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ESA to help produce Russian shuttle


LE BOURGET, France, June 14 (RIA Novosti) - The European Space Agency (ESA) could sign on to help produce the Russian manned shuttle Kliper, head of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Anatoly Perminov said at an air show here.

"The ESA is considering the proposal for making a concrete part for this spaceship," he said. "The Europeans have understood that Russia will not deceive, not betray [them] and that it is responsible to do so with regard to the timeframe and quality."

According to Perminov, the ESA and Roscosmos have preliminarily coordinated their plan for developing and building the Kliper.

Russia is currently displaying a downscaled model of this new spaceship here.

According to a Roscosmos press release, the international status of the project would make it possible to launch the new manned spaceship after 2011.

"This spaceship will be used in the structure of the ISS and in the projects connected with the exploration of the Moon and Mars. The Kliper joint project would make it possible to ensure long-term cooperation in the field of piloted aeronautics and could become a key element in studying the planets of the solar systems," the press release quoted Perminov as saying.

Perminov also said that the ESA could help Russia complete construction of the laboratory module FGB-2, an operational cargo unit, for the International Space Station.

"It is most probable that the ESA will participate in financing and equipping the FGB-2 module, which is being planned for launch and joining the ISS," he said.

About 70% of the FGB-2 unit, which is an analogue of the FGB-1 module that was developed at the Khrunichev Center and is now being used on the ISS, has been produced due to lack of financing.

There were many plans for using the module - from making it the first private space hotel to using it as a replacement for Russia's now defunct Mir space station.

According to Roscosmos spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko, Roscosmos leadership will meet with the heads of the space agencies of France, the United States, Germany, Italy, Britain, China, Japan and Brazil for bilateral negotiations. On June 16, the agencies' heads will meet for the 7th European Interparliamentary Space Conference.

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