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U.S. decision to build craft for ISS flights is not chill in space ties, says ESA official

September 17, 2014, 21:33 UTC+3 BERLIN
NASA announced on Tuesday it had opted to award Boeing and California’s SpaceX with contracts to develop, certify and fly U.S. capsules
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© EPA/REID WISEMAN / NASA / HANDOUT

BERLIN, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The U.S. decision to build its own spacecraft to fly American astronauts to the International Space Station does not mean a chill in international cooperation on space exploration, the director of the European Space Agency’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations said on Wednesday.

The European Space Agency does not intend to give preferences to the United States or Russia in the use of spacecraft for flights to the ISS, Thomas Reiter said.

He said the agency’s aim was to speed up work at the ISS, and it would be more comfortable to have one more craft.

NASA announced on Tuesday it had opted to award Boeing and California’s SpaceX with contracts to develop, certify and fly U.S. capsules. NASA expects that the first piloted flight to the ISS could be made in 2017.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on Tuesday that a new US spacecraft would end U.S dependence on Russia for rides. At the moment, international crews get to the space station on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

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