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Officail: Interplanetary shuttle can be built in five years

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, February 22 Itar-Tass/ACSNA-IRNA -- A Russian interplanetary 
shuttle can be built in five years provided there is normal funding, 
said first deputy general designer of the Energia Space Corporation 
Nikolai Zelenschikov here Sunday. 
"The corporation has worked out a project of a shuttle which will 
replace Soyuzes to service the International Space Station, and it can
be exploited for interplanetary missions," Zelenschikov said. 
The spaceship, weighing 12-14 tonnes will have a reusable capsule 
for a six-men crew. "Our project for creating shuttles is itemized in 
the Federal Space Program up to the year 2005 at the R&D stage," 
Zelenschikov noted. 
He did not preclude a chance that "construction of the ship can be
included in the Federal Program up to 2015". "It will take five years 
and 9-10 billion roubles to build a spaceship," Zelenschikov 
An updated version of the Soyuz launch vehicle, on which Energia 
also works now, can be used to blast off shuttles. According to 
specialists, a new carrier can put into a base line orbit payloads of 
up to 14 tonnes thanks to new engines and broad use of oxygen. 

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