Russia sets new date for Mir mission
- Russia sets new date for Mir mission
March 3, 2000
Web posted at: 12:29 PM EST (1729 GMT)
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia will launch a new mission to the aging Mir space
station on April 3, three days later than originally planned, a spokeswoman
for Mission Control said Friday.
The spokeswoman said the delay was for technical reasons and the original
March 31 date was only a rough guideline that allowed for schedule changes
for Soyuz spacecraft launch.
Earlier Friday, Itar-Tass news agency quoted a spokesman at a space training
center outside Moscow known as Star City as saying the launch had been
postponed due to technical reasons. He gave no further details.
Mir was due to be scuttled this year but got a new lease on life when
foreign investors agreed to pay $20 million to fund further missions on the
craft, which currently is unmanned.
Russia's Western space partners have been worried that plans to prolong the
life of Mir could divert Russia's scarce funds from a $60 billion project to
build an International Space Station.
Acting President Vladimir Putin urged the government Thursday to find funds
to preserve Mir without sacrificing Russia's role in the International Space
Russian-built living quarters for the International Space Station, grouping
the United States, the European Union and Japan, are due to take off from
Russia's cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan later this year.