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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

12/04/1999

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U.S. Investors Launch Plan to Keep Mir Alive

A team of Americans has come up with a plan that the operators of the Mir hope will save them from having to dump the space station into the ocean next year. The idea, still untested in space, involves attaching a long wire to Mir. The wire, which is to be 7 kilometers long, will generate an electric current as it moves through the Earth's magnetic field. The aim is to use this low-cost energy to keep Mir in orbit while cash is raised to turn the aging space station into a viable commercial venture, according to Vladimir Syromyatnikov, who oversees the planned project at Rocket Space Corporation Energia, the operators of Mir. Currently Energia has to send tons of fuel to Mir every year on Progress cargo ships to keep the space station flying. If successful, the electromagnetic tether should do the job for a fraction of the cost, Syromyatnikov said. Energia, which is based outside Moscow in Korolyov, is negotiating the project with U.S.

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