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Russia to Build New Space Capsule - 2004-02-18


The chief of Russia's space agency says engineers are building a new space capsule that will be twice as big as the current Soyuz crew capsule.

Yuri Koptev said Tuesday the yet-to-be-named capsule will weigh up to 14 metric tons. It will be able to hold six cosmonauts -- twice as many as the Soyuz can carry. It will also be reusable. The Soyuz was designed to fly once.

Mr. Koptev said engineers are also designing a new rocket based on the Soyuz model to carry the new heavier capsule into orbit. He did not say when the new spacecraft will be ready or how much it is expected to cost.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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