February 2, 2004 – Russian Space Agency announces plans to build Kliper spacecraft, to launch in 2012
Kliper (Клипер, English: Clipper) is a Russian-proposed next generation manned spacecraft that was almost selected as the successor to the Soyuz spacecraft. Kliper has been associated with RKK Energia’s winged lifting body design proposal in the media; however, two other companies, Khrunichev and Molniya, also submitted proposals to the Russian Space Agency Roskosmos.
“The Russian Kliper space craft will make its debut flight in 2012, with full operations to the International Space Station (ISS) beginning in 2015 – when the re-usable ship replaces the Soyuz transport.
The General Director and chief designer of Energia, Nikolai Sevastyanov, said the six-man ship which will also will have a cargo capacity option of 12mt, six times that of the Soyuz, with the first manned test flight scheduled for 2013.”