posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 12:46 PM
By Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press Writer
posted: 12:30 pm ET
17 February 2004
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian engineers have begun design work on a new spacecraft that would be twice as big and spacious as the existing Soyuz crew
capsules, the nation's top space official said Tuesday.
The new craft will be able to carry at least six cosmonauts and have a reusable crew section, Russian Aerospace Agency director Yuri Koptev said at a
news conference. Soyuz carries three cosmonauts and isn't reusable.
The spacecraft, designed by the RKK Energiya company, will have a takeoff weight of 12-14 metric tons (13-15 tons) -- about twice as much as the
Soyuz, which was developed in the late 1960s.