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.
"By late 2007 we will again submit a draft for a new piloted spaceship Clipper, but in a significantly more advanced development stage of its sensitive technology," Nikolai Sevastyanov said.
"Everything should be examined in the context of the task set by the country's leadership to work out a long-term program to develop Russia's astronautics for 40 years, and the Energia Corporation has such a program," he said.
In December 2006, Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos), said the agency planned to start construction of the new Clipper in six years, that is, in 2012.