Rosaviakosmos demands additional financing

To allow for the international space station's operation, the financing of the launches of Russian spacecraft needs to be increased 7.6 percent up to $140m against $130m planned for 2003, the press service of the Russian Space and Aviation Agency (Rosaviakosmos) reported. The press service also pointed out General Director of Rosaviakosmos Yury Koptev had expressed the opinion that Russia could assume increased responsibility for the implementation of programs at the international space station owing to higher financial expenditures. The official was quoted as saying to implement programs of the international space station in 2003, Russia should send 5-6 Progress cargo vessels instead of three originally planned, which will require $10m in additional funds, while Rosaviakosmos' current budget earmarked for the Russian segment of the international space station is $130m.

Astronauts are planning to conduct 28 experiments in the Russian segment of the space station, the press service of the Space Operations Center reported. The larger part of these experiments (22) were started during previous expeditions, while 6 are new.

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