The tender process for Russia’s Federal Space Agency’s (FSA) reusable manned spacecraft programme has failed with no winners. Speaking at the Farnborough air show on 18 July FSA director-general Anatoly Perminov said that cost issues saw Energia’s reusable manned spacecraft proposal Kliper (see below) fail to win the tender competition, which also involved NPO Molniya and Khrunichev space centre.
That tender competition would have led to a programme of vehicle development to replace Energia's Soyuz capsule, which could have been in co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA). NPO Molniya's bid was a winged vehicle and Khrunichev's was a capsule; neither was considered better than Energia's.
"This tender has not been fulfilled. It has been cancelled,” says Perminov, who will be attending the Farnborough air show's space day's international future for space press conference on 19 July; also attended by UK science and innovation minister Lord Sainsbury, ESA director-general Jean-Jacques Dordain and Japan Aerospace Exporation Agency vice president Kaoru Mamiya.
ESA's leadership had proposed to its member states' ministerial council in December last year that they provide €30 million ($37.5 million) for a two-year programme studying the development of a Kliper like vehicle. However the proposal was largely rejected with only a few million euro raised.
Ongoing FSA, ESA negotiations regarding a new joint advanced crew transportation system programme have gained more ESA member state support and an agreement for a two-year preparatory study could be finalised soon.