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    New Russian spaceship will be able to fly to Moon - space corp.

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    October 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Rocket and Space Corporation Energia said Wednesday it will create a new spaceship capable of flying to the Moon.

    ZVYOZDNY GORODOK (Moscow Region), October 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Rocket and Space Corporation Energia said Wednesday it will create a new spaceship capable of flying to the Moon.

    "We have started developing the final design of a modernized spaceship that has been given the working name of Soyuz-K," Nikolai Sevastyanov, the corporation's president, told RIA Novosti.

    "The new version will be equipped with digital control systems and is being designed in such a way that it could be launched both from the Baikonur space center and equatorial Kourou space center, located on a peninsula in French Guiana," he said.

    Sevastyanov said Soyuz-K will be able to fly to the Moon and to re-enter the Earth's dense atmosphere on its return.

    In addition, the company's president said Energia is continuing design work to create a new Russian space shuttle, the Clipper.

    The Clipper, a six-person spacecraft 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, and even the Moon and Mars. It will carry two professional astronauts and up to four passengers.

    "Work on the Clipper is continuing. On the whole, the image of this spaceship is clear, but there are still several critical technologies whose development will take time, but we are convinced we will succeed," Sevastyanov said.

    Earlier, he said Russia plans to conduct its first manned flight around the Moon in 2011-2012.

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