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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President


For Immediate Release
July 12, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT

This morning's successful launch of the Zvezda service module from Baikonur, Kazakstan marks an important milestone in the development of the International Space Station. It represents the result of intense space cooperation between the United States and Russia as part of the sixteen nation International Space Station consortium. It also represents the achievement of one of the earliest objectives of the U.S.-Russia Bi-National Commission's Space Committee. All Americans can take pride in this exciting accomplishment.

We still face the technical challenge of docking the service module with the American and Russian components currently in orbit, an event scheduled to occur within the next two weeks. If the docking is successful, the key components permitting human habitation of the station will be in place. Once the International Space Station becomes fully operational, it promises to deliver enormous benefits to Americans in the form of increased scientific research and development opportunities. It will also allow us to expand the horizons of our understanding of space.

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