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Russia to launch space vehicle to Moon in 2015

November 08, 2011, 10:31 UTC+3

The Russian space vehicle Luna-Glob will be launched to the moon in 2015

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BAIKONUR, November 8 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian space vehicle Luna-Glob will be launched to the moon in 2015.

A Zenit rocket that has proved to work well is expected to be used to carry the Luna, the Director of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lev Zeleny, told reporters in connection with the planned launch of the interplanetary mission Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Soil) from Baikonur. The launch is planned for Wednesday.

The director addressed the proposal to the designer-general of the Yuzhnoye state design office (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine), Alexander Degtyarev, who noted that it would be priority work for them.

Speaking about the planned Phobos mission, Degtyarev said it was the first step in the long chain of projects that would help understand "who we are and what we are".

As regards the contribution of the state design office to the implementation, he noted that the first step would be taken -- a Zenit rocket is expected to carry the interplanetary station to a low earth orbit.

Degtyarev said about Zenit rockets that they are the most modern among the launch vehicles of the class.

Eight launches have been carried out since 2005, including two this year, within the Ground Launch programme in Baikonur. This year, launches have resumed within the Sea Launch programme, in which the design office participates.

"The year 2011 is a good launch year for us," he noted.

The head of the Lavochkin scientific and production company, Viktor Khartov, in turn, expressed the view that the Russian moon programme should be reconsidered with taking into consideration the developments in the Phobos-Grunt interplanetary station project implementation. "We are developing a new plan for the moon with the mission taken into account," he said. "We will present our proposals to Roscosmos. Ahead is the programme optimization," he believes.

Based on the technical decisions taken in the Phobos-Grunt creation, some other interplanetary stations are planned to be developed, including Venus-D, Mercury-P, Luna-Glob, Mars-Grunt (Soil) and others.

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