24 September 1997


(Space, earth science, environment, aeronautics) (1820)

(The following joint 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



The Vice President of the United States and the Chairman of the
Government of the Russian Federation note with great satisfaction the
continued fruitful cooperation taking place under the auspices of the
Space Committee in the fields of space science, earth science and
observation, and aeronautics. This cooperation has resulted in many
significant achievements since the establishment of the Joint
Commission in September 1993. The scientific and economic benefits of
bringing together the unequaled experience of the United States and
Russia in these fields will reach far beyond our two countries, and
will serve the interests of people around the world. The Vice
President and the Chairman of the Government support the sides in
their efforts to continue and enhance their cooperation, and note the
benefits of this cooperation in astrophysical studies, solar system
research, studying the Earth's environment, and in increasing the
level of coordination in space operations.

In particular, the Vice President and the Chairman of the Government
note the following progress in the Space Committee's endeavors, and
look forward to the accomplishment of next steps in the following


Current Cooperation Priorities: The Vice President and the Chairman of
the Government encourage the sides to analyze their activities in
astrophysics and astronomy, solar system exploration, and to determine
their joint goals for cooperation in these areas. In particular, they
note the importance of cooperation in astrophysics and in the
exploration of Mars, including:

-- ensuring progress in work on the Spectrum-X-Gamma mission, the
first in the Russian Spektr series astrophysical observatories, with
the goal of completing work by the scheduled launch date in 1998;

-- ensuring progress in work on the Spektr-Radioastron mission, the
second in the Russian Spektr series astrophysical observatories, with
the goal of completing work by the expected launch on the threshold of
the new millennium;

-- Russian participation in the U.S. Mars Surveyor 1998 mission
including providing optical elements for the Mars Orbiter, and a Lidar
instrument for environmental experiments on the lander segment of the
mission. The Russian optical equipment is part of the PMIRR instrument
designed to study atmospheric components such as the temperature,
water vapor levels and dust content of the planet Mars. In connection
with this, the Vice President and the Chairman of the Government
welcome the signing of the corresponding agreement in the flight of
the Russian reflective optics on the US 1988 Mars Surveyor mission
during this session of the Commission.

-- Russian participation in the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS)
international scientific experiment, which is currently scheduled for
flight on the Space Shuttle mission STS-91 in May 1998, and the
International Space Station in the 2001-2002 timeframe.

The Vice President and the Chairman of the Government welcome the
signing of the appropriate Pressure Modulation Infrared Radiometer
(PMIRR) implementing agreement during this session of the Commission.

Joint Studies for Future Cooperation: The Vice President and the
Chairman of the Government note the status of the continuing studies
in the following joint projects:

-- Mars Together;

-- Fire, involving joint observations of the Sun;

-- Ice, a mission to Pluto.

-- Long-duration Ballooning

They note that both sides shall continue their work to ensure progress
in these joint studies.

Both sides acknowledge the importance of continued joint efforts on
the proposed Mars mission project in 2001. A final decision on a 2001
joint mission should be made in 1998. This mission may be a precursor
to a joint sample return towards the end of the next decade.

The sides also note the progress made by the "Fire" and "Ice" study
teams on identifying opportunities for fruitful cooperation.

-- the sides plan to collaborate on two missions to study the
immediate solar environment, one U.S. and one Russian. Simultaneous
measurements will be taken by a U.S. "Solar Probe" spacecraft at four
solar radii and the Russian "Plamya" probe at ten solar radii, a
decision on which is expected in 1998;

-- the "Ice" study team has identified a first launch opportunity for
a mission to Pluto in 2002. It has been determined that extensive
U.S.-Russian cooperation is not feasible for this launch opportunity.
In the event that a later launch opportunity is selected for the U.S.
Pluto mission, the team will reconsider possibilities for extensive
U.S.-Russian cooperation.

The sides note the potential contribution of long-duration ballooning
to scientific research.

-- the first global balloon flight in the Arctic region was
successfully demonstrated in June-July, 1997

-- both sides plan to use the new capabilities to pursue astrophysics
research objectives and in-situ measurements of the Earth's


The Vice President and the Chairman of the Government underscored the
economic, social, and scientific need to better understand how the
Earth's environmental processes work. Analysis and application of data
remotely sensed from space are essential to understanding the global
environment and how it is changing. The U.S. and Russia have long
worked together in this important endeavor and look forward to
building on past successes.

Meteor-3M/Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) Ill
spaceflight mission: The Vice President and the Chairman of the
Government note the significant accomplishments toward this joint
mission in 1998, in which the U.S. SAGE experiment will be carried out
aboard a Russian Meteor-3M satellite. The SAGE instrument measures the
ozone vertical profile, as well as distribution of aerosols, nitrogen
dioxide and water vapor in the stratosphere. Data from SAGE provides a
valuable contribution to the study of atmospheric ozone.

