Factors that bought MIR back to Earth
Mir's age and the accompanying system failures were not the reasons for the Russian Aerospace Agency's (RASA's) decision to end the station's life. However, the main reason was expense. It required $200-250 million a year to operate the station if it is continuously occupied and approximately $100 million if it is not.
Due to the faltering Russian economy, the Russian Aerospace Agency did not have the funds necessary for simultaneously operating and maintaining Mir and developing and launching critical components for the International Space Station (ISS). Ultimately, RASA decided to focus its attention on its ISS commitments.
Funds for Mir for 2000 were limited. But Russia did not close the doors; it started searching for private investors. Walter Anderson, head of the Gold and Appel holding company signed a leasing agreement with the Russian government. The agreement would allow Mir to be used for commercial uses including pharmaceutical and manufacturing micro-gravity research, advertising, space tourism, and satellite repair, assembly, and launch. Another investor was Chicago-based telecommunications executive Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria. The agreements of both these companies were signed with Energia (the Russian aerospace company that developed and operates Mir). Thus Mircorp was formed.
Anderson 's initial investment in Mircorp was $20 million. With this funding, along with additional funds from Kathuria, 28th mission to Mir was executed. During 2000, MirCorp worked to find customers and new investors, and made preparations to go public with stock in 2001. By March 2000, the company had already spent close to $200 million on the station and required millions of dollars to finance the next manned mission to Mir, which it planned to launch in September 2000. MirCorp could not raise enough funds in time to keep Mir in orbit for 2001. RASA ultimately recommended to the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin that the station be deorbited