23 September 1997


(Text: White House Release) (750)

(The following statement was released September 23, 1997 by the White
House Office of the Vice President following the ninth meeting of the
U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation,
also known as the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission)

U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological


Space Committee

Vice President Al Gore and the Chairman of the Government of the
Russian Federation Viktor Chernomyrdin welcome the continued progress
taking place in joint U.S.-Russian efforts to expand space
cooperation. In particular, the Vice President and the Chairman of the
Government of the Russian Federation note the joint activities related
to Shuttle-Mir program cooperation and the development and
implementation of the International Space Station (ISS). They reaffirm
the commitment of both sides to continue strong support for the ISS
program and acknowledge the significant progress that has been made to
date in Russia and the U.S. in the development of flight hardware
leading to a planned first element launch in June 1998.

The Vice President of the United States and the Chairman of the
Government of the Russian Federation also note that the joint missions
of the U.S. Space Shuttle and the Russian Mir space station have
tremendous importance, both in concrete scientific and technical
results and as a symbol of the successful, mutually beneficial
U.S.-Russian cooperation in general. In the course of this cooperation
NASA and RSA have established an excellent foundation for future ISS
operations. In addition, the Vice President and Chairman of the
Government note the significant efforts of NASA and RSA to overcome
difficulties presented by several system off-nominal operations which
have occurred on Mir since the beginning of the year. NASA and RSA
continue to ensure that the safety of the crew is the number one
priority in undertaking these joint flights. The next Shuttle flight
to Mir is scheduled to occur shortly after the end of this commission

In the area of science cooperation related to human space flight, the
significant accomplishments of the Space Biomedical Center for
Training and Research are noted. In particular, the Center has made
significant contributions to the development of telemedicine
capabilities through its work with the Russian Ministry of Science and
Technologies, and Ministry of Health, to foster the dissemination of
telemedicine throughout Russia. As the Center begins its third year of
activity, it will continue to develop telecommunications links between
medical centers, medical institutes, and academic institutions
throughout Russia to support both medical education and telemedicine.
Founders of the Center anticipate further results in other
disciplines, such as gravitational and environmental physiology and
pharmacological research.

The Vice President and the Chairman of the Government note that in
cooperative activities in Space sciences, Earth sciences and
Aeronautics the parties have achieved significant milestones since the
last meeting of the Joint Commission in February 1997. Accomplishments

Space Science -- Today NASA and RSA signed a Memorandum of
Understanding concerning the installation of Russian optical equipment
into the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer (PMIRR) instrument on
the Mars Surveyor Mission. The PMIRR instrument will be launched with
the U.S. 1998 Mars Surveyor Mission on the Mars Surveyor Orbiter.
Additionally, the first global balloon flight in the Arctic region was
successfully demonstrated in June-July 1997.

Earth Sciences -- Continued progress on the Meteor-3M/Stratospheric
Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) space flight mission scheduled
for launch in 1998 and the Meteor-3M/Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer
(TOMS) mission scheduled for launch in 2000.

Aeronautics -- The successful completion of the first eight flights of
the Tu-144LL, of which the last three were supersonic; ongoing ground
and flight tests of the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet at the Russian
Central Institute of Aviation motors; continuing successful activity
of the Joint Working Group on Aeronautics, demonstrated by the renewal
of six existing joint projects and the addition of two new areas.

Civil Space Operations Coordination -- Achieved progress concerning
the establishment of a U.S.-Russian joint working group to explore
ways to enhance U.S.-Russian interaction regarding civil space
operations coordination.

The achievements accomplished thus far to expand U.S.-Russian space
and aeronautics cooperation are the foundation for even closer ties
between the U.S. and Russia. These programs are teaching us to work
together, building trust and creating the basis for even greater
cooperation in the future.