Friday, November 20, 2009

Cosmonaut says Russia falling behind in space

Vladimir Isachenkov

Russia lacks a viable program for developing a new spacecraft and will likely fall behind in the space race, a veteran Russian cosmonaut said in an interview published Friday.

Efforts to build a successor to the 40-year old Soyuz spacecraft have dragged on with no end in sight, Mikhail Tyurin told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

Tyurin, a veteran of two missions to the International Space Station in 2001 and 2007, blamed the slow progress on a lack of clear goals and poor coordination.

"They have issued an order for a new spacecraft without having any concept," Tyurin said.

He said officials' talk of using the ship to fly to the International Space Station, and then the moon and Mars, are unfeasible. "One vehicle can't be both a steamroller and a Formula One racer," he said.

Russia's Federal Space Agency had no immediate comment.

Full story HERE.

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