Space Program for Sale

Top Russian scientists and hardware that NASA covets are available at bargain-basement prices, but the U.S. government is dragging its heels

Sergei Krikalev got more than he bargained for when he rocketed into space last May from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in what was then still known as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. Krikalev was scheduled for a five-month stint as flight engineer aboard the Mir space station; his replacement was slated to arrive in October. Who could have foreseen that Krikalev's country would disintegrate before his mission was over? By the time October rolled around, the Baikonur facility was on the verge of belonging to Kazakhstan , rather than the Soviet Union. As a public relations measure, space-program authorities decreed that...

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