Space Frontier Foundation Announces “Keep Mir Alive” Project

2.19.98

Citing NASA’s questionable motivation in the destruction of earlier technologies such as the Saturn V launcher and the Skylab space station, Space Frontier Foundation President Rick Tumlinson urged Russian President Yeltsin not to emulate the U.S. space program in this regard. “Why waste Mir?…why not ‘Keep Mir Alive’ and turn it into a symbol of free enterprise and hope for the New Russia?”

Press Release – Russian President Yeltsin Urged to Keep Mir Space Station in Orbit

Space Frontier Foundation Awards Mir Controllers for “Keeping Mir Alive”

10.11.98

In a ceremony held in Los Angeles on October 10, 1998, Space Frontier Foundation President Rick Tumlinson presented a special award for Pioneering the Space Frontier to Vladimir Syromiantnikov, senior designer, and Viktor Blagov, senior operator, Energia Mir Program, Russia for the heroic efforts of the Energia mission control center in Moscow in keeping the Mir Space Station operational during the very difficult period since its launch in February, 1986.

September 1999 in Front of Energia. Left to Right: Rick Tumlinson, Jeff Manber, Oleg Saprikin (Russian Engineer tasked with saving Mir), Gus Gardellini, Anna Botvinko (Engineering specialist on docking systems), Vladimir Syromiatnikov (Desinger of the thermal cooling system on Sputnik). Photo credit: Michael Potter

SpaceHab President talks about Mir:

1.5.98

“It does not make sense to let the parts that have been put up in the last two or three years just burn up.” (Shelly Harrison, Space News, January 5, 1998)

FINDS Announces Firefly Project to Keep Mir Station In Orbit

1999
The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of maintaining Mir in orbit without propellant using an electrodynamic tether. Our key findings are that such a Mir Electrodynamic Tether System (METS) appears feasible, that it needs to be operational by next summer at the latest, and that operational changes on Mir may be able to reduce drag until then.

Read the archived FINDS website on MIR and the Firefly Project (Scribd)

The Russian space station Mir was de-orbited in March of 2001.

2001
We congratulate the people of Russia for operating history’s longest-lived space station. But why was such a successful facility destroyed simply because the American space agency saw it as inconvenient while building its expensive new International Space Station?

Orphans of Apollo Movie Released

2008

ORPHANS OF APOLLO is the award winning documentary that has been called the greatest space story never told. The film ORPHANS OF APOLLO, tells the extraordinary true story of a small group of entrepreneurs who felt, ‘orphaned’ by President Nixon s decision to end the NASA Apollo Moon program and the subsequent years of nominal space activity. This band of brothers took matters into their own hands, and commandeered the Russian Mir Space Station, behind the backs of NASA and the US government. The rebellious, yet pioneering efforts has been credited with launching the new commercial Space Revolution. This is the remarkable untold story of the greatest secret in the new space race. This dramatic tale chronicles the adventure of the boldest business plan the Earth has ever seen. ‘MirCorp’, the entrepreneurial company s vision to transform the Russian space station into an outpost for what was intended to be the first phase of a trillion dollar business. The project was to include mining of asteroids, gravity free laboratories, a space ‘hotel’, and a research facility. MirCorp was the ultimate start-up company, and unlike anything the universe had ever seen.

Orphans of Apollo Website

From the Keep Mir Alive Archives:

Mir Links:

MirCorp

RSC Energia

Keep Mir Alive project information compiled by former Project Manager, David Anderman

The Space Frontier Foundation calls Mir’s de-orbit a historic tragedy.