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Russia: Moscow Says Space Mission To Go Ahead

Moscow, 1 February (RFE/RL) -- Russian space officials say the launch of a cargo vessel to the International Space Station tomorrow will go ahead as planned, despite the space shuttle "Columbia" disaster today. A spokesman for Russia's space mission control center said a "Progress M-47" cargo ship will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The mission is due to take fuel, equipment, food, and documents to the one Russian and two Americans aboard the space station.

Sergei Gorbunov, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos, said the "Columbia" disaster may affect future supply trips to the space station.

He said it is possible the Russian supply ship "Soyuz" may be used instead of U.S. space shuttles on upcoming flights to the space station.

But Gorbunov said such a decision will depend on conclusions made by American space officials investigating today's disaster.