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Russia rebuffs US on extending life of space station

Russian Federation,Diplomacy,Science/Tech, Wed, 14 May 2014 IANS

Moscow, May 14 (IANS/EFE) Russia has no intention of prolonging the use of the International Space Station after 2020, as the US is proposing, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin said here Tuesday.

Russia wants to redirect the money and "intellectual resources" currently devoted to the ISS to "a project with more prospects", he said during a press conference in Moscow.

NASA, Russia's Roscosmos and the European Space Agency agreed to prolong the life of the ISS, a project in which 16 countries are participating, at least until 2020.

Rogozin's announcement comes at a time of diplomatic tension between Washington and Moscow, with the latter being subjected to Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

Besides rejecting Washington's proposal to maintain the ISS past 2020, Russia will prohibit the use of its RD-180 and NK-33 rocket engines for military satellite launches by the US, the deputy prime minister said.

"We are ready to deliver these engines but on (the) condition that they will not be used to launch military satellites," he said.

In addition, he said that, starting June 1, Russia would suspend the operations on its territory of the 11 US GPS navigation stations.

Rogozin said that Moscow would only amend its decision if the US agreed to deploy on its own territory the infrastructure for the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system.

"We are very concerned about continuing to develop high-tech projects with such an unreliable partner as the United States, which politicises everything," he said.

--IANS/EFE

ab/


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