ALLIES IN SPACE

THE UNITED STATES AND 11 ALLIED COUNTRIES ARE POISED TO BEGIN WORK ON A $23 BILLION MANNED SPACE STATION DESCRIBED AS THE LARGEST INTERNATIONAL VENTURE IN HISTORY. JUST HOURS AFTER THURSDAY'S LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY, SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE P. SHULTZ AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 11 PARTNERS SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO GO AHEAD WITH THE "SPACE STATION FREEDOM" PROJECT, WHICH ENVISIONS A 10-YEAR CONSTRUCTION PERIOD.

THE FACILITY WILL BE DESIGNED, DEVELOPED AND OPERATED BY ALL OF THE PARTNERS,WHICH INCLUDE NINE EUROPEAN ALLIES, JAPAN AND CANADA, IN ADDITION TO THE UNITED STATES. IT WAS INITIALLY PROPOSED BY PRESIDENT REAGAN IN JANUARY 1984.