Russia Reveals Vision for Manned Spaceflight

A new design for a crew vehicle, launcher, and spaceport

4 min read

20 August 2009—Russia unveiled an ambitious three-decade plan for a manned space program this week at the International Aviation and Space Salon, MAKS-2009, which opened Tuesday in the town of Zhukovsky, near Moscow. The Russian Federal Space Agency’s hope is that its plan will become the basis for a broad international effort to send humans to Mars and build a permanent base on the surface of the moon.

In contrast to NASA efforts, which would use the moon as a stepping-stone on the way to Mars, the latest Russian space doctrine aims for Mars first. To reach a Mars landing, RKK Energia, Russia’s premier developer of manned spacecraft, displayed a multitude of planned space vehicles, including a transport ship, a nuclear-powered space tug, and a planetary lander system. Together they would make up what the agency is calling the Interplanetary Expeditionary Complex.

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Top Tech 2023: A Special Report

These two dozen technical projects should make significant advances in the coming year

2 min read
Top Tech 2023: A Special Report
Edmon DeHaro

Each January, the editors of IEEE Spectrum offer up some predictions about technical developments we expect to be in the news over the coming year. You’ll find a couple dozen of those described in the following special report. Of course, the number of things we could have written about is far higher, so we had to be selective in picking which projects to feature. And we’re not ashamed to admit, gee-whiz appeal often shaped our choices.

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