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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Foundation Hails First Commercial Space Station

Los Angeles, CA, April 4, 2000 – Today's history-making flight of the first people to fly into space without government funding is just the beginning. Very early this Thursday, at 1:30 am Eastern time, they will dock with the Mir Space Station and open the hatch on the world's first commercial space station. Their 45-day mission will be not as NASA astronauts, or Russian government cosmonauts; they'll be doing business in space as employees of the private firm, MirCorp, which has leased the facility from Russia and plans to refurbish it and use it as a base to build a larger station.

Rick Tumlinson, President of the Los Angeles-based Space Frontier Foundation, laid the groundwork for what he hopes will become the first of many businesses ventures in space. He and the Foundation congratulated MirCorp for taking such a large risk. "We are proud of the work our members did, and continue doing, to open the Space Frontier," he remarked. "And we honor the team that has put so much money and hard work on the line to make this possible."

Tumlinson first called for re-using Mir in 1991, in an article in the Los Angeles Times. The idea grew, and in 1994 re-use of facilities like Mir figured prominently in the his testimony before Congress titled "Alpha Town." In 1997 Foundationer David Anderman began their "Keep Mir Alive" campaign. In 1999 Tumlinson traveled to Moscow, signed the first protocols leading to the development of MirCorp, and later introduced financier Walt Anderson to the RKK Energia company. The rest, as they say, is history.


The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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