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Russia postpones automatic lunar exploration program until 2018

October 03, 2014, 18:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian scientists will focus on Moon and Mars exploration and repeat the Phobos-Grunt mission in the next decade
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/Rafa Alcaide

MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russia has postponed the start of its automatic lunar exploration program from 2016 until 2018, Space Research Institute Director Lev Zelyony said on Friday.

“They [the timelines] have been changed from 2016 to 2018. These are Luna Globe and orbiting Luna [program],” he said, adding that there should be no further delays.

“We want to implement three lunar projects this decade: Luna-25, Luna-26 and Luna-27,” he said.

Zelyony said these timelines have been set in the Federal Space Program proposed by the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

Russian scientists will focus on Moon and Mars exploration and repeat the Phobos-Grunt mission in the next decade, Zelyony said earlier.

“The Moon and Mars are our priority for 2016-2025,” he said.

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.

A 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.

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