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    MOSCOW, December 28. ( RIA Novosti) - The defense ministry has requested the Russian Federal Space Agency to examine the proposal to place the cosmonauts' team of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center within the competence of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, reported on Tuesday.

    "My personal opinion is that Russia should have a single team of cosmonauts and such a possibility really exists," he added. In Perminov's words, there are three cosmonauts' teams numbering 20 to 30 active members in Russia now. Young people will be additionally recruited to the single team which will unite all active cosmonauts," he noted. " Every month I receive proposals both from managers and the young replenishment," Perminov said.

    Apart from that, he said that at present his department is examining two candidatures of foreign space tourists for making a flight to the ISS. However, they will be able to fly there only in two years. "The seats in space ships for the next two flights are occupied by the astronauts of the European Space Agency," Perminov specified.

    The current crew of the ISS (Salizhan Sharipov and Leroy Chiao) may meet the New Year with a glass of champagne in their hands, Perminov said.

    "There is a certain assortment of drinks onboard the station," he said. Asked what drinks exactly the cosmonauts will drink, Perminov answered: "Champagne or sparkling wine. Regrettably, I don't know of what make - Russian or US."

    In his words, parcels and New Year gifts from the crew members' relatives and friends have been sent to the station onboard the cargo ship Progress.

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