On February 20, 2001 15 years have passed since the beginning of the
operation the unique engineering facility of the XX century, i.e. MIR
manned Orbital Station in near-earth space, which first element, i.e.
the Core Module was launched into orbit on February 20, 1986 at 0:28
Moscow time.

The MIR Station has become the first International On-orbit Laboratory.
By its flight it has confirmed not only a long-duration operation capability
of the composite space engineering facility, but has paved the way for
development of the next generation of manned stations in the XXI century,
namely the International Space Station, which project has implemented
virtually all major principles tested at the MIR Station, among which
are maintainability, adaptability, modular structure, crew flight safety,
effective transport and maintenance system.

The implementation of the MIR Station program allowed to prove a capability
of long-duration man-tended flights to space and Solar system planets
and acquire a continuous science information in various fields of knowledge.
This project implemented under the leading direction of S.P. Korolev
RSC Energia would have been unfeasible without high creative efforts
of the staff of many Russian and foreign enterprises and organizations,
active participation of foreign aerospace agencies, U.S. and Canada
companies, European and Asian countries.

On the occasion of 15-year anniversary since the beginning of the MIR
Orbital Station operation S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia
Management extends its sincere appreciation and best thanks to all participants
of the MIR program activities and expresses hope for further fruitful
cooperation in manned space exploration.