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Russian Kliper could be launched in the next five years if the financing is found
In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Igor Khamits, the head of the Energia rocket corporation's manned spacecraft design section, said that a new manned craft, the Kliper, could be launched in the next five years if the financing is found. A life-size model of the craft can now be found behind a steel door inside one of the Energia's shops. The new spacecraft will be launched using a Zenith rocket rather than a Soyuz. This means that it can eventually lift from the Sea Launch platform (Pacific Ocean) that belongs to Russia, Ukraine and the United States. The Kliper will lift off straight from the Equator and soon dock with the International Space Station. It currently takes a spacecraft more than 24 hours to reach a preset orbit and to link up with the ISS. Meanwhile the emergency rescue system can save the crew anytime during the flight. The Kliper has three braking parachutes, but the crew will land safely even if only one opens. This spacecraft will use landing gear or air cushion technology when it returns to Earth. The descent module will turn over like a life buoy if the Kliper splashes down and the crew will climb out of one of its two hatches. Moreover, the Kliper features viewers so crewmembers can assess the terrain when they come in to land. The Kliper is as comfortable as a medium-size yacht, Khamits said, and cosmonauts can stand at full height inside. Design work on the Kliper started four years ago and the first blueprints were completed a year ago.
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