"Two of the most attractive projects for spacecraft as part of a reusable manned transport system could be submitted to the Federal Space Agency in the near future," the spokesman said.
Russia has been developing the Clipper, a six-man spacecraft similar to the U.S. space shuttle, designed to replace the Soyuz and Progress launch vehicles in making regular flights to the International Space Station and even the Moon and Mars. It is proposed the craft will carry two professional astronauts and up to four passengers, compared to the Soyuz's three-member crews.
The projects also envisage innovations such as an orbital transfer vehicle and a cargo container with an increased payload capacity of 12 metric tons, as compared to the current two tons.
In December 2006, Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Federal Space Agency, said the agency planned to start construction of the new Clipper in 2012.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.