Shaking hands in air

Published: Saturday 30 September 1995

Russia: grand designs in space (Credit: NASA)GLOBAL collaboration in space exploration has taken another giant leap forward with the signing in August of a us $190 million deal - to develop and launch the first module of a new international space station called Alpha - between Russia's Krunichey Space Center and the Boeing Defense and Space Group of the us.

The module, known as a Functional Energy Block (FGB), would be the first component of Alpha, the world's premier internation- al high-tech orbital laboratory. The 200-tonne, 6-man laboratory will cjAnsist of several modules and is sched- uled for completion by the year 2001. The FGB will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Russia in November 1997.

Boeing will provide the entire amount needed for Krunichev to develop and manufacture one block. Anatoly Kiselyov, the Krunichev general director, said that after initially serving as a power and propulsion module, the block would function as a fuel and equipment storage facility.

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