The Russian Space Agency announced on Friday that they have a delta winged space shuttle in which
they say can deliver payloads to orbit.

Called
the Multipurpose Aerospace System (MAKS), the Russian shuttle has the
same style and size as the American Air Force’s recently launched X37-B
spacecraft.

However,
unlike the X37-B which used an Atlas 5-501 rocket to achieve orbit on Thursday, the MAKS will use an airplane carrier to achieve the initial
climb to orbit.

Rocket
manufacture Molnia’s Vladimir Skorodelov, a general designer in the company’s research and development, acknowledged
his country’s mini-shuttle on the heels of the American launch of
two space shuttles this month — Discovery and the X37-B.

“The
spacecraft was designed in ’80s and it is still in work. This is a
reusable multipurpose aerospace system of the same size as U.S. Х-37,”
Skorodelov stated to TASS news.

Skorodelov also mentioned that Russia is eager to see it launched soon.

The
space agency stated that the cost of sending 2.2 pounds of cargo
into space is between one to two thousand dollars. They stated that the
American shuttle costs nearly $20,000 for the same weight.

Russia experimented with an unmanned space shuttle in the 1980′s, which had nearly the same dimensions as the U.S. orbiters.

The
Soviet Union’s space shuttle Buran (below) made one unmanned trip into space
in November 1988. But the fall of the Soviet Union, and the country’s cash-strapped space program canceled their shuttle program in 1992.