Paris, 23 Mar 2004
Fifteen years of fruitful cooperation in human spaceflight activities between Russia and the European Space Agency have set the stage for even closer cooperation.
"Growing together" is the theme of a symposium to be held in Moscow on Friday 2 April, an occasion for ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency, FKA (formerly Rosaviakosmos), to reflect on their shared achievements in human spaceflight over the past 15 years and their intentions for even closer cooperation in the short to long term.
The cooperation started with initial exchanges of information, small study contracts and some ESA experiments on Russian missions. It covered potential cooperation in the then planned Mir-2 programme, and grew into substantial training of ESA astronauts and flights to the Mir station in 1994 and 1995, which also saw the first extravehicular activity by an ESA astronaut, Thomas Reiter from Germany, during the six-month Euromir 1995 mission. It continued with the training of ESA astronauts as flight engineers for the Soyuz capsule and a number of short-duration flights to the International Space Station (ISS).
With Russia joining the ISS programme, cooperation was refocused, with the main emphasis on the Russian segment of the ISS. Highlights have been ESA's successful development of the Data Management System for the Russian segment, launched in July 2000 and operational since then, and of the European Robotic Arm, still waiting to be launched and attached to the Russian segment.
The Russian side has been developing subsystems for the ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle, which will dock with the Russian segment, and is providing operational support for the first ATV flight (by the Jules Verne vehicle) in 2005 and for future ATV missions during the lifetime of the ISS.
The symposium takes place in Moscow, at the Hotel Metropol, on Friday 2 April and starts at 10:00 hrs. At 17:00 hrs a round-table discussion is expected to be attended by:
Anatoly Perminov – Director General Russian Federal Space Agency,
Jean-Jacques Dordain – Director General ESA,
Yuri Semenov – President RSC Energia,
Vasili Tsibliev – Head of Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre,
Nilolai Anfimov - Director General of TsNIIMASH,
Anatoli Grigoriev – Director IBMP,
François Auque – Chief Executive Officer EADS Space,
Maurizio Tucci – Chief Executive Officer Alenia Spazio,
Rainer Klett – Managing Director Kayser Threde,
Alexander Medvedchikov – Russian Federal Space Agency,
Jörg Feustel-Büechl – Director Human Spaceflight ESA.
The round-table discussion will cover past achievements, the outlook for industrial cooperation and general aspects of future cooperation with Russia, including the role of the European Commission in special undertakings.
Media representatives are invited to follow the round-table discussion. The participants will be available for interview.
If you are interested in attending this round-table discussion please complete the attached reply form and send it to:
ESA Moscow Office Media Relations
Tel: +7 095 928 7529
Fax: +7 095 928 5352
For further information, please contact:
Erasmus User Centre and Communication Office
Directorate of Human Spaceflight
Noordwijk (the Netherlands)
Tel: +31 (0) 71 565 5451
Tel: +31 (0) 71 565 8008