Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Aerospace: Russia to launch ten spacecraft this year

FOCUS Information Agency - Russia plans to launch 10 spacecraft this year, including four manned spacecraft and six cargo spaceships, the Russian spacecraft manufacturer Rocket and Space Corporation Energia said Monday, Xinhua informed.

Four Soyuz-TMA space capsules and six Progress cargo ships are scheduled to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) this year, the company said, adding that experiments on a new series of Soyuz-TMA manned spaceships will begin in 2010.

The manufacturer said it will complete the initial draft of the "Prospective Piloted Transport System," a project to develop a new-generation manned spacecraft, this year. The new capsule, which will be able to carry four to six astronauts, is expected to blast off from the Vostochny launching pad in Russia's Amur region.

Russia is also scheduled to launch a MIM1 experiment module to the ISS this year. 
The 7.9-ton module, named Twilight, will be sent to the ISS by a U.S. space shuttle in May 2010, together with some 1.4 tons of U.S. cargo. Twilight will be deployed to conduct a series of scientific experiments, especially studies on biotechnology and hylology.

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