[FPSPACE] Why does Mircorp need Mir?
Fri, 20 Oct 2000 19:05:11 -0500
Does Mircorp really need Mir any longer?
It appears that of all the uses of Mir that were touted by Mircorp
(internet portal, satellite repair, zero-g research, etc) only tourism has
generated any interest.
Since one can travel in space without visiting Mir why not just eliminate
Mir from the equation? Why not just give Tito and the game show winner a
few orbits on a Soyuz? Tito doesn't seem anxious to spend all that much
time in space anyway.
This would seem to be a win-win situation for Mircorp and ISS. ISS gets all
of the available Progresses and more Russian attention focused on ISS.
Mircorp stays in business as long it can find wealthy enthusiasts and/or
lottery winners to pay for a single Soyuz flight. They no longer have a 15
year old millstone around their necks.
It might even be feasible to fly two tourists on one Soyuz since no
rendezvous will be involved, halving Mircorp's costs. Perhaps a less
experienced cosmonaut (even a rookie) would be acceptable as the pilot.
Perhaps publicity can be generated by having liftoff at Baykonur (sp?) with
landing in North America.
Has Mircorp given any thought to this alternative or are they determined to
live or die with Mir? Are there any show-stopping objections?