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Russian President Signs Agreement Between Russia And France

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sun Mar 4, 2007 11:51 pm
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Today, March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law for cooperation in development and operation of space launchers and crafts between Russia and France. The law was ratified in the two Russian parliament chambers on February 16 and 21.

The law calls for a long-term cooperation between the two states for operation of current vehicles as well as development of future ones. It also includes the formal confirmation for launches of the Soyuz-ST from Kourou in French Guiana.

Russian Soyuz-ST rockets are planned to fly from Kourou starting in 2008 under the label of Starsem. Beside participation at the well constructed infrastructure of Ariancespace, the payload capacity is significantly increased for launches from the equator-near Kourou Space Center.

Russia and France can look back at a long and successful history of cooperation. The first non Warsaw Pact member to fly in space on a then Soviet rocket was French Jean-Loup Chr├ętien in 1982 to the Salyut 7 space station. He again was the first non-Soviet to fly to the Mir Space Station in 1988.

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