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LE BOURGET, June 21. /TASS/. The Soyuz spacecraft will be used as a space taxi for tourists after the new-generation Federation (Federatsiya) spacecraft becomes operational, CEO of the Energiya space rocket corporation, Vladimir Solntsev, said.
"I think that the Soyuz has the right to continue its life. As long as there exists a space tourism market and this spacecraft enjoys confidence, this all should be used as essential components," the CEO said.
Energiya is also considering the possibility to upgrade the Soyuz for circumlunar missions. "If we manage to do it faster, we will have a chance to perfect important systems on it, that will be further used on the Federation," Solntsev noted.
The Soyuz manned spacecraft have been used for orbital missions since 1967. Since that time, the Soyuz spacecraft has been modernized several times, and today Russia uses the three-seat version of the Soyuz MS to send people to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Federation spacecraft is designed to deliver people and cargo to the moon and the orbital stations in Earth orbit. It is planned to be launched in 2022 from Baikonur.