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October 12, 2009

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Russia To Extend Life Of Station

RUSSIA expects to extend the life of the International Space Station beyond 2015, although Moscow must bear the brunt of flights after the United States retires its shuttles, according to Russian officials.
Space agency heads would meet next March, probably in Japan, to discuss the future of the ISS, Alexei Krasnov, head of manned programs at Russian space agency Roscosmos, told a news conference.
"The main question to be raised is whether to extend the life of the ISS beyond 2015. I believe the issue will be approved," Krasnov said at Mission Control outside of Moscow.
He was speaking after a Russian-US crew returned to Earth after a space odyssey lasting more than six months.
Russia's partners in the ISS are US space agency NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japanese and Canadian space agencies.
NASA plans six more missions by its fleet of aging space shuttles after the construction of the US$100 billion ISS is completed.
NASA's strategy is under review with a focus on flights to Mars.


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