Cooperation with Russia

Mr Dordain (left) and Mr Perminov

Over the past two decades, relations between ESA and Russia have evolved into a close partnership in virtually all areas of ESA activities, including

  • human spaceflight
  • space science and exploration
  • launchers
  • Earth Observation
  • telecommunications
  • applied space science and technology
  • navigation

ESA’s counterpart in Russia is Roscosmos, or the Federal Space Agency.

Legal grounds

It all began in 1991 with the signature of the ESA-Russia Framework Agreement on Cooperation.

Today, the cooperation is based on an Agreement between ESA and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation and Partnership in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, signed by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and ESA’s Director General in Paris on 11 February 2003.

In the frame of the partnership agreement, other more specific agreements have emerged: for example, agreements on the implementation of Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Centre (2005) and on cooperation in research and technology development for future launchers (2005).

Earlier relevant agreements comprise International Space Station (ISS) Flight Order Contracts concerning the implementation of ISS flight opportunities involving ESA astronauts (2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2005 (2)), a contract on the integration of the ESA Automated Transfer vehicle (ATV) into the Russian segment of the ISS (1999), the ISS Intergovernmental Agreement (1998), an arrangement on cooperation in the development and operations of the Service Module Data Management System (DMS-R) for the Russian segment of the ISS and of the Russian Docking System (1996), an arrangement on the development and utilization of the European Robotic Arm (ERA) for the Russian ISS segment (1996), and a Frame Agreement for the Launch, Operation and Retrieval of ESA Microgravity Multi-User Facilities and Experiments (1996).

Last update: 12 May 2009

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