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Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Mir takes on new supplies
Dock Aptn
The docking was relayed on video
A cargo ship has docked successfully with Russia's Mir space station.

Mission control in Moscow said the procedure was an automated one led by commands from the ground.

We think we've managed to find the sources of the leaks and have dealt with them

Yury Semyonov, RKK Energiya
Cosmonauts Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kaleri, who returned to Mir this month after it was left empty for 223 days, then checked to make sure the docking module was tightly sealed before entering the cargo craft to begin unloading it.

The Progress M1-2 craft delivered a 2,037-kilogram payload to Mir including water, food, air-oxygen mixture and fuel to put the station into a higher orbit.

Mir, which is 14 years old, was due to be scrapped this year but got a new lease of life after foreign investors came up with $30 million in funding.

Control Aptn
Mission controllers watched over the docking

Lease agreement

The Netherlands-based MirCorp signed a lease agreement on the station and now hopes the lab, the pride of the Soviet and Russian space programme, can be turned into a space hotel.

Yury Semyonov, president and chief designer of the company that made Mir, RKK Energiya, told Russian NTV television that the mission, originally planned for 45 days, would be extended by 10 days to prepare the station for another crew.

Semyonov Aptn
Yury Semyonov: Mission to be extended
"We think we've managed to find the sources of the leaks and have dealt with them, but in order to be 100% sure of it, we, most likely, will prolong this expedition for 10 days," he said.

"We are also planning to carry out space walks and to do some work on the exterior of the space station."

Kaleri and Zalyotin said during a televised communications session Wednesday that the station looked sturdy enough to operate for another three years.

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See also:

13 Apr 00 | Sci/Tech
More money triggers Mir confusion
05 Apr 00 | Sci/Tech
Successful docking for Mir
04 Apr 00 | Sci/Tech
In pictures: Return to Mir
17 Feb 00 | Sci/Tech
Mir to be turned into hotel
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