The Russian News and Information Agency Novosti has an interesting analysis of the country’s space program that indicates Energia may soon unveil a design for a replacement of the venerable Soyuz spacecraft.
“In early February, Vitaly Lopota, the newly appointed Energia CEO, told respected daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that the R&D effort still continued. He said that the spacecraft design would be unveiled before August and that it would take at least six to seven years to develop a new spacecraft,” Andrei Kislyakov reports.
Kislyakov says that the new design would be an alternative to the winged Kliper vehicle, which was the favored Soyuz replacement until August 2006. Kliper was rejected due to high R&D costs. The three-person Soyuz is now in its fifth decade of service, having first flown in 1967.