Expanding U.S.-Russia cooperation in the area of space exploration and utilization, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. and Roscosmos Head Vladimir Popovkin met in Quebec City, Canada, on February 29, 2012, for the sixth meeting of the Space Cooperation Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.
The space agency leaders noted successful ongoing and potential future cooperation in space exploration in the International Space Station (ISS) Program, life sciences, and space sciences.
In the ISS Program, the agency heads recommitted to fully utilizing the ISS as a test bed in space for the demonstration of critical technologies, the mitigation of human health risks for exploration and as a foundation for the development of future exploration capabilities. The ISS partnership has created a global research facility in space that is unprecedented in capability and unique in human history. The heads of agency re-confirmed the importance of using the facility to benefit society today and provide a technological basis for continued human exploration of space in the future.
The agency heads also recognized the ongoing collaboration in life sciences, specifically the field of space biology and biomedical research. They emphasized their mutual desire to continue such cooperation through NASA’s potential participation in the Russian Bion Ml mission.
In space science and exploration, the leaders recognized the successful November 2011 launch of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory with the Russian Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) experiment onboard. This launch builds upon their successful cooperation related to the Russian Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for which the organizations recently signed an agreement extension through 2016.
The Russian and American space agency leaders pledged to continue their efforts to build upon decades of successful civil space cooperation by expanding their joint and multilateral efforts in space exploration.
Charles F. Bolden, Jr.