Meteor-3M Inn/Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOWS) spaceflight
mission: The Vice President and the Chairman of the Government note
that development efforts for a second joint TOMS mission started in
October 1996. This mission involves the integration of a U.S.-provided
TOMS instrument on a Russian Meteor-3 satellite, currently planned for
launch in 2000.

Meteor-3M/TOMS follows on the highly successful previous TOMS flight
on a Meteor-3, which provided important ozone data from 1991-1994,
complementing a 17 year data set. The second joint U.S.-Russian TOMS
mission will continue atmospheric ozone research of great importance
to the scientific community. Meteor-3M/TOMS will provide long-term
mapping and monitoring of global ozone content in the Earth's
atmosphere, giving scientists data on the evolution of the ozone hole
in the Antarctic and on the recently observed ozone lows in the
northern polar region. Important data will also be gathered on sulfur
dioxide which is injected into the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions.

Continued cooperation on Earth observation: The Vice President and the
Chairman of the Government encourage continued cooperation between the
U.S. and Russia in scientific data exchange and analysis related to
atmospheric ozone research, meteorological forecasting, natural
disasters, volcanology, forests and vegetation conditions,
oceanography, hydrology, and an integrated global observing strategy.
Continued cooperation in these areas is important to the study of
Earth as a system.

Satellite-Aided Search and Rescue

The Vice President and the Chairman of the Government commend the
Russian Space Agency, the Russian State Enterprise for
Electroradionavigation and Satellite Communications, NOAA, and NASA
for their continued success in supporting the International
COSPAS-SARSAT Program for satellite-aided search and rescue. Both
countries are working with other foreign partners to develop an
operational Geostationary Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (GEOSAR)
component as an enhancement to COSPAS-SARSAT's polar-orbiting
satellite system. Program participants plan to have the GEOSAR space
segment operational in 1998. To date, COSPAS-SARSAT has assisted in
the sea, air, and land rescue of more than 6,100 individuals around
the world.


TU-144 LL Flying Laboratory: The Vice President and the Chairman of
the Government congratulate the Tu-144LL team, consisting of NASA,
Tupolev and other leading U.S. and Russian aviation companies, on the
successful completion of the first eight flights of the Tu-144LL.
These flights will allow researchers to compare full-scale supersonic
aircraft flight data with results from wind tunnel tests and computer
models, and will provide unique insight toward the development of new
supersonic passenger aircraft. The aircraft is presently in a
stand-down to do engine work and other aircraft/instrument/experiment
modifications. While it was originally agreed that 32 flights would be
conducted, both sides have now agreed that the total will be 18, with
the last two flights being reserved to cover for earlier tests which
may need to be done again. The Vice President and the Chairman of the
Government consider this project to be a model for U.S. and Russian
government-business partnerships in the development of advanced

Supersonic Combustion Ramjet (Scramjet) Project: The Vice President
and the Chairman of the Government note that NASA and the Central
Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) began conducting cold-flow
(unfueled) ground tests of its Mach 6.5 scramjet engine in December
1996, and hot-flow (fueled) ground tests in early 1997 at its
facilities in Moscow. CIAM will conduct a flight test of the engine
later this year from Kazakstan's Sary Shagan launch facility. CIAM has
received delivery of all four scramjet engines from its subcontractor,
ChemAutomatics, and in mid-September shipped one of these to the U.S.
for ground testing.

Aeronautics Joint Working Group: The Vice President and the Chairman
of the Government also note the success of the Joint Working Group in
Aeronautics, chaired by NASA and the Ministry for Defense Industries
of the Russian Federation. All six existing Joint Working Group
activities were renewed for another year and two new activities were
initiated. These activities, involving five NASA research centers and
nine Russian research institutes, include work in the following areas:

-- research on flamelet combustion modeling to improve turbine engine

-- research on advanced aluminum and titanium alloys to lighten and
strengthen aircraft;

-- research on aircraft turbine engine emission chemistry to determine
atmospheric effect of aircraft;

-- research on the buckling behavior of composite materials to improve
the structural elements of aircraft;

-- research on supersonic receptivity and boundary layer transition to
improve airflow on aircraft wings and reduce fuel usage.


The Vice President and the Chairman of the Government note the
importance of better coordinating civil space operations. They note
that the proposal drafted by the interested agencies on the U.S. side
has been presented to the Russian side and await comments and
recommendations to proceed with developing the items in the proposal
(pre launch information exchange and Contingency Action Plan).