Russia’s Zvezda has agreed to provide ejection seats for the prototype of Energia’s six-crew Kliper reusable spacecraft. The operational Kliper will not use ejection seats, but the test vehicle will use seats developed for the cancelled Russian space shuttle Buran, writes Rob Coppinger.
The ejection seats used solid rocket motors intended to propel the test pilots up to 600m (1,800ft) from a Buran flying at Mach 3 or less.
The Kiper could be developed from 2006 by a combined Russian, European and Japanese space agency team (Flight International, 28 June–4 July). “Design of the [Kliper] version without wings is close to the Soyuz vehicle,” says Sergei Sergeiovich, Zvezda deputy chief designer.