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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Contractor Gets Credit To Run Mir

The next mission to the Mir space station is being launched on credit despite the government's promises to provide more cash, a news agency reported Tuesday.

Russia's Energiya company, which runs the Mir, has taken out 200 million rubles ($33 million) in commercial credit to finance the Aug. 13 launch, company President Yury Semyonov said in remarks reported by Itar-Tass.

"People will be up there, so it is necessary to take credits,'' the news agency quoted him as saying.

Semyonov said the government owes Energiya a total of about 800 million rubles, and has received no payments despite new promises in recent weeks.

The three-man crew scheduled to depart for the Mir includes a politician and former presidential advisor, Yury Baturin, and the cosmonaut who is expected to be the final person to live aboard the station, Sergei Avdeyev.

Avdeyev, who has served on two previous tours aboard Mir, currently plans to stay on board the station until it is closed down and sent crashing back to Earth next June.

At least one other mission is expected to travel to the station in coming months. Current plans call for two visiting astronauts -- one French, one Slovak -- to travel to the station in February.