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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 19, 2005 3:38:35 GMT -6
Brazil's President In Moscow Signs Deal For Joint Space Mission
Moscow (AFP) Oct 18, 2005 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the first full day of a politically groundbreaking first visit to Moscow Tuesday signed a 20 million dollar deal to send one of his compatriots into space on a joint Russo-Brazilian mission.
"We plan to move to the creation of a 'technological alliance' with Brazil, in particular in the field of space," Putin said at the signing ceremony, held in the ornate setting of the Kremlin's Malachite Hall.
"The signing of this contract to send in 2006 a Brazilian cosmonaut to the ISS is an important step in this direction," Putin said, going on to congratulate Pontes.
Brazil's first man in space has just started his training at Star City, the training centre for Russian cosmonauts near Moscow, and is due to spend 10 days on the ISS.
"We hope his flight will take place sometime after March," Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency, told reporters.
M. Perminov said Pontes's journey into space would cost Brazil 20 million dollars " as usual", the sum paid by US space tourist Greg Olsen for his trip to the ISS.
The deal comes as Russia is talking to the US space agency NASA about it sharing in the cost of taking astronauts and cosmonauts to the ISS.
Problems with the US space shuttles mean that only the Russians are in a position to provide transport to the ISS.