Visitors to the Paris Air Show are being treated to a full-scale mockup of Russia's proposed Kliper spaceliner.
The multi-use vehicle is one piece of Russia's Rosaviakosmos display at the Pairs Air Show now underway until June 19. Rosaviakosmos is Russia's Federal Space Agency, with the Kliper design a product of that country's Energia Rocket and Space Corporation.
The exhibit includes a look inside the Kliper (or Clipper in English), showing the placement of passengers behind a flight crew.
Russia is touting the spacecraft as a replacement for their workhorse spacecraft, the Soyuz. Much like NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), future destinations for the Kliper are said to be the International Space Station, the Moon, as well as Mars, according to Russian officials. It could also serve as an emergency rescue craft for space station crews.
At the Paris Air Show, Anatoly Perminov, head of Russia's Rosaviakosmos, has made note that both Europe and Japan have expressed interest in joining in on Kliper development. However, decisions were still to be made as to how they could contribute to project, according to RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency.
Russian space officials forecast that the Kliper can carry six people: two pilots with the other four seats for astronauts or space tourists. In addition, the spaceship can haul up to 1,540 pounds (700 kilograms) of cargo.
The Kliper could be in service in the 2010-2011 timeframe. Novosti has also quoted Perminov as saying that the Kliper can be launched from European as well as Russian spaceports.
Kliper's launch vehicle would be a Russian Onega rocket--a modified version of the Soyuz carrier rocket.