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MIR space station 1986 - 2001
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MIR space station Cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Sergei Zaletin spent 72 days aboard Mir
Cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Sergei Zaletin spent 72 days aboard Mir (AP)
A potential lifeline arrived in the form of US entrepreneur Walt Anderson, who offered $20m to start MirCorp, a private company to finance continued missions to the station.

MirCorp reached an agreement to lease Mir. In April, two cosmonauts were flown to Mir on the first commercial mission funded by MirCorp. The mission ended in June. At the same time, Californian businessman Dennis Tito announced he planned to spend $20m to become the first tourist aboard Mir.

The last people to inhabit Mir were Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Sergei Zaletin.

In November the Russian space agency announced Mir would be plunged into the Pacific Ocean in February 2001. Dennis Tito starts planning for a trip to the International Space Station instead.

April 2000: High hopes of a new lease of life for Mir
Real 56K 
November 2000: Ageing space station is abandoned for good Real 56K 
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