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Russia designs manned lunar spacecraft

Dec. 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Russian space company Energia has completed the technical design of a manned spacecraft whose flight tests would be initiated in 2017, company officials say.

"We have completed the technical design project taking into account the fact that the new spaceship is to fly to the moon, among other places," Energia President Vitaly Lopota said Wednesday.

"If we get normal financing, we will start flight tests of the spaceship in 2017," he said.

Energia was awarded the spaceship design contract in April 2009, RIA Novosti reported.

Federal space agency Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin has said the new spaceship is intended to fly not only to the International Space Station but also to the moon.

A number of configurations of the spacecraft have been developed depending on mission requirements and whether a mission is to a terrestrial or lunar orbit, Energia said.

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