Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Kliper

Kliper

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Kliper'
Start a new discussion about 'Kliper'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Kliper is a partly reusable manned spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

, proposed by RSC Energia
S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia
OAO S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia , also known as RKK Energiya, is a Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components...

.

Designed primarily to replace the Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

, Kliper has been proposed in two versions: as a pure lifting body
Lifting body
A lifting body is a fixed-wing aircraft configuration in which the body itself produces lift. In contrast to a flying wing, which is a wing with minimal or no conventional fuselage, a lifting body can be thought of as a fuselage with little or no conventional wing...

 design and as spaceplane
Spaceplane
A spaceplane is a vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. It combines features of an aircraft and a spacecraft, which can be thought of as an aircraft that can endure and maneuver in the vacuum of space or likewise a spacecraft that...

 with small wing
Wing
A wing is an appendage with a surface that produces lift for flight or propulsion through the atmosphere, or through another gaseous or liquid fluid...

s. In either case, the craft should be able to glide into the atmosphere at an angle that produces much less stress on the human occupants than the current Soyuz. Kliper has been designed to be able to carry up to six people and to perform ferry services between Earth and the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

.

Announcement of the program



In February 2004 Nikolai Moiseyev, the deputy director of Russian Federal Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency
The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...

 (FSA) told journalists that the Kliper project had been included in the Russian federal space program for 2005-15. At that point he announced that if the program is implemented successfully the first launch may even take place in five years' time. Kliper had been developed since 2000 and reportedly relied heavily on research studies as well as proposals for a small Russian lifting body
Lifting body
A lifting body is a fixed-wing aircraft configuration in which the body itself produces lift. In contrast to a flying wing, which is a wing with minimal or no conventional fuselage, a lifting body can be thought of as a fuselage with little or no conventional wing...

 spacecraft from the 1990s. Externally its design was comparable to the cancelled European minishuttle Hermes
Hermes (shuttle)
Hermes was a proposed spaceplane designed by the French Centre National d'Études Spatiales in 1975, and later by the European Space Agency. It was superficially similar to the US X-20. France proposed in January 1985 to go through with Hermes development under the auspices of the ESA. Hermes was...

 or the NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 study X-38. It was planned to be the successor to the veteran spacecraft Soyuz, which has been built in various modifications since 1961.

Early search for support


In 2005 Kliper was displayed in several air show
Airshow
An air show is an event at which aviators display their flying skills and the capabilities of their aircraft to spectators in aerobatics. Air shows without aerobatic displays, having only aircraft displayed parked on the ground, are called "static air shows"....

s around Europe and Asia, in order to reach out to international partners who would be interested to co-fund and co-develop the spacecraft. The Russian Space Agency especially looked to Europe as the European Space Agency (ESA) had become its major partner in space activities during the last years. In May 2005 rumours started in the press that Europe would join the Kliper project in a specially funded venture that would be part of the Aurora Programme
Aurora Programme
The Aurora programme is a human spaceflight programme of the European Space Agency established in 2001 with the primary objectives of creating, and then implementing, a European long-term plan for exploration of the Solar System using robotic spacecraft and human spaceflight...

. These rumours turned out to be correct when both Russian and European space officials announced their cooperation to build Kliper during the Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

 in Le Bourget
Le Bourget
Le Bourget is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.A very small part of Le Bourget airport lies on the territory of the commune of Le Bourget, which nonetheless gave its name to the airport. Most of the airport lies on the territory of the...

 on June 10, 2005.

Vladimir Taneev, the leading designer of the Kliper system, speculated on the contribution of Europe to the project in the following way:
The European companies will likely contribute avionics, materials, and cabin systems. Many different options are on the table, and in the near future we expect to form Russian-European working groups specialized in different subsystems and fields of design.


The Russian Space Agency as well as ESA announced that they would continue to look for other international partners such as Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 to invest in Kliper. A substantive cooperation with NASA was unlikely, due to the parallel development of America's own next-generation manned launch vehicle, the Crew Exploration Vehicle
Crew Exploration Vehicle
The Crew Exploration Vehicle was the conceptual component of the U.S. NASA Vision for Space Exploration that later became known as the Orion spacecraft...

 (CEV).

A further element of this process was made public on October 12, 2005, when various press agencies revealed that JAXA, the Japanese space agency, had been officially approached by Russia to participate in the project. JAXA has made it clear that they are more likely to join the project if ESA does so first, which is in doubt after ESA members rejected a study for Europe's involvement in the Kliper project in December 2005. The addition of Japan would make Kliper a truly multinational project, potentially combining the rugged reliability of Russian launchers with Japanese computer technology. A greater pan-national consensus would have allowed for a lighter funding burden on each participant as well.

