Happy New Year for astronauts

January 1, 2007
The International Space Station

The director of Russia's Federal Space Agency wished the crew of the International Space station a happy New Year.

Anatoly Perminov extended his congratulations to the three-person American, Algerian and Russian crew. He also pledged to do everything possible to ensure their safety during the current mission, RIA-Novosti reported.

Earlier in the day, Perminov said Russia and the United States will share the duties of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station in the coming years.

The United States will transport astronauts to the ISS until 2010, at which time the Russians will fly their own spacecraft to the station for the next five to 10 years. At least six spacecraft are scheduled to visit the ISS in 2008, the news service reported.

Seats set aside for space tourists on those flights have been booked through 2008, Perminov said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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