U.S., Russia set space partnership

December 17, 1993|By Houston Chronicle

MOSCOW -- The United States and Russia formalized a joint space program yesterday that will put a Russian cosmonaut on a shuttle flight for the first time.

The agreement, among 17 signed at the end of a three-day visit to the Russian capital by Vice President Al Gore, capped his meetings with Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin on scientific and economic cooperation.

Both men said the signing ceremony demonstrated that the rise of super-nationalists in Russia's parliamentary elections Sunday would not disturb the growing number of joint ventures between the U.S. and Russian governments.

"I am sure this is not going to affect in any way our relationship with the United States of America," Mr. Chernomyrdin said.

Most of the agreements, including several related to the joint space station project, had been announced earlier but were detailed in formal documents.

As part of the cooperative agreement, a Russian cosmonaut will be a crew member on a space shuttle flight scheduled for launch in the first week of February, Mr. Gore said. The cosmonaut will be the first Russian ever to board a shuttle.

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