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 Cooperation GORE-CHERNOMYRDIN COMMISSION JOINT STATEMENT ON AERONAUTICS AND SPACE COOPERATION 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 areas. SPACE SCIENCE 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 atmosphere. EARTH SCIENCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 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. AERONAUTICS 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 technologies. 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 efficiency; -- 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. COORDINATION OF OPERATIONAL SPACE ACTIVITIES 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).