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Russia's new spaceship to save crew in possible LV accident

19:43 14/06/2005

LE BOURGET (France), June 14 (RIA Novosti) - The concept of the new Russian reusable spaceship Kliper is such that, if the launch vehicle fails, the life of the crew will be preserved, leading designer Vladimir Daneev told RIA Novosti at the Le Bourget airspace show.

In case of a LV accident, the Kliper can reach the airfield on its own, he said. It is so designed that it can land from any orbital turn, he added.

The Kliper's basic characteristics are - launch mass 13 tones, crew up to six, payload mass 500 kilograms. It can stay up to 15 days in self-contained flight and up to 360 days as part of an orbital station, such as the International Space Station.

The image and many technical aspects have already taken shape, Daneev said.

"We are 99% sure that it will be a spaceship with upturned little wings, enabling the Kliper to land on any class-one military airfield with a runway from three to three and a half kilometers in length," he specified.

The Kliper's first unmanned test flight is scheduled for 2011, Daneev said.

"At least two test unmanned flights are to be held. A manned flight will take place in 2012," the chief designer said.

The Kliper is being designed to cut the cost of flight, new head of the Space Rocketry Corporation Energia Nikolai Sevastyanov, taking over from Yuri Semenov, told RIA Novosti in the interview.

"Economically speaking, the goal set in designing the reusable six-seater Kliper is a lower per-member cost of flight. The cost of putting crewmen in orbit is much less than in the present Soyuz ships and many times less than American shuttle service," Sevastyanov said.

As regards a carrier rocket for the new spaceship, he said that the updated Soyuz-2 may be opted for.

The Kliper can thus be able to start off from the Russian launching sites Baikonur in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk in Russia's north. With a view for the future, it can be the launch site Kourou in French Guiana. Sevastyanov did not say that a final choice of the carrier will be made later.

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