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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Takin' Care of Business, Space Style

Los Angeles, CA, April 6, 2000 – At 1:30 am Eastern time today, history was made high over our heads. The first two people ever to fly in space without taxpayer funding opened the hatch on the world's first commercial space station today. Their 45-day mission will be not as NASA astronauts, or Russian cosmonauts; they'll be doing business in space as pure-bred capitalists.

The crew, Commander Sergei Zaletin and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, will repair a pressure leak, resupply the Station, conduct scientific experiments and prepare the facility for its new life as a private lab and part-time hotel.

Rick Tumlinson, President of the Los Angeles-based Space Frontier Foundation, led the effort resulting in MirCorp's creation, and congratulated the MirCorp team for opening the world's first commercial space station. "A lot of people have been working toward this goal for the past decade," he stated. "These folks, from the investors who laid out their own hard earned cash, to those who now have to make this a profitable business are blazing new territory for all of us. It's a victory for private citizens everywhere."

Mir's interior size is larger than the combined space of ten NASA Shuttles. It was built to be expandable, and MirCorp's plans include major growth out from the core station. MirCorp plans to sell shares to the public next year, to raise funds needed for future space missions, for renovation, and to occupy and maintain the Station. The company is also actively seeking cash from corporate sponsors.

The Foundation, declaring success in its "Keep Mir Alive" campaign, is now turning its attention back to NASA's International Space Station. "We have privatized the former Soviet Space Station," Tumlinson remarked. "Now it's time to privatize our own."


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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