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Official Press Release About the decision of the Chief Designers Council made on October 3, 2000, on the MIR space station

Press Release From: RSC Energia
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2000

The Council of Chief Designers for the MIR space station, at its meeting held this morning at S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, having thoroughly reviewed the results and completion status of activities scheduled on-board the space station, the health status of its systems, and the progress of work on the manned and unmanned transportation and logistics vehicles Soyuz TM, Progress M, Progress M1, noted that this one-of-a-kind space structure is in a serviceable condition and is capable of continuing its controlled flight in orbit, both in manned and unmanned modes, until the first phase of the International Space Station deployment is complete, provided that necessary amounts of appropriated funds are received in a timely manner.

In view of the MIR space station orbit decay, and in order to avoid its uncontrolled de-orbiting, the Council of Chief Designers has accepted a proposal made by S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - the Prime company for Russian manned space programs - to launch on October 16, 2000, a transportation logistics vehicle Progress M-43 to provide refueling for the combined propulsion system of the space station and implement the necessary technical measures needed to maintain its orbit until the Government of the Russian Federation makes a decision on the future fate of this space station.

Beside this, the Council has approved the Corporation's proposal to prepare a logistics and a manned vehicle, a Progress M1 and a Soyuz TM, to implement the said decision of the Russian Government.

The Resolution of the Council of Chief Designers emphasizes that MIR space station is government property and its further mission plan will be determined by receipt of funds and an appropriate governmental decision to carry out a controlled de-orbiting in a safe area of the ocean.

The Council has pointed out that during the three remaining months of the year 2000 it is imperative to settle on a regular basis the governmental debt of about 600 million rubles for the work S.P.Korolev RSC Energia and its subcontractors did in 1997-1998 under Government order for MIR space station.

With just as much urgency did the Resolution of the Chief Designers Council brought up the issue of immediate conclusion of governmental contract with Rosavicosmos for the already completed work to prepare Progress M1 and Soyuz TM spacecraft and launch vehicles for them, as well as for the services of industrial and specialized companies and organizations, which is absolutely crucial for the implementation of the proposed technical measures under MIR program for the early 2001.

In the course of the Council's meeting, it was repeatedly pointed out that the absence of the said decision of the Russian Federation Government on the MIR issue, as well as on the funding for the planned program of activities is fraught with a potential emergency for which there would be no remedy because of a lack of readily available hardware, and which may result in a premature space station de-orbiting, its uncontrolled re-entry and impact on the ground with unpredictable catastrophic effects.

Among the speakers who addressed the meeting of the Chief Designers' Council were its Chairman, Technical manager of Russian manned space programs, S.P.Korolev RSC Energia Designer General, member of the Russian Academy of Science, Yu.P. Semenov, Deputy Designer General Yu.I.Grigoriev, the senior staff of the corporation, of TsNIIMash, and other organizations.

Among those who took part in the Council's proceedings were managers and specialists of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, as well as of subcontractors for the MIR space station, representatives of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency.

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