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NASA sanctions to influence space programs negatively - Russian official

Close international cooperation on space issues is crucial, Rocket and Space Corporation Energia chief designer has said.

Space exploration requires big financial and technical efforts. The implementation of space projects demands close international cooperation, Vitaly Lopota told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

"Space research and outer space exploration are possible within international programs," he said.

"If we start 'fighting' and imposing sanctions, we'll lose a lot," Lopota said.

No instructions have been given to the corporation regarding any counter-measures to the US space agency's decision to suspend cooperation with Russia so far, Lopota said.

"Our purpose is to build spacecrafts and reliable equipment. If any decisions are taken, we will respond," he said.

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is suspending most of its cooperation with Russia, the ISS excepted, due to Russia's actions towards Ukraine, the US space agency said.

NASA said it plans on decreasing its reliance on Russia in order to send humans to space from American soil by 2017.

The ISS crew includes Russian cosmonauts, Mikhail Tyurin, Aleksander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, and NASA astronauts, Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. With a now-defunct shuttle programs, NASA's only way of getting humans into space is via Russian-powered rockets.

[Source: Ria Novosti, Moscow, 04Apr14]

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