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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Life Aboard Mir Again

MOSCOW -- Two cosmonauts arrived on the Mir space station Thursday in a mission to resuscitate the craft after eight months without a crew and turn it into an international commercial venture.

"We have found the station in good shape, and we hope that its lifetime will be extended," crew chief Sergei Zalyotin said in a televised hookup with Mission Control.

"It's dry, clean and quite warm here, and it's OK - better warm than cold," his crewmate Alexander Kaleri added.

The Russian government had planned to dump the Mir around March because it lacked the funds to keep it aloft, but extended the mission after the Netherlands-based MirCorp signed a lease agreement on the station and provided funds for the new mission.

MirCorp officials have previously said they have committed $10 million to $20 million to finance the mission. They refused to provide specific figures Thursday, but voiced confidence that the company would be able to keep the 14-year-old station in orbit through the end of the year.