LONDON—The United States and its European partners remain far apart on how the planned space station should be managed after three days of talks late last month in Paris.

"There was no evolution in the U.S. position," said Jean Arets, head of international programs for the 13-member European Space Agency. "It is difficult to know where we go from here."

The original timetable for the manned station, which also involves Japan and Canada, called for all partners to agree by this summer on the role each would play in building and managing the project. But a major stumbling block arose in December when the United States asserted its right to use the station for military research, as well as to cast a decisive vote on the work to be carried out in the various parts of the space station.

The station's cost—itself an increasingly contentious issue—is now an estimated $14...

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