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Russian expert says US company copied design of its mini-shuttle from Soviet probe

October 15, 2014, 18:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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A model of the planned Dream Chaser mini-shuttle designed by Sierra Nevada Corp.

A model of the planned Dream Chaser mini-shuttle designed by Sierra Nevada Corp.

© AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Soviet space probe Bor-4 gave the US company SierraNevada ideas for the design of a mini-shuttle, which it put up for a NASA contest for a manned spaceship of the future, Dmitry Paison, the director of Research and Analysis Center of the United Rocket and Space Corporation (ORKK) told TASS on Wednesday.

Sierra Nevada was among the participants of a contest to select a contractor for organizing commercial delivery of astronauts for the International Space Station. It presented its R&D product at the 65th international astronautical congress, held in Toronto from September 29 through to October 3.

Boeing and SpaceX projects in the sphere of manned space flights evoked an especially big interest at the Toronto display, Dmitry Paison said. He mentioned the Dream Chaser space aircraft, the design of which incorporated some structural ideas first used by Soviet designers.

Boeing and SpaceX won the competition. NASA will allocate $4.2 billion and $2.6 billion to them respectively to create a new spaceship. It is believe that the ship will start off to the ISS on its maiden mission in 2017.

In the meantime, SierraNevada said at the end of September it would petition against the results of the contest. Its executives claimed they could spend $900 million less on its spaceship than the competitors.

At this moment, Russian Soyuz ships are the only vehicles capable of bringing the crews to the ISS and taking them back to Earth. US media reports suggest that NASA pays the Russian space agency Roscosmos about $70 million per seat aboard a Soyuz.

Bor-4 unmanned orbital rocket aircraft was used in the Buran project.

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