MOSCOW REGION, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - The Clipper space-plane design has been completed and the project has entered its next stage, the head of the development company said Tuesday.
"The project is ready and we are already implementing it," said Nikolai Sevastyanov, the head of Russia's Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation. "We are planning to put the Clipper into use by 2015."
The Clipper, a six-person space-plane similar to the U.S. Space Shuttle, is designed to replace the Soyuz and Progress carrier rockets in making regular flights to the International Space Station (ISS). It will carry two professional astronauts and up to four passengers.
Innovations in the project include massively increased cargo capacity and a tow-line unit.