Russians Won't Waste Their Breath on Mir

  • Share
  • Read Later
MOSCOW: The average Boris isn't paying much attention to the crisis-ridden and occasionally oxygen-starved Mir. Why? "Most question why we are wasting hundreds of millions of dollars when there are so many other more pressing matters on Earth," reports TIME's Andrew Meier. Most Muscovites would rather see the money go toward state wages and pensions, unpaid in Russia for as long as five months in some cases.

Yet, the rest of the world held its breath yesterday as the space station temporarily lost the use of its primary and backup oxygen generators. Mir's crew swiftly fixed the problem, but Russian ground staff went home for the night without telling the Americans about it, touching off a brief panic at NASA early this morning.