Monday, December 12, 2005

ESA Head Reiterates Support For Kliper

It seems that the head of ESA hasn't given up trying to fund the Russian Kliper despite the funding setback that was delivered this last week. I udnerstand the desire to have independant access to space from the United States since we're a little of a capricious power these days from the European PoV. However, the head of ESA failed once already to round up the funding at the crucial moment. I'd be a little skeptical if he was able to over the next year. I'd be delighted to be wrong though.

The head of the European Space Agency said on Friday he was confident he could win enough support from member states to help develop Russia's next-generation spaceship.

Russia hopes its reusable Clipper shuttle will be ready for test flights early next decade and would then gradually take over from the veteran Soyuz spaceship, which has been putting cosmonauts in orbit since the 1960s.

Earlier this week, ministers from European Space Agency countries failed to pledge money to the Clipper program, despite agreeing to spend more on other space research. But ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain remains optimistic. "I am convinced we can get wide support," he told reporters in Moscow after talks with Russia's Federal Space Agency.

Read the rest here.

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