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Roscosmos and NASA to build replacement for International Space Station

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Cooperation in space   Igor Komarov told reporters:

Russia announced initial plans to build a new orbital space station with NASA to replace the International Space Station (ISS), which should operate until 2024.

"Roscosmos together with NASA will work on the programme of a future orbital station," the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency, Igor Komarov said, quoted by Interfax news agency.

Komarov made the announcement joined by by NASA administrator Charles Bolden at Russia's Baikonur launchpad in Kazakhstan.

"We agreed that the group of countries taking part in the ISS project will work on the future project of a new orbital station," Komarov said. He said that the project to build the new station would be "open" and could include countries that are not currently involved in the ISS.

"The first step is that the ISS will operate until 2024," he added. Roscosmos and NASA "do not rule out that the station's flight could be extended," Komarov added. "Its term of existence will depend on the implementation of our joint projects."

Late Friday, a spacecraft launched successfully carrying Russian and US astronauts to the ISS, two of whom will spend a historic year-long term on board in an experiment to study the physical effects of long-duration space missions.

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