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    RUSSIA SHOULD TAKE ACTIVE PART IN INTERNATIONAL SPACE PROJECTS-FEDERAL SPACE AGENCY CHIEF

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 2, 2004, RIA NOVOSTI - Russia should take a more active part in U.S. and European projects to explore other planets of the solar system and the Moon, Anatoly Perminov, head of the Federal Space Agency, said at a press conference Friday.

    "We should support and actively participate in international programs to build lunar stations and to advance in the exploration of other planets of the solar system," Perminov said. Russia has a huge potential to bring in, he believes.

    Manned space missions to the International Space Station remain the top priority for the Federal Space Agency. Building new space systems in association with European partners is also a task of paramount importance. According to Perminov, this area has not been given due attention in recent years, with Russo-European cooperation dominated by spacecraft launches. One other priority is the construction of the Soyuz 2 booster rocket, which will be fundamentally important not just for putting spacecraft into orbit, but also for creating innovative space systems.

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