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Russian space corporation set to double Soyuz rocket output -1

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Russia's leading spacecraft corporation intends to double the production of piloted Soyuz spacecraft with the help of foreign investors, the company's head said Wednesday.

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BERLIN, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's leading spacecraft corporation intends to double the production of piloted Soyuz spacecraft with the help of foreign investors, the company's head said Wednesday.

Nikolai Sevastyanov, the head of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, said at the ILA-2006 aerospace show in Berlin that the corporation had to double the production of the Russian space program's workhorse to ensure the work of six crewmembers on board the International Space Station.

Alexei Krasnov, the head of piloted programs at the Russian Space Agency, said extra-budgetary sources would be needed to achieve the ambitious goal.

"Even now we need to launch the production of new Soyuz spacecraft because it takes about two years to build one," Krasnov said. "We can achieve this goal by attracting extra-budgetary funds. We are holding talks with several foreign investors."

He added that foreign investors were seeking reserved seats on Russian Soyuz craft in exchange for their investment, Krasnov said.

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