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EU mulls opening ISS to more countries

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by Staff Writers
Brussels (UPI) Oct 27, 2010
European countries not a part of the International Space Station program will be allowed access to the station in a three-year trial period, officials say.

European Space Agency officials say non-participating countries will be able to place experiments on the orbital complex in a trial that could provide a fresh revenue source for the project, SPACE.com reported Wednesday.

The proposal disclosed by ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain has been approved by the ESA governments financing the space station program and by NASA and the other station partners, ESA officials said.

Opening the station to non-participating nations would allow the ESA to reposition the space station as a springboard and testing ground for future space exploration efforts, Dordain said.

Several nations taking part in the "Second International Conference on Space Exploration" in Brussels, Belgium, say they support a NASA proposal for extending the station's life at least until 2020.

Other station partners, among them Canada, Russia and Japan, have accepted the proposal, but some European partners are still weighing their options.

The ESA still expects to win its member states' formal support for the station extension in December, said Simonetta di Pippo, ESA's director of human spaceflight.




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STATION NEWS
International Space Station to manoeuvre to dodge debris
Moscow (AFP) Oct 26, 2010
The Russian mission control centre has decided to manoeuvre the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday to avoid collision with space debris, Russian news agencies reported. "A decision has been taken to correct the flight orbit of the ISS. The engines will be switched on at 1425 Moscow time (1025 GMT)," a spokesman for the mission control centre outside Moscow told the RIA Novosti news ... read more

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