MOSCOW, January 22 (Sputnik) — Piloted space flight programs will be the focus of cooperation between the Russian and US space agencies, new Roscosmos head, Igor Komarov, said Thursday.
"It will be the key area of our cooperation with NASA," Komarov said.
"I believe that [joint] exploration of deep space, Earth's protection from the asteroids and piloted space flights should not be affected by political factors," he added.
Komarov was appointed on Wednesday as the head of Roscosmos until the establishment of a state corporation under the same name on the basis of the current federal agency and the United Rocket and Space Corporation.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who introduced Komarov in his new capacity, reiterated the importance of continued cooperation in space exploration, current problems notwithstanding.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced support for the parliament's proposal to reform Roscosmos. The decision to reform Roscosmos is intended to consolidate and increase the effectiveness of government and business efforts to solve accumulated problems in the industry.
The former head of Roscosmos, Oleg Ostapenko, is expected to chair one of the holding companies' boards of directors under the new state corporation.