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

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

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.