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Space Adventures announces suborbital spacecraft, spaceport plans
Posted: Tue, Feb 21, 2006, 7:52 AM ET (1252 GMT)
UAE spaceport illustration (Space Adventures) Space tourism operator Space Adventures has made a series of announcement covering the development of a new suborbital spacecraft and two spaceports in the Middle East and Asia. Space Adventures said February 16 that it had signed a contract with an investment firm, Prodea, and a separate agreement with the Russian space agency Roskosmos to develop a new suborbital spacecraft, called Explorer. The five-person air-launched vehicle will be developed by Myasishchev Design Bureau and will apparently be based on a smaller version, Cosmopolis-21, that the company designed, but never flew, for the Ansari X Prize competition. Space Adventures also announced two spaceport development efforts: a $265-million facility in Ras Al-Khaimah, part of the United Arab Emirates, and a training facility and spaceport in Singapore. Both will be used for flights of the Explorer, which Space Adventures claims will be the first of a new fleet of suborbital spacecraft under development to fly.
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