The space rocket corporation Energia is planning to double its production of spacecraft.

"We will double the production of Soyuz and Progress spacecraft by 2009," Energia President Nikolai Sevastyanov told journalists on Friday evening.

The corporation currently produces two Soyuz manned spacecraft and four Progress cargo spacecraft per year, he said.

Energia plans to manufacture three Soyuz spacecraft in 2008, and four Soyuz and eight Progress spacecraft in 2009, 2010, and 2011, Sevastyanov said.

The plans were prompted by an agreement with NASA whereby the U.S. space agency has agreed to purchase Russian spacecraft to fly to the International Space Station, he said.

Energia also plans to start manufacturing a multifunctional laboratory module in 2006, which should be delivered to the ISS in 2007.

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