MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. The space rocket corporation Energiya - the designer and producer of all of Russia’s spacecraft - has started developing a new heavy duty cargo space vehicle.
"With the aim to upgrade transport and technical support for the International Space Station’s Russian segment the corporation has begun the development of a heavy duty cargo craft capable of orbiting large payloads," the company said in a quarterly report.
The cargo spacecraft of the future will have to be launched up to three times a year, while the currently used cargo vehicles of the Progress family are launched four times a year. Also, future cargo vehicles will be capable of carrying far greater payloads in contrast to the 2,600 kilograms Progress craft can take on board. The delivery costs will be reduced significantly.
"The work on a future heavy cargo vehicle is in the design phase at the moment. It will be completed in December 2016," Energiya’s CEO Vladimir Solntsev, said.
The question of creating a new cargo spacecraft emerged on the agenda with the development of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a higher payload and larger nose cone.