Estimated costs


Announcements and speculations following the February 2004 press conference suggested a development budget of 10 billion rubles
Russian ruble
The ruble or rouble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with...

 (approximately US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

400 million). However in looking at today's costs for human space travel it was clear that the 10 billion rubles figure was a rather low estimate. In May 2005 The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 reported that costs are estimated to be roughly US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

3 billion (for development and construction of Kliper until 2015) of which the bulk of 1.8 billion was speculated to come from Europe.
Different sources in 2005 have reported that the money needed for the program would be 1.5 billion Euros ($1.8 billion) and on December 12, 2005 an article stated it would be €1 billion (solely in relation to development costs).

On July 14, 2005 the Russian government approved the national space program for 2006 to 2015 with a budget of 305 billion rubles (ca. $11 billion - the whole budget for the 10-year period will be 425 billion rubles = ca. 15 billion dollars). The budget included the needed funding for the Kliper program. Thus in face of Europe's denial to fund a €50m feasibility study for the Kliper project at the European space summit in December 2005, Russian space officials have announced that Russia would fund Kliper even without any European contribution.

The most recent article on Kliper stated that the project would have incurred 16 billion rubles (~$600 million) in development costs, 11 billion of which will be financed by the government and 5 billion by contractors.

First launch and target for regular flights


In 2004 it was announced that it was likely that Kliper would make its first launch as early as 2010 or 2011 – the same time the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

 was scheduled to be retired. However, it was reported by BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 News on September 27, 2005, that the first flight tests were not planned until 2011, with the first manned flights in 2012 and the Soyuz
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

 being phased out over time until 2014. An article on December 3, 2005 cited the president of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation Nikolai Sevastyanov that "the first regular lift-off is scheduled for 2012, while a complete transport system will be in place by 2015." After the termination of the Russian Space Agency's tender for a new spacecraft, Energia announced that this would push its Kliper proposal's first flight (if developed at all) back further.

ESA's part in Kliper — uncertainty over European cooperation


On September 28, 2005 the BBC
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 reported that Alan Thirkettle, head of ESA's Human Spaceflight Development Department, stated that Kliper would be used: "For future exploration, when we have the objective of going to the Moon, it is important to have several possibilities to go there, and within this framework of cooperation to have our own access to orbit around the Moon." In the same context, Alain Fournier-Sicre, head of the ESA permanent mission in the Russian Federation, also stated that: "The objective is to have a vehicle which is more comfortable than the Soyuz capsule which will be used with pilots and four passengers… It is meant to service the space station and to go between Earth and an orbit around the Moon with six crew members."

Although there seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm for Kliper within Alan Thirkettle’s team at ESA (as outlined in the above paragraph), on December 7, 2005, the European space summit of governmental officials of ESA member states declined to approve a 50-million-euro two-year study focusing on ESA's potential involvement in the Kliper project. In denying funding for the study ESA members stated that, among other factors that seemed unfavourable, under the current Russian proposal Europe would not share control over the design of the program and would be limited to being a small industrial contributor.

Jean-Jacques Dordain
Jean-Jacques Dordain
Jean-Jacques Dordain is the current Director General of the European Space Agency and has held the position since 2003....

, ESA's Director General, put the refusal to fund the study into context: "It is not a question of member states for and member states against. I think the decision could not be taken for reasons that are not linked to Clipper itself. The decision could not be taken because of budgetary restraints." Dordain concluded that he was convinced that European support for Kliper was vital for ESA's future involvement in space transport and that a favourable decision can be achieved until June 2006. In concluding "We need two transportation systems in the world", Dordain also outlined shortly after the European Space Summit that the primary requirement of Europe's involvement in the Kliper project was to rely on two separate systems to support the ISS
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 as had been proven vital after the Columbia
Space Shuttle Columbia
Space Shuttle Columbia was the first spaceworthy Space Shuttle in NASA's orbital fleet. First launched on the STS-1 mission, the first of the Space Shuttle program, it completed 27 missions before being destroyed during re-entry on February 1, 2003 near the end of its 28th, STS-107. All seven crew...

 Space Shuttle disaster in 2003.

Dordain's remarks were echoed by Daniel Sacotte, ESA's director of human spaceflight, microgravity and exploration, in saying simply that "The Russians are not going to finance it, we will finance it from our side", despite adding a cautionary note that "We needed the support from at least two states out of France, Italy and Germany. We didn't get it." What this means in practical terms remains to be seen; however, what is clear is that ESA officials are still pushing for Europe's involvement in the Kliper project.

