Russian officals have said that engineers are beginning design work on a new reusable spacecraft that will now carry 6 people instead of 3 as
currently possible in Soyuz. Additionally, the new spacecraft will be twice as big and more spacious than current Soyuz designs.
The spacecraft, designed by the RKK Energiya company, will have a takeoff weight of 12-14 metric tonnes - about twice as much as the Soyuz, which
was developed in the late 1960s.
Energiya had done a lot of work on the new vehicle already.
``It has already reached a serious project stage while the Americans are only talking about their spacecraft,'' Koptev said, referring to U.S. plans
to build a new spacecraft.
[Edited on 17-2-2004 by SkepticOverlord]