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New Russian manned spacecraft to be called Federation

The Energia Rocket and Space Corporation is creating a new generation of spacecraft to replace the currently used Soyuz spaceships

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. A new-generation manned transport spacecraft, designed to replace the Soyuz family, will be named Federation, the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation said on Friday.

"The jury chaired by Igor Komarov, director general of the Roscosmos State Corporation, summed up the results of a contest for the best name of Russia’s new manned spacecraft. Anton Smotkin from the city of Kemerovo was the winner. He was first to suggest the name Federation," Energia said.

Gagarin and Vector were other names on the shortlist, and may be used for different space projects.

"Federation is a perfect name for the series of new Russian spacecraft. Russia is a federation of 85 constituent entities and each of them will be able to give its name for one of the spaceships," the corporation said.

The new vehicle will service Russia’s lunar programme. 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. Its weight in orbiting flight will be 14.4 tonnes, and 19 tonnes in a lunar mission. The 9-tonne re-entry unit will be made of composite materials.