A Soyuz booster was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 1 February, carrying a Progress M tanker that docked with the Mir space station on 3 February. The tanker will raise the Mir's orbit to 400km.

The Russian Government has approved a proposed 750 million rouble ($26.2 million) programme to continue operating the Mir until at least August. This is contingent on the Energia space company raising the funds to support the programme, however. If the move is successful, a second Progress tanker flight and the launch of a cosmonaut crew is planned for early April. The two cosmonauts will remain on the Mir for 45-72 days. A decision on the fate of the space station will not be made until after the end of August.

The Russian space agency also reports that 80% of Russian satellites are running beyond their warranty life. Today's 126 satellites are down from the 180 of 1990-2.

Source: Flight International