At 1:30 a.m. 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
purebred capitalists.

The crew, Commander Sergei Zaletin and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri,
will repair a pressure leak, re-supply 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 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.
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
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.

For more information on the foundation, call 800-78-SPACE.
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