OSLO, April 12. /TASS/. Norway wants to expand space cooperation with Russia, Bo Andersen, director general of the Norwegian Space Centre, said on Sunday.
"We would like to have greater cooperation in space with Russia," Andersen told TASS ahead of Cosmonautics day which marks Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight into space.
"Russia has a lot to offer in the sphere of international interaction, as we can see from the example of the International Space Station (ISS). Norway, in its turn, is a fully-fledged member of the ISS project," he said. "Maintaining good relations with Russia is part of the Norwegian policy."
A cooperation treaty between the Norwegian Space Centre and the Russian space agency Roscosmos should facilitate understanding between the two countries and open up more opportunities for joint projects, Andersen said.
"We have been working for several years now to sign a bilateral agreement between the Norwegian Space Centre and Roscosmos. But we still haven't managed to do it," he said, noting however the country's willingness to strike the deal.
Andersen recalled that the Norwegian satellite AISSat-2 was launched from the Russian Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan in the summer of 2014. An AISSat-3 will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome at the end of this year. AISSat spacecraft enable Norway to monitor shipping over a vast area in its territorial waters.
"We need help of our Russian counterparts to launch our satellites as they ensure maximum reliability," Andersen added.