European Space Agencies Talk Missions

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MOSCOW, Dec. 20 (UPI) — Russian and European space program officials say they will proceed with a cooperative Moon research mission and a flight to Jupiter.

The head of Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, and European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain held a meeting in Moscow to consider five research projects, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Missions discussed were a flight to Jupiter with a stopover at one of its icy moons, the collection of soil samples from the polar region of the Moon, a study of Venus’ atmosphere and a landing on that planet, missions to near-Earth asteroids, and the establishment of an orbiting astronomical observatory.

The Moon research mission with a possible date of 2016 to 2020, and the Jupiter mission with a landing on moon Ganymede for sometime after 2020 were deemed most feasible.

Close cooperation between Russian and European enterprises would be needed to bring the missions to fruition, Popovkin said.

“The next step is to connect businesses in Europe to assess the feasibility of these projects,” he said.

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