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    ESA MARKS 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, April 2, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The European Space Agency and Russia marked the 15th anniversary of their partnership in human space flight at the "Growing Together" symposium in Moscow on Friday.

    "The participation in the forum has been confirmed by the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov," an official spokesman for the agency told RIA Novosti. Jean-Jacques Dordain, the director general of the European space agency, will open the symposium.

    Cooperation between the Rosaviacosmos (now the Federal Space Agency) and the European agency started with exchanging information, small research contracts and ESA experiments on Russian missions.

    Full-scale cooperation began with the work of European astronauts at the Mir, a Russian space station. Thomas Reiter, a German astronaut, walked in space in 1995, a spokesman for the European agency said.

    Europe and Russia are closely cooperating in the construction and the use of the International Space Station.

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