Russian space agencies have decided to evacuate the 13-year-old Mir space station, leaving it unmanned in orbit for at least six months before a final decision on the station's fate is made. Russia's cash-strapped space program will try to raise funds from private investors to keep Mir in space, but failing that will send one final crew to Mir early next year to dismantle parts of the station before it plunges into the Pacific Ocean. A spokesman for Russia's Space Agency said the decision was "unpleasant and forced on us by financial circumstances" after the government ruled out additional funding beyond the August cut-off date. Before abandoning Mir, the three-man crew currently on board the station will install a computer that will allow ground controllers to monitor the flight of the 140-ton behemoth around earth. The computer and installation manual will be sent up to Mir on an unmanned Progress freighter in July. Russian Space Agency officials are pessimistic that funds to save Mir will be found by winter, and plans are being made to send the station into a lower orbit in preparation for the eventual plunge toward a remote area of the Pacific Ocean in February or March.