Europe and Russia are studying co-operation in areas such as launch services, the Galileo satellite navigation system and environmental monitoring.

A delegation from the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Parliament and industry have been discussing joint space activities with a view to reinforcing co-operative ventures. The delegation has recommended that the joint working group, set up last year by EC commissioner for research Philippe Busquin and Yuri Koptev, director general of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency Rosaviakosmos, address the three areas at a political level, move negotiations forward and plan industry work.

Meanwhile, Russia has asked ESA for a further $20 million towards development of its Spektrum Roentgen-Gamma astrophysics satellite, for which ESA is providing instruments. The 6,000kg (13,200lb) NPO Lavochin-built spacecraft was originally to have been launched in 1992. The latest date is set for 2006, but it looks increasingly likely that the project will be cancelled unless additional finance is secured.

Source: Flight International