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Russia's new-generation manned spaceship may be called Gagarin, Vector or Federation

The new vehicle will service Russia’s lunar program

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The names Gagarin, that of the first man in space, Vector and Federation top the Internet shortlist of names for a new-generation manned transport spacecraft, the press service of Russia’s Energia Rocket and Space Corporation said on Friday.

"As many as 35,105 people took part in the voting," the statement said. "More than 10,000 people suggested the new spaceship to be named after Earth’s first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin. Near 5,000 people voted for the Vector name, and above 3,500 for the Federation name."

Public voting finished on December 23. The participants proposed more than 6,000 original names for the spaceship.

Whoever has entered the eventual winning name will take the main prize, a trip to Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan to watch the launch of a Soyuz manned cargo spaceship to the International Space Station next spring.

Russia’s space agency, Rosсosmos, will announce the winner on January 15.

The new vehicle will service Russia’s lunar program. The ship, accommodating up to four crew, will be able to stay in independent flight for up to 30 days and up to a year when docked to the space station. The ship’s weight in orbiting flight will be 14.4 tonnes, and 19 tonnes in a lunar mission.