On Saturday, 17 November 2001, chief of US National Aerospace Agency (NASA) 61-year-old Daniel Goldin resigns office which he has been holding since 1 April 1992. Russian colleagues regard him as a top-class specialist "who is fully aware that only a concerted effort by the world's leading industrialized countries can ensure success in exploration of outer space, which remains to be "a terra incognita" for human research and habitation". A representative of Rosaviakosmos (Russia's Space Exploration Agency) pointed out that Goldin had managed to convince both the US Administration and legislators of the importance of the International Space Station projects carried out jointly with Russia. Thanks to its constructive cooperation with the NASA chief, Rosaviakosmos was able in the past years to successfully develop and implement a number of costly joint US-Russian R&D projects. When discussing these projects, Daniel Goldin was always doing his utmost to upheld the US interests. "At the same time, he invariably strove to leave ground for exercise of common interests". The Rosaviakosmos representative expressed hope that Shean O'Keef, Goldin's successor as chief of NASA, would keep the constructive dialogue between the US and Russian space experts going just as successfully. On his last day in office, Daniel Goldin intends to address the national space agencies of many countries with a special message. "His parting words calling for further international cooperation in outer space are going to be of great importance for us and we will readily support his appeal", the Rosaviakosmos spokesman said. Daniel Goldin had on many occasions spoken in favour of bridging the US and Russian national space exploration programs. "There will be a time when we are able to select the best elements of the two programs and, on this basis, develop a joint space exploration program. This will be the starting point for humankind's more effective space penetration. As a result, people will enjoy a much greater benefit from the opportunities offered by the space era", he once said in an interview to RIA Novosti.
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