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Moon exploration program to be implemented by 2040 — Russian space agency

November 29, 2018, 2:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Roscosmos said that "the goal of Moon exploration programs is to protect national interests on the new space frontier"

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© Albert Garnelis/TASS

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russia's Moon exploration program will be implemented in several stages by 2040, the press service of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

The Russian Academy of Sciences' (RAS) Council earlier held a session with Roscosmos head Rogozin and RAS President Alexander Sergeyev to discuss the Moon exploration program.

"The goal of Moon exploration programs is to protect national interests on the new space frontier. The humanity's interest in Moon exploration is first of all linked with the fact that unique areas were found there that have favorable conditions for building lunar bases. The Moon exploration program will be implemented in several stages by 2040," the press service said.

Sergeyev noted the importance of exploring the Moon. "The issues of Moon exploration are on top of the agenda for today's session of the Council on Space Research. We understand that our resources are limited and that the geopolitical situation does not facilitate attracting more resources. This is why it is very important to choose the right strategy," he said.

Sergeyev said there are different opinions on what is the best moving forces - projects that may bring people people and the scientific community together, or something groundbreaking from the scientific point of view. "The Moon can become a very important project that includes both," he noted.

It was earlier reported that Russian cosmonauts will for the first time touch the Moon’s surface after 2030. Their mission will last 14 days.

Overall, the roadmap envisages three stages. At the first stage to last through 2025, there are plans to test all the technologies on the Internaitonal Space Station (ISS), create a basic module of a Moon orbiting station, test the promising Federatsiya (Federation) manned spacecraft, make unmanned flights around the Moon aboard the Federatsiya and explore the Moon with the help of automated probes. The lunar orbital outpost may be created using elements of the Russian segment of the ISS, in particular, the nodal module, the manned spacecraft and the research-energy module, which are expected to be docked to the space station by 2022. Lunar take-off and landing and cargo modules will be attached to the orbiter for landing on the Moon’s surface.

The second stage to last from 2025 to 2035 envisages testing the means of access to the Moon’s surface, performing first manned flights to the Moon’s surface, creating and placing the first elements of the habitable base on the Moon. At the third stage after 2035, the construction of a full-fledged habitable lunar base will be completed. Also after 2035, the single system of manned and automated probes of exploring the Moon is expected to be created.

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