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Interview with Yury Karash

Yury Karash, an independent space expert, joined Russia Today in Zhukovsky at the MAKS air show to comment on the Russian shuttle Kliper, as a symbol of the revival of  the Russian aerospace industry.

Russia Today: Yury, you have been keeping an eye on what is going on with Roskosmos and with the Kliper. Can you tell us what you know?

Yury Karash: Russia is currently re-considering the design of the Kliper spacecraft. This spacecraft was developed as a winged reusable machine. However, this design did not prove to be viable, and currently Russia is re-considering it. Moreover, the Kliper design, as it is, did not manage to pass even a single peer review apparently, according to the Head of Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov.

RT: So, basically, what you are saying is that, as of now, the Kliper project is going nowhere Has it been put to bed?

Y.K.: No, the Kliper, as an idea, as a replacement for Soyuz spacecraft, as a next generation spacecraft, is not dead, of course. We are talking about the existing design of Kliper which is, as I  said earlier, a winged re-usable spacecraft, and Anatoly Perminov made a very good reference to the vehicle. He said: "Look, the Americans actually are going back to the concept of disposable spacecraft, pretty much like Soyuz or Apollo.

RT: Ok, that is Kliper, that is the big story, but there is a lot of other stuff going on in the space sphere here today. Russia has signed a deal with the European Space Agency to develop a weather satellite. What do you think is the most significant development in space technology agreements that is going to be made here at MAKS 2007?

Y.K.: It is hard to say because MAKS is not over yet. However, my particular field of expertise is human spacecraft, and I see some very encouraging signs of the upcoming European-Russian co-operation in this area. The first step will be Mars 500, an experiment which is supposed to simulate some conditions of a mission to Mars and back to Earth. So hopefully, some day, this will get to the point when the Russians, the Europeans, and hopefully the Americans, will work on the accomplishment of a real mission to the Red Planet.