atmosphere and crash into the ocean. MirCorp, a company owned by Jeffrey Manber, is providing the funding to keep it going. Manber plans to renovate the station and possibly charge millions to allow tourists to stay there.

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