Friday, April 29, 2011

Russia to build aerospace defence shield

Russia will build a national aerospace defense shield by the end of 2011, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov told reporters on Tuesday in the cosmonauts' training center near Moscow. He believes that a combined aerospace defense force will cooperate more effectively with NATO's European anti-missile defense system.

Last year, President Medvedev approved a plan to merge the Space Forces created in 2001, the Air Defense Forces and also the missile attack warning and space surveillance systems into a single military force. Commenting on the issue, Viktor Ozerov said as follows:

"Space Forces is a branch of the Russian army that focuses on space and ground intelligence, as well as anti-missile security. Cooperation with Russia on anti-missile defence was named among the priorities at the latest Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon. Russia and NATO member states have managed to agree on some aspects of anti-missile shield in Europe, though some difficulties remain with adjusting anti-missile systems of Russia, the US and that of NATO to each other."

During the talks in the Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow, deputy chairman of the Russian Federal Space Agency Vitaly Davydov commented on the planned Moon and Mars missions, adding that Russia has been working on a program for the Solar system exploration through 2030.

"President Medvedev asked us to present a program for space exploration until 2030. Before we start making preparations for a piloted Mars mission, we expect to launch several missions to the Moon."

These manned missions may be launched from Russia's new spaceport "Vostochny", which is currently being built in Amur region. The first unmanned capsule is due to take off from the Vostochny in 2015, while the first piloted mission is scheduled for 2018.

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