Visitorsto the Paris Air Show are being treated to a full-scale mockup of Russia'sproposed Kliper spaceliner.
Themulti-use vehicle is one piece of Russia's Rosaviakosmos display at the Pairs Air Show nowunderway until June 19. Rosaviakosmos is Russia'sFederal Space Agency, with the Kliper design aproduct of that country's EnergiaRocket and Space Corporation.
The exhibit includes a lookinside the Kliper (or Clipper in English), showing theplacement of passengers behind a flight crew.
Russiais touting the spacecraft as a replacement for their workhorse spacecraft, theSoyuz. Much like NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), future destinations forthe Kliper are said to be the International Space Station, the Moon, as well asMars, according to Russian officials. It could also serve as an emergencyrescue craft for space station crews.
Atthe Paris Air Show, Anatoly Perminov, head of Russia's Rosaviakosmos, has made note that both Europe and Japan haveexpressed interest in joining in on Kliper development. However, decisions werestill to be made as to how they could contribute to project, according to RIANovosti, a Russian news agency.
Russian space officials forecastthat the Kliper can carry six people: two pilots with the other four seats forastronauts or space tourists. In addition, the spaceship can haul up to 1,540pounds (700 kilograms) of cargo.
TheKliper could be in service in the 2010-2011timeframe. Novosti has also quoted Perminov as saying that the Klipercan be launched from European as well as Russian spaceports.
Kliper's launch vehiclewould be a Russian Onega rocket--a modified version of the Soyuz carrier rocket.
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Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for more than 50 years. Currently writing as Space.com's Space Insider Columnist among his other projects, Leonard has authored numerous books on space exploration, Mars missions and more, with his latest being "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published in 2019 by National Geographic. He also wrote "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" released in 2016 by National Geographic. Leonard has served as a correspondent for SpaceNews, Scientific American and Aerospace America for the AIAA. He was received many awards, including the first Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History in 2015 at the AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. You can find out Leonard's latest project at his website and on Twitter.