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Report: ESA may cooperate with Russia on manned spacecraft
Posted: Sun, May 22, 2005, 7:15 AM ET (1115 GMT)
Kliper mockup (PhotoCenter.ru) The European Space Agency (ESA) is considering a proposal to cooperate with Russia on the development of a new manned spacecraft that could give ESA for the first time its own independent means of launching humans into space. The British newspaper The Observer reported Sunday that the ESA Council will take up a proposal in the next week to support the development of Kliper (or Clipper), a new manned spacecraft that Russian company Energia has been designing as a potential successor to the Soyuz spacecraft. ESA would contribute £1 billion (US$1.8 billion) over a ten-year period to help fund development of Kliper; the report indicates that Russia is also seeking funding from Japan, India, and Canada. A final decision on ESA participation will be made at an ESA ministerial meeting in December.
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