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Energia: ISS funding problem "catastrophic"
Posted: Mon, Oct 20, 2003, 8:08 PM ET (0008 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) The head of the Russian company that builds the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft used for the International Space Station said Monday that a lack of Russian government funding has created a "catastrophic" situation. Yuri Semonov, head of RSC Energia, said that the Russian government has failed to provide money promised for the second half of 2003 earmarked for the assembly of Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, forcing the company to take out loans.. As a result, Energia has stopped work on spacecraft that had been under assembly at the company's facilities. "The financial situation is catastrophic," Semonov was quoted as saying. He also criticized the US and Europe for not providing funding to build additional spacecraft required while the space shuttle remains unavailable. An official with the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos said that the Russian government would provide Energia with the required funds "shortly", according to the AP.
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