ISSHaving drawn the European Space Agency and Japan into partnerships for the still-on-the-drawing-board Space Station Freedom project, NASA announces that it is reaching out to post-Soviet Russia, not just for ideas and engineering expertise, but to become partners in the new space station. With already-built modules sitting on the ground for a Mir 2 station that it cannot afford to launch and operate on its own, Russia becomes a full partner in what will now become the International Space Station. Plans are accelerated for proposed missions to dock the Space Shuttle to the existing Mir space station, and to use Russian Soyuz capsules for crew transfer and return.

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