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Roscosmos, ESA cooperate despite anti-Russian sanctions

February 12, 10:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The European Space Agency and Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos are cooperating well despite the anti-Russian sanctions, says the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow

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Head of the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow Rene Pischel

Head of the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow Rene Pischel

© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos are cooperating well despite the European Union’s support for anti-Russian sanctions, Head of the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow Rene Pischel said in an interview with TASS.

"The European Union notes that despite sanctions, the countries should maintain relations with Russia at the level of culture and science, including in space <...> As I see, space cooperation between the ESA and Roscosmos is doing rather well," Pischel said.

Pischel stressed that the ESA is not part of the European Union and major areas of the agency’s work are defined by certain states.

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow in 2014 after the events in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

Over 230 experiments

International Space Station (ISS) crews have conducted over 230 experiments in the European Columbus laboratory in the past 11 years, Pischel said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday.

"On average, every ESA astronaut conducts about 50 experiments during a six-month mission to the ISS. Alexander Gerst, who returned to Earth in December, worked on 63 experiments. More than 230 experiments have been carried out in the European Columbus laboratory in the past 11 years," Pischel said.

According to him, one of the newest ESA experiments at the International Space Station is the ArtEMISS project aimed at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen through the use of microalgae spirulina. In addition, ESA provides commercial companies with an opportunity to carry out their own experiments on orbit using the International Commercial Experiment Cubes (or ICE Cubes) facility.

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