February 5, 2009

Space station may continue to 2020

Russia's leading spacecraft maker RSC Energia said an agreement has been reached to continue using the International Space Station until 2020.

Vitaly Lopota, president of the company, said Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency have reached a verbal agreement to extend the use of the orbiter, RIA Novosti reported Thursday. Previously, the United States had said ISS missions would end in 2015.

Lopota said 39 space launches are planned for this year, up from 27 last year.