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Russia's space agency backs U.S. asteroid control plan

RIA Novosti

19/06/2008 16:46 MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Federal Space Agency has endorsed a proposal by the U.S. House of Representatives that a Russian radar station be used to detect dangerous asteroids, Roscosmos head said on Thursday.

"I generally approve and support the U.S. initiative," Anatoly Perminov said in a telephone interview with RIA Novosti. "As for the asteroid danger, it really exists, and needs to be dealt with through the joint efforts of all states concerned."

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved NASA's $20.2 billion budget for 2009, committing the U.S. to cooperation with Russia and other countries to avoid asteroid threats.

Congressmen suggested a Russian telecommunication center in the Primorye Territory, in the Far East, could be used for early warning and detection of dangerous asteroids.

Perminov said the RT 70 radar deployed in the town of Galenki near Ussuriisk (the second largest city in Primorye) is a facility used by Russia's Space Forces.

"This matter is more a question for the Defense Ministry, but we will back the project as an idea," he said.

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