Russia and France extend co-operation in space

Russia's State Duma is set to ratify a bilateral agreement on space co-operation between Russia and France. The Chairman of the State Duma says Russian enterprises will gain more than 120 MLN euros from participating in the project.

According to the agreement signed in Paris in 2003, the two countries will collaborate in developing, creating and using carrier rockets to launch from the Guyana Space Centre.

The document will remain in force for 10 years until 2016, with an option to extend.

It is expected the first commercial launch as a result of the agreement will take place in 2008. Thirty subsequent missions using the Russian carrier rocket Soyuz are planned over the next ten years.