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Russian space agency to set up new Flight Control Center for lunar missions

August 23, 2018, 13:49 UTC+3 KUBINKA

The first stage of the Russian lunar program envisages studying the Earth’s natural satellite with the help of automatic missions

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KUBINKA /Moscow Region/. August 23. /TASS/. Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos will set up a separate Flight Control Center for programs to explore the Earth’s natural satellite, Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday as he visited the display stand of Russian Space Systems at the Army-2018 forum.

"Can this potential [accumulated by Russian Space Systems for developing satellite control systems] be used in forming the Flight Control Center, which we will be creating for the lunar program?" Rogozin asked, addressing the company’s Deputy CEO Yevgeny Nesterov.

"Today we are transforming jointly with the chief designer many Glonass [satellite navigation grouping] solutions into those solutions that will be linked with future lunar programs. All this will lay the basis," Nesterov noted.

The first stage of the Russian lunar program envisages studying the Earth’s natural satellite with the help of automatic missions. Specifically, as Rogozin noted earlier, the program will begin with the launch of the Luna-25 automatic probe in 2021. Later, the probes Luna-26 and Luna 27 are set to fly to the Moon and in 2025 the Luna-28 is expected to deliver a lunar soil sample to Earth.

After the completion of the automatic missions, Russia earlier planned to build a domestic base closer to one of the Moon’s poles to comprise a whole range of laboratories and to regularly accommodate cosmonauts. Under the Roscosmos new leadership, the base’s status was not discussed yet.

Russia is also considering participating in NASA’s project to create the Deep Space Gateway inhabited lunar outpost.

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