Status Report

New Russian Resupply Spacecraft Nears Docking with Mir

By SpaceRef Editor
October 18, 2000
Filed under

A new Progress unmanned resupply
spacecraft is nearing its rendezvous with Mir, bringing fuel and supplies for
the station’s long-term operation and its next manned crew.

Progress M-43 will dock with the massive orbital facility on October 21 at
2:46 a.m. (local Moscow time) after completing an unusual four-day flight to

The four-day travel time — which is twice as long as the normal flight
profile — conserves fuel, providing more propellant to boost Mir’s orbit and
continue the station’s operations for the long term.
Progress M-43 lifted off
October 17 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz launcher.

In addition to its payload of fuel for Mir, the Progress also carries
other cargo that will be used by the next crew to occupy the station.

MirCorp is financing the Progress M-43 mission to Mir — the third such
resupply flight paid for by the privately owned company since it began
operations earlier this year.

“We thank the Russian government and industry for the successful Progress
M-43 launch, and for the decision to provide as much fuel as possible for the
station,” MirCorp President Jeffrey Manber said.
“Progress M-43 will ensure
Mir is fully operational, allowing MirCorp to carry out its long-term business

MirCorp is developing its manned flight schedule for 2001 and beyond, with
several missions already on the manifest.
They include the launch of Dennis
Tito, MirCorp’s first Citizen Explorer, as well as the flight of a winner from
the “Destination Mir” reality series from NBC and “Survivor” producer Mark

“The Progress M-43 launch is a key milestone for us, and its timing is
right on track with our Initial Public Offering, which was announced last
week,” Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, a director and major investor in MirCorp,
“This cargo spacecraft, which includes supplies for the next cosmonaut
crew, should end speculation about Mir’s future.”

The Holland-based MirCorp was established to operate Mir as a truly
commercial space platform.
It has an exclusive lease agreement with RSC
Energia — the Russian space systems manufacturer that built and operates the
space station.

MirCorp successfully saved Mir from destruction earlier this year, and
financed a 73-day mission of two Russian cosmonauts to reactive the orbital
facility — opening it for business.

For more information see MirCorp’s website at

SpaceRef staff editor.