Very negative comments relative to Kliper were brought by the various national delegations at the December meeting, in particular by the French Minister of Research François Goulard
François Goulard
François Goulard is a member of the National Assembly of France. He represents the Morbihan department, and is a member of the Union for a Popular Movement.-References:...

. In short, there remain for the time being member states strongly committed to Kliper, and others just as strongly opposed. The long-term view remains uncertain.

In 2006, Jean-Jacques Dordain explained that money allocated to space transportation development, which ESA currently funds in the amount of 300 million for the next 3 years, could be used for Europe's involvement in the project. Given the February 2006 statement that 5 billion rubles (~$200 million) of the development costs will come from "contractors", a limited involvement of ESA in Kliper might have been forthcoming.

Russian Space Agency's tender for Kliper


At the end of 2005, Roskosmos announced that a tender for Kliper would be held in January 2006 between RKK Energia, Khrunichev
Khrunichev
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center is a Moscow-based producer of spacecraft and space-launch systems, including the Proton and Rokot rockets. The company's history dates back to 1916, when an automobile factory was established outside Moscow...

 and Molniya
Molniya
Molniya may refer to:* The Molniya , the Soviet military communications satellite.* Molniya orbit, distinctive orbit associated with the satellite....

 with a selection date of February 3, 2006. However concerns about the bids led to a delay in the process, with a resubmittal deadline of March, 2006 and selection was rescheduled for April 2006. Following further delays, the tender was cancelled on 18 July 2006.
In late July 2006, the Russian Space Agency and the European Space Agency agreed to collaborate on a different project to develop a new spacecraft. They decided to fund a study under a program labelled Crew Space Transportation System (CSTS
CSTS
CSTS or ACTS is a human spaceflight system proposal. It was originally a joint project between the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency , but is now solely an ESA project...

) which started in September 2006 and evaluate a capsule type concept, derived from Soyuz. While this program is the follow-on project of the RSA's and ESA's collaboration on a new spacevehicle, this program is no longer connected to Energia's winged Kliper design.
RSC Energia continued to pursue the project without Russian government support and announced that it would seek private investment for the craft. News reports in Russia indicated that Kliper was still expected to be ready for Russian Space Agency test flights around the year 2012, as part of Russian spacecraft upgrade program. The project has been officially halted in June 2007, after the major proponent of the project, Nikolai Sevastyanov, was dismissed from the position of the president of RSC Energia.
The newly appointed president of RSC Energia, Vitaly Lopota, confirmed that Kliper would not be displayed on the 2007 MAKS aviation and space show. He said that Energia would spend more time on the project analysis, perform additional dynamic modeling, revise the design and appearance and then would come up with new proposals for Roscosmos.

In 2008 Vitaly Lopota shared his vision about new Russian spacecraft. He mentioned two possible options: a space capsule, which better suits missions to the Moon and Mars, and a lifted body design for low Earth orbit missions. According to new plans, instead of Kliper the new PPTS (Rus)
Prospective Piloted Transport System
PPTS , unofficially called Rus, is a project being undertaken by the Russian Federal Space Agency to develop a new-generation manned spacecraft...

 will be developed since 2009 to 2017-2018.

Design


Given the Russian Space Agency's preference for Energia's lifting body proposal this part of the article concentrates entirely on Energia's design for Kliper.

Overview



Kliper's design
Design
Design as a noun informally refers to a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system while “to design” refers to making this plan...

 was another attempt to solve the geometric problems of spacecraft. Soyuz has an Orbital Module, a hollow sphere, to be used for eating and hygiene, and an airlock located above the Reentry module (the capsule), with the docking mechanism at the top. In the event of an emergency, it would be lifted away from the rocket along with the reentry module, and the fairing over the spacecraft was designed to successfully split apart either circumferentially just below the reentry module in such an emergency or longitudinally if the flight should be successful. Kliper was designed with the Orbital Module below its reentry module, and the docking mechanism below that. This was made possible by constructing a reentry module broader than the orbital module, so that a pair of rocket nozzles for orbital maneuvering could have been fitted alongside it, as the later Salyut
Salyut
The Salyut program was the first space station program undertaken by the Soviet Union, which consisted of a series of nine space stations launched over a period of eleven years from 1971 to 1982...

 space stations had.

