[FPSPACE] More on MirCorp

Dwayne Allen Day wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu
Fri, 22 Sep 2000 13:59:11 -0400 (EDT)


On Fri, 22 Sep 2000, Anatoly Zak wrote:

> MSNBC piece partially based on this story I did this week:
> http://www.space.com/news/spacestation/mir_flight_000919.html
> 
> Yes, MirCorp people told me they needed more money to keep Mir operational
> in addition to $40 million they currently raised, and they were very
> optimistic that new customers will be found and the station will continue
> flying. Tito does go to Mir, not to the ISS, it is decided and was paid for.

Well, I wonder how much of that $40 million is actually in MirCorp's
pockets right now.  I doubt that they have all of it.  It may be in
escrow.  

Think about it:  if you were Dennis Tito or Mark Burnett
(Survivor) would you give MirCorp $20 million (each) up front for a
service that you don't get until 6-12 months from now?  First, there is
the issue of not wanting to give away money for something that might not
happen at all (why not 50% now and 50% upon completion?).  Second, if I
had $20 million, I would want to keep it in the bank, earning interest,
for as long as possible.  So I would argue with MirCorp that I should only
pay part of the money now and the rest months from now.

I don't know of many businesses that pay all of their cash up front and
then wait 6-12 months for delivery.


> Next Mir expedition not "might" be downsized, like Lenorovits said, it WAS
> downsized already: 10-14 days instead of 3-4 months. MirCopr can't pay for a
> replacement crew at this point, and Tito does not want to fly for three
> months I was told. 

Yeah, but are they talking about additional downsizing of missions?  This
part struck me as odd, because it seemed as if the MSNBC article was based
upon new reporting--unless the reporter did not realize that the missions
had already been downsized and he was reporting this as "new to him."

(I noted two months or so ago that MirCorp managed to spin their story
very well when they announced their next missions--nobody noticed that
they essentially slipped their fall 2000 mission to early 2001.  Instead,
it was covered as a major announcement of their plans.)


I think that the financing of this thing could end very ugly.  What
happens if MirCorp folds before Tito and Burnett get their part of the
deal?  What if MirCorp goes bankrupt?  Do they lose their cash?

I think it was Mr. Portree who said that this whole thing seems a lot like
Biosphere II.  Remember how that ended--with lawsuits and court orders and
a mutiny.



DDAY