Next Generation Soyuz TMA Getting Ready For Flight

April 28, 2006

A Russian space official said the country's new digitally controlled Soyuz TMA orbital vehicles will be able to handle human spaceflight needs until the reusable KLIPER shuttle becomes operational in the next decade, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

"Before the new Kliper space shuttle is there to take over, we will have to master new digital control systems that we are now installing on Soyuz (spacecraft) instead of analogue parts," Nikolai Sevastyanov, the chief executive of rocket manufacturer Energiya, told the state-owned news service.

Sevastyanov added that only Russian-made systems will be used to upgrade the Soyuz TMA, and the digital version will be cheaper, lighter and more spacious than existing models.

The three-seat Soyuz TMA capsule has been the sole vehicle to carry crews to the International Space Station over the past three years, ever since U.S. space shuttle flights were suspended after the Columbia disaster in February 2003. Only one flight has taken place since then - with Discovery last July - and the next flight is scheduled for no earlier than this July 1.

Russia's next-generation reusable Kliper shuttle, which seats six, is expected to replace the veteran Soyuz by 2015.

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: Young hopefuls in race to be first black African in space

Related Stories

Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli

July 31, 2015

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be heading for space a third time, as part of Expeditions 52 and 53 to the International Space Station. He will be launched on a Soyuz vehicle in May 2017 on a five-month mission.

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.