In connection with this new design, Kliper will feature a launch escape system that will enable it to detach from the carrier rocket if an abort of the mission during orbital ascent is required. An abort will be possible during every phase of the launch with the limitation of the first seconds after launch.

Lifting body design



On return from space, Kliper's lifting body
Lifting body
A lifting body is a fixed-wing aircraft configuration in which the body itself produces lift. In contrast to a flying wing, which is a wing with minimal or no conventional fuselage, a lifting body can be thought of as a fuselage with little or no conventional wing...

 design would not only allow a smoother descent into Earth's atmosphere than the capsule
Space capsule
A space capsule is an often manned spacecraft which has a simple shape for the main section, without any wings or other features to create lift during atmospheric reentry....

 design, such as Soyuz; but also permit control. RKK Energia claimed that the craft would be able to land in a predetermined one-square-kilometre area. Artistic impressions showed that the Kliper would have resembled a cylinder topped by a cone. Originally, landing proposals involved both a landing by parachute
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

 and as an alternative, in a modified version, a landing on a runway similar to an aircraft, or the Space Shuttle. However, leading designer Vladimir Daneev commented on this issue in June 2005:
We are 99% sure that it will be a spaceship with upturned little wings, enabling the Kliper to land on any class-one military airfield with a runway from three to three and a half kilometres in length.


Kliper, as a vehicle alone, would have been primarily a manned spaceship, carrying six cosmonauts and payloads of up to 700 kilograms (mostly experiments and other equipment used for carrying through experiments in orbit) and was planned to stay in orbit for approximately 15 days independently and for up to 360 days if docked
Space rendezvous
A space rendezvous is an orbital maneuver during which two spacecraft, one of which is often a space station, arrive at the same orbit and approach to a very close distance . Rendezvous requires a precise match of the orbital velocities of the two spacecraft, allowing them to remain at a constant...

 to the International Space Station. This highlighted both the Russian/European and the American change in space transportation philosophy. Rather than focusing on the lifting of cargo and a crew, in the same way as the Space Shuttle or Buran
Shuttle Buran
The Buran spacecraft , GRAU index 11F35 K1 was a Russian orbital vehicle analogous in function and design to the US Space Shuttle and developed by Chief Designer Gleb Lozino-Lozinskiy of Energia rocket corporation...

, the Russian space agency adopted a 'people first' philosophy with the aim of 'bolting' extra capabilities for more advanced missions onto Kliper at a later date. Each orbiter was intended to make 25 flights prior to retirement.

Using a space tug


During autumn of 2005 Kliper's design was changed again. In order to fit the Kliper on the planned upgraded version of the Soyuz-2 rocket, labeled the Soyuz-2-3, Kliper would be 'split up' into two spacecraft, the Kliper crew vehicle and Parom
Parom
The Parom is a space tug that has been proposed by RKK Energia. The purpose of this vehicle is to replace most of the Progress' active components. Progress spacecraft have flown re-supply missions since 1978. Nikolai Bryukhanov, RKK Energia's deputy general designer, said in May 2005 that the...

 (rus. "ferry"), a space tug. Parom would have been a permanent orbital spacecraft awaiting Kliper in orbit, docking with it and then providing orbital manoeuvering and boosting Kliper to higher orbits in order to dock with the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

. The Parom was planned to be indefinitely reusable, refueling itself via the cargo container, space station, or spacecraft that it is attached to.

Final version of Energia's proposal


The version of Kliper presented during the bid in January 2006 differs again from the original design. It showed a lifting body with larger wings, that, according to Energia officials, could be folded around the core crew module and unfold after atmospheric re-entry in order to provide cross-range and better landing accuracy for the spacecraft. The light Kliper version proposed was stripped down to 7 tons and uses the 'split-up'-option with Parom as a spacetug.

Missions



The Kliper program was proposed as the Russian-European counterpart to the American Orion Spacecraft
Orion (spacecraft)
Orion is a spacecraft designed by Lockheed Martin for NASA, the space agency of the United States. Orion development began in 2005 as part of the Constellation program, where Orion would fulfill the function of a Crew Exploration Vehicle....

 and was therefore designed (similar to the Orion) to be part of a modular system that enabled it to be both a LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

-shuttle type vehicle as well as part of a spacecraft able to go beyond Earth orbit to the Moon and even Mars (there were outline suggestions of lunar applications in September 2005). The modular design would have included the Kliper crew module and - depending on the mission - a mission module or propulsion module. Although far-fetched, this corresponds to announcements by the Russian Space Agency that according to a lunar mission study, using the Soyuz
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

, a landing on the Moon could be achieved within the next decade.

