Saturday, December 10, 2005

Russians Want International Support to Build Kliper

The head of the European Space Agency announced Friday the group is still pursuing a plan to join forces with Russia to build the new Kliper spacecraft. A final decision on whether the two will work together will be made in June. ESA voted last week not to spend $59 million on a trial Kliper project over the next two years. Instead they will wait until June before deciding whether to be more involved further down the line.
The Russians have said they can and will fund the Kliper on their own, but that international cooperation would get the ship built sooner.
Already the ESA and Russia have partnered on the Galileo Satellite Navigation System designed to compete with the US Global Positioning System. The first Galileo launch is expected this month aboard a Soyuz rocket.
Interest in international cooperation on future Space transport systems has increased in light of recent failures with NASA's shuttle fleet.

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