New Russian spacecraft reusable for up to five flights

Moscow, May 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s new reusable spacecraft being developed by the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation will be able to make up to five space flights, the rocket maker said.

The spacecraft’s technical design has been finalised but is yet to be officially approved, Energia deputy general designer Alexander Chernyavsky said.

The new reusable craft is to replace the Soyuz carrier rocket and is expected to ensure a breakthrough in the development of Russia’s space industry.

The spacecraft will have several modifications — for flights to near-Earth and Moon orbits, for maintenance and repair of other spacecraft, and for gathering of space debris.

The first craft prototype is to be rolled out in August 2013 while flight tests are due to begin in 2017.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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