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Russia and Europe to build new manned spacecraft

RIA Novosti

27/05/2008 17:10 BERLIN, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and European space agencies are due to discuss the joint development of a manned spacecraft at a Berlin air show taking place May 27 to June 1, the head of Roscosmos said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said earlier that it had agreed with the European Space Agency (ESA) to jointly build a manned spacecraft for flights to near-Earth orbits and the Moon.

Anatoly Perminov said further talks would focus on areas of responsibility for the agencies.

"Concerning the joint construction of the system, we have signed the documents, and now we will discuss the issue of dividing responsibilities for developing elements of the new spacecraft," Anatoly Perminov said.

He went on to say that once responsibilities had been settled, funding and commitments at the level of production facilities would be considered in detail.

"ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain is coming to Berlin. As a separate issue we will consider the creation of a future transportation system. It is very important to us, and we will continue the work right here, at the exhibition," he said.

He said that flight tests of the joint craft were due to start in 2015, with the maiden launch to follow in 2018.

Perminov also said that Russia would be responsible for developing the transport capsule, while Europe would build the service module and engines for the new vehicle. RSC-Energia, a leading Russian spacecraft maker, will be responsible for project integration.

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