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Space

Russia, United States set to explore space together

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Jan 27, Ria-Novosti/ACSNA/IRNA -- In his January 14 speech, 
President George Bush unveiled a truly fantastic national space 
program which, to all appearances, would seem to involve the United 
States and the entire international community in further space 
exploration. 
Analysts openly note that this program can only succeed if the 
White House opts for wide-ranging co-operation with Russia, wrote 
Andrei Kislyakov in an analysis for the Russian news agency 
Ria-Novosti. 
Moscow agrees with this approach completely. 
The United States and Russia could independently develop and 
launch separate low-orbit spacecraft in the late 1970s and the early 
1980s, Colonel-General Georgy Lysenkov, who supervised the Soviet 
space program with other top managers until the disintegration of the 
USSR in 1991, told Ria-Novosti. 
According to Lysenkov, their list included the reusable US Space 
Shuttle, as well as the less successful Soviet equivalent, the Buran 
shuttle. 
"However," he said, "any independent interplanetary mission would 
be economic and technological suicide today." 
In his opinion, the US and Soviet-Russian space programs used to 
develop along different lines because each country used its own space 
technology and information potential. The experience amassed by US 
space shuttle mission cannot be overestimated, while NASA acknowledges
the fact that Russia knows much more about long-duration space 
missions. 
Moreover, Russian experts have mastered complicated orbital 
production processes and it is no secret that Russia still launches 
more interplanetary probes, which first started in the Soviet period, 
than any other country. 
In short, the United States will have to utilize all the available
theoretical and practical space exploration experience that has been 
accumulated by mankind over the last 50 years for the numerous planned
Moon missions, the construction of a small lunar base and the 
subsequent manned Mars mission. No one can independently explore outer
space at this stage. 
The January 18 issue of Le Monde claimed that the United States 
would not allow foreign countries to take part in its programs because
it wants to protect its national industry. Among other things, this 
French newspaper mentioned a program to develop an advanced space 
transport system, which will be drawn up by Boeing and 
Lockheed-Martin. 
However, these claims are contradicted by the facts. 
When talking to reporters on January 16, Nikolai Moiseyev, first 
deputy general director of Rosaviakosmos (the Russian Aerospace 
Agency), noted that the United States had officially proposed that 
Russia help develop the Moon and the Red Planet. 
Moscow is likely to issue an official response to this US 
initiative soon. 
"We have made considerable headway in organizing space probe and 
manned flights to the solar system`s nearest planets," Moiseyev added.
In his words, the Russian Aerospace Agency has received 3,000 
pages worth of R&D projects from space industry enterprises and these 
projects will be included in the national space program until 2015. 
"For instance, we have received interplanetary spacecraft 
designs," Moiseyev added. 
Russian spacecraft developers have also reacted positively to 
possible Russian-US co-operation. 
Talking to China`s Renmin Ribao (People`s Daily) on January 16, 
Vyacheslav Filin, deputy general designer of the Energiya space-rocket
corporation, noted that Russia could and should take part in US 
projects. 
Inter-planetary research must continue for several reasons. 
"The world`s power industry is facing an imminent crisis," he 
said, "but the Moon abounds in helium-3 isotopes, which can be used to
generate power for several centuries." 
The scientist also added that political aspects had to be 
considered because China has recently announced its intention to fly 
to the Moon. 
It is difficult to assess the various opportunities being opened 
up by the Chinese space program for implementing the ambitious US or 
Russian plans. 
However, close-knit and wide-ranging international co-operation 
evidently seems possible and even inevitable in every area of space 
exploration. 
/AH/210 
End 



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