Russia proposes increased space cooperation with the U.S.

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They need the money: At a science conference on Tuesday the Russian ambassador to the United States stated that his country would welcome increased space cooperation between the two countries.

“I think it would be premature for me to speculate as to whether this zone of overlapping interests will increase or decrease,” Kislyak said. “We haven’t heard a new policy yet from the United States.” He suggested, though, there may be opportunities for the countries to cooperate on NASA’s long-term plans for human Mars exploration. “That is moon exploration, which is very much on our agenda. It’s space medicine and many, many other issues,” he said. “Our programs are not identical, but there’s always been a lot of overlap that provides room for serious and significant cooperation.”

“If the U.S. government chooses programs that would be extending that kind of cooperation,” he added, “they will find us to be willing to work with you.”

As I said, they need the cash. They want to keep their space industry alive, but low oil prices combined with the corruption that has shut down their launch industry has left them very cash poor. A combined Russian/SLS/Orion project to the Moon would be very helpful for them.


One comment

  • LocalFluff

    I don’t know if a lander/ascent vehicle (LAV) for the Orion is such a good idea. Isn’t it too heavy to allow for a LAV with a habitat? It’s 26 tons versus 12 tons for the Apollo Command and Service Module. Because of the expensive and rare launches SLS can only be used for a few of the first Lunar exploration missions, a sustained exploration needs another launcher. So the LAV development costs can not be divided by many missions.

    It would not be so attractive for the Russians to develop a LAV that is useful only with SLS and Orion. Russia hasn’t sent anything to the Moon in 41 years now. They don’t have any successful experience from planetary probes since the 1980s. Russia has been great on engines and space habitats and life support and reliable launches. But all of that is looking old now with engines like Raptor, inflatable habitats, modern space medicine and their lousy launch record in recent years. What do they have to offer ten years from now as partners in a Lunar exploration program?

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