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    NEW SPACE ROCKET TO BE LAUNCHED IN RUSSIA SOON

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    MOSCOW, February 17, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Kovalev). A new spacecraft for piloted flights is being constructed in the Russian corporation Energia (Energy), the leading spacecraft enterprise. Its first launch is scheduled for the middle of this year, head of the Russian Aerospace Agency Yuri Koptev told a press conference in Moscow.

    According to him, this will be an upgraded version of the Soyuz spacecraft.

    However, Russian cosmonautics is likely to be transferred to the new rocket no sooner than in four years, Yuri Koptev said.

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