New Russian spacecraft to touch down in France

10th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

MOSCOW, Feb 9 (AFP) - A new Russian six-crew reusable space capsule that will eventually replace the venerable Soyuz spacecraft is to go on display at the French international aerospace show at Le Bourget in June, Russia's space agency said Wednesday.

MOSCOW, Feb 9 (AFP) - A new Russian six-crew reusable space capsule that will eventually replace the venerable Soyuz spacecraft is to go on display at the French international aerospace show at Le Bourget in June, Russia's space agency said Wednesday.

Known as the Kliper and weighing 14.5 tonnes, it is twice as big as the Soyuz, and was expected to be able to ferry cargoes of up to 700 kilograms (1550 pounds) to the International Space Station (ISS), currently serviced by Soyuz craft.

"Kliper could be used for missions to the moon as well as to the ISS," ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Anatoli Perminov, head of the space agency Roskosmos, as saying.

Russia, and the Soviet Union before it, has never yet sent a manned mission to the moon.

Kliper, developed by the Russian space company RKK Energiya, was expected to replace the three-crew, non-reusable Soyuz craft within a few years, said Roskosmos spokesman Konstantin Kreidenko.

A full-scale model will be flown to France for the show between June 13 and 19, he said.

The Soyuz series has been in use since 1967 with several upgrades. The vehicle was used to ferry crews to and from the Russian space station Mir.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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