Russian engineers have begun design work on a new spacecraft that would be twice as big and spacious as the existing Soyuz crew capsules, the nation's top space official said Tuesday.So There.
The new craft will be able to carry at least six cosmonauts and have a reusable crew section, Russian Aerospace Agency director Yuri Koptev said at a news conference. Soyuz carries three cosmonauts and isn't reusable.
The spacecraft, designed by the RKK Energiya company, will have a takeoff weight of 12-14 metric tons (13-15 tons) -- about twice as much as the Soyuz, which was developed in the late 1960s.
Energiya has also proposed developing a new booster rocket based on its Soyuz booster to carry the new spacecraft to orbit.
Koptev wouldn't say how long it could take to build the spacecraft or how much it would cost, but said that Energiya had done a lot of work on the new vehicle already.
"It has already reached a serious project stage while the Americans are only talking about their spacecraft," Koptev said, referring to U.S. plans to build a new spacecraft.
As Schnozzle Durante would say, "Good Night, Mrs Calabsh, Wherever you are. "
Or as Neil Armstrong said, "Good Luck, Mr Gorsky".