Image credit: Whitehouse
During the G-8 summit held in St. Petersburg, President Bush of the US and President Putin of Russia renewed their commitment to the construction and maintenance of the International Space Station and other joint space exploration. A brief statement from the Whitehouse confirmed that each member country would continue its role in the partnership, but was vague about any future spaceflight plans.
The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia has underscored the historic role of the United States and Russia as partners in space exploration, who have persevered despite tragedy and adversity. During this challenging time, our partnership has deepened and the International Space Station (ISS) program remains strong. The extraordinary efforts of our countries continue. The United States is committed to safely returning the Space Shuttle to flight, and the Russian Federation is committed to meeting the ISS crew transport and logistics resupply requirements necessary to maintain our joint American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut teams on board the ISS until the Space Shuttle returns to flight.
We confirm our mutual aspiration to ensure the continued assembly and viability of the International Space Station as a world-class research facility, relying on our unprecedented experience of bilateral and multilateral interaction in space. We reaffirm our commitment to the mission of human space flight and are prepared to take energetic steps to enhance our cooperation in the application of space technology and techniques.