ESA and RSC Energia have agreed on a 45 days extension of the EUROMIR 95 mission.
The mission extension had been discussed with the crew before launch and during the mission. On October 17th, 1995 the astronauts received confirmation that the landing is now planned for 29 February 1996. Their reaction has been very positive.
The agreement has been reached based on RSC Energia's desire to make full use of 180 days Soyouz TM space vehicle life time and ESA's desire to execute additional scientific programme during the mission extension.
One highlight during the mission extension will be a second spacewalk by Thomas Reiter and one of his Russian colleagues. ESA has asked RSC Energia to provide additional upload which consists of consumables for the ESA scientific programme to be carried on a Progress M cargo vehicle. RSC Energia has agreed to provide the possibility to upload necessary equipment on this Progress, planned to be launched mid-December 1995. It can be concluded that it is in the interest of ESA and RSC Energia to continue the on-going programme until 29 February 1996.
In view of the successful cooperation between ESA and RSC Energia on EUROMIR 94 and EUROMIR 95, ESA has expressed its desire to continue the cooperation on manned flights on Mir in the late 1997/beginning 1998 timeframe.