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Under new space program Russia will send five probes to Moon

December 23, 2015, 15:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Moon program envisages development of five probes: Luna-Resurs-1 orbital apparatus, two Luna-Resurs-1 landing modules and Luna Glob and Luna-Grunt
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Working at NPO Lavochkin research and industrial association

Working at NPO Lavochkin research and industrial association

© Yuri Mashkov/ITAR-TASS

Infographics Russia’s Moon exploration program Russia’s Moon exploration program

Russia is developing a new generation Advanced Crew Transportation System. Its first flight to the Moon is planned for 2028. Infographics by TASS

MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. A new draft of the federal space program for 2016-2025 envisages creation of five Moon probes, the acting general director of the NPO Lavochkin research and industrial association, Sergey Lemeshevsky, has told TASS.

"The Moon program envisages development of five probes: Luna-Resurs-1 orbital apparatus, two Luna-Resurs-1 landing modules and Luna Glob and Luna-Grunt," he said.

According to earlier reports, Russia’s Moon program provides for the launch of four probes. Luna-25 (Luna Glob) is scheduled to be launched at the end of 2018 or early 2019, Luna-26 and Luna-27 in 2020 and 2021 (orbital and landing modules of Luna-Resurs-1). There were plans for launching a landing space probe Luna-28 (Luna-Grunt) after 2025. Its return module would deliver samples of Moon soil.

Russia plans 4 space observatories under new program

Four space observatories for fundamental research have been included in a new draft federal space program for 2016-2025, Sergei Lemeshevksy went on to say.

"The draft federal space program for 2016-2020 includes the following projects for fundamental space research: Spektr-RG, Spektr-UF, Spektr-M and Gamma-400 astrophysical observatories for the exploration of the Universe," he said.

The project also envisages the use of the Intergeliozond space probe to observe the internal heliosphere and survey the Sun at a close distance, as well as the Arka and Rezonans small spacecraft that will explore the solar corona and the solar transition region, correspondingly, in the ultraviolet band and study the interaction of waves in the Earth’s magnetosphere.

The draft of the new federal space program was presented in the spring of 2015. Financing was set at about 2 trillion roubles ($30 billion). Later it turned out that the program’s financing had been slashed to about 1.4 trillion. There may follow an increase in funding by 115 billion for projects to be approved after 2021.

The draft program has not been presented to the government yet. In the middle of December the head of the state-run corporation Roscosmos, Igor Komarov, declared the intention to present the draft to the Cabinet of Ministers by the end of the year. Later, a source in the space rocket industry told TASS that might happen after the New Year holidays as inter-departmental coordination revealed certain disagreements.

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