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Russia, U.S. to conduct joint space projects

12-02-2010 11:18 BJT

MOSCOW, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russia's space agency Roscosmos and NASA were expected to soon sign a protocol on joint projects in manned and unmanned space travel, Roscosmos said Wednesday.

Alexei Perminov, head of Roscosmos, said the protocol was expected to be signed this month.

"We are considering different variants of cooperation, including flights to asteroids, to a Lagrange point, carrying out joint work on the Moon and in a near-earth orbit," Perminov said after a traditional tea party with the crew that will fly to the International Space Station in December.

Roscosmos had also asked NASA for assistance during the navigation of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft late next year, he added.

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, using American ground mission control services, will be sent to the surface of Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, and will return to Earth with soil samples.

A Chinese micro-satellite YH-1, its first Mars probe, will also be carried by the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft to the Martian orbit.

The test launch of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft was originally scheduled in 2009, but was postponed due to technical reasons.

The Mars mission was expected to begin in November 2011 and last about 330 days.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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