Information on Kliper's beyond LEO mission capabilities were expanded further by RSC Energia, with a picture released in December 2005 of what a possible Kliper interplanetary configuration might have looked like. The design was entirely theoretical but made for a view of where RSC Energia saw the Kliper operating, and how it might have done so. This configuration was unlike anything seen so far for a manned space vehicle, with the solar arrays needed for electrical power vastly bigger than the habitable volume at the centre. It was also unclear what the mode of propulsion was. The very large solar array suggested an ion propulsion system might have been contemplated for such a mission, though it might also simply be that there was another reason for such a large array, such as increased power for better telemetry transmission rates over large distances.

Carrier rockets


The present Soyuz rocket would not be able to lift Kliper into low earth orbit, because the spacecraft (the version designed without Parom) was expected to weigh between 13 and 14.5 metric tons (with payload and crew) whereas Soyuz only has a lifting capacity of around 8 metric tons. It was originally planned to heavily enhance the Soyuz rocket - a project that was labelled the Onega rocket or Soyuz-3. Until fall of 2005 it was much more likely that Kliper would have used an Angara-A3
Angara rocket
The Angara rocket family is a family of space-launch vehicles currently under development by the Moscow-based Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center...

 rocket, which was scheduled to make its first launch in 2012 (however the Angara program has been delayed and Angara-A3 may not be developed in light of the funding of the development of Soyuz 2-3) or possibly a Zenit rocket
Zenit rocket
Zenit is a family of space launch vehicles designed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau of Ukraine. Zenit was built in the 1980s for two purposes: as a liquid rocket booster for the Energia rocket and, equipped with a second stage, as a stand-alone rocket...

 that is built in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

.

At the end of 2005, Kliper's design was changed again (as outlined above) and the most likely solution for a carrier rocket became the Soyuz 2-3, an upgraded Soyuz 2 rocket. This enhanced Soyuz should have been able to launch Kliper into space because of weight reduction resulting in the use of the Parom as a space tug
Space tug
A space tug is a space vehicle used to transfer payloads between low and high Earth orbits, or between Earth orbit and lunar orbit.-Space tug proposals:...

.

With regard to launch sites for Kliper, further information became available as of October 2005, with a planning-stage declaration from Nikolai Moiseev, Deputy Director of the Russian Space Agency that Kliper could have been launched from ESA's Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

. Though this aim had already been suggested, the comment was made in the context of facility upgrades for Kourou that are already under way since 2003 and are expected to be finished in 2007 with the first launch of a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana in 2008. It had been suggested that Kliper could have been launched from both Baikonur
Baikonur
Baikonur , formerly known as Leninsk, is a city in Kyzylorda Province of Kazakhstan, rented and administered by the Russian Federation. It was constructed to service the Baikonur Cosmodrome and was officially renamed Baikonur by Russian president Boris Yeltsin on December 20, 1995.The shape of the...

 and Kourou
Kourou
Kourou is a commune in French Guiana, an overseas region and department of France located in South America.Kourou is the location of the Guiana Space Centre, France and ESA's main spaceport.-Geography:...

, by Alan Thirkettle, head of ESA's human spaceflight, microgravity and exploration directorate, in December 2005.

See also


  • Parom
    Parom
    The Parom is a space tug that has been proposed by RKK Energia. The purpose of this vehicle is to replace most of the Progress' active components. Progress spacecraft have flown re-supply missions since 1978. Nikolai Bryukhanov, RKK Energia's deputy general designer, said in May 2005 that the...

  • Prospective Piloted Transport System
    Prospective Piloted Transport System
    PPTS , unofficially called Rus, is a project being undertaken by the Russian Federal Space Agency to develop a new-generation manned spacecraft...

     (PPTS, Rus)
  • Crew Space Transportation System
    CSTS
    CSTS or ACTS is a human spaceflight system proposal. It was originally a joint project between the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency , but is now solely an ESA project...

     (CSTS) - European counterpart program with Russian participation
  • Crew Exploration Vehicle
    Crew Exploration Vehicle
    The Crew Exploration Vehicle was the conceptual component of the U.S. NASA Vision for Space Exploration that later became known as the Orion spacecraft...

     - the American counterpart program
  • Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicle
  • Spaceplane
    Spaceplane
    A spaceplane is a vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. It combines features of an aircraft and a spacecraft, which can be thought of as an aircraft that can endure and maneuver in the vacuum of space or likewise a spacecraft that...


External links


In the news