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MOSCOW, August 02, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian scientists will focus on Moon and Mars exploration and repeat the Phobos-Grunt mission in the next decade, Space Research Institute Director Lev Zeleny said on Saturday.
“The Moon and Mars are our priority for 2016-2025,” he said at the 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly underway in Moscow on August 2-10.
The Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) in partnership with the European Space Agency will be carrying out two stages of the ExoMars mission in 2016 and 2018.
In 2016, Roscosmos is planning to join Europe and Japan in the BepiColombo project.
In 2017, it will orbit the Spektr-RG telescope and send a Russian rover, Luna-Globe, to the Moon in 2019, for the first time in years.
An UV observatory is to be launched in 2020; an orbiting module and a dropship are scheduled to be sent to the Moon in 2012 and 2023, respectively.
After thoroughly testing lunar and Martian technologies, approximately in 2024, Russia, may repeat its Phobos-Grunt mission to Mars’ satellite Phobos to collect its soil and bring it back to Earth.
Russia is planning a manned mission to the Moon in 2030-2031, Roscosmos First Deputy Head Alexander Ivanov said in July.
“In our programme this [manned mission to the Moon] is scheduled for 2020-2031. This programme [Federal Space Programme for 2016-2025] is being coordinated now,” he said.
When asked when the first settlement might be built on the Moon, Ivanov said this question was much more complex and needed additional attention.