Russian space authorities said they will pursue a new manned shuttle spacecraft to take people and cargo to the International Space Station.
Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, was reported by the ITAR-TASS news agency as saying the Kliper spacecraft could replace the Russian Soyuz and U.S. shuttles. The Soyuz, he added, is outdated.
"It is too cramped for a three-man crew," the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Perminov as saying. "That is not good enough for us."
He said U.S. shuttle launches are very expensive and not always reliable.
"The Kliper spacecraft can fly to the Moon and farther," Perminov said.
Manned flights to the moon would resume by 2015-2020, ITAR-TASS reported.
Kliper proposals have been submitted by the European Space Agency. Roskosmos also is "studying the procedure for its production and use" with NASA, he said.
Kliper, proposed in 2004 by the Russian Energia Corp., would carry up to six people. Its projected lifespan is 25 flights.
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