April 12 - Russian President Putin inspects construction of new space site and praises space cooperation as an area where global interests can meet. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
President Vladimir Putin arrives in the far east of Russia where he is inspecting the construction site for for the country's space initiative. He likes what he sees. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "This is a very good launching site - we spent quite some time choosing it, and now the construction is in full swing. By 2015, we are planning to launch our first rockets and by 2018, manned spacecraft." Via videolink he spoke to astronauts on the International Space Station. He said he hopes the new site will be used by the U.S. and Europe and can be a force for peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "I'm glad to say that space research provides common ground for us. It allows us to put aside whatever difficulties we might be having in the international arena and continue building relations in the technological sphere, focusing on the future of our countries and the whole world instead of problems." Putin said the space launch market could grow to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2030 up from between $300 billion and $400 billion today.