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Russia’s first expedition to Moon may last two weeks — space institute

November 22, 2016, 13:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A settlement of robots-automats will be created at one of the Moon’s polar areas before the cosmonauts’ landing

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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. The Russian cosmonauts’ first expedition to the Moon’s surface will last a week or two, Head of the Space Gamma-Spectroscopy Laboratory at Russia’s Space Research Institute, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Igor Mitrofanov told TASS on Tuesday.

A settlement of robots-automats called the Poligon (the practice ground) will be created at one of the Moon’s polar areas before the cosmonauts’ landing, the scientist said.

"The first manned descent to the Moon will be a brief descent - a visit to the Poligon, this village of automats. This expedition will last from one to two weeks - this is the duration of a lunar polar day," Mitrofanov said.

The long landing mission will last from several weeks to several months but it will become possible only after the infrastructure of a lunar polar base is created in the area of the Poligon, the researcher said.

"A manned module with radiation protection from cosmic rays and a life-support system based on lunar resources will be the main element of this infrastructure," the scientist said.

Given that financing is available, the first landing of a human on the Moon may take place in 2030. Before that, cosmonauts will be working in the near-Moon orbit aboard the spacecraft Federatsiya: they will be able to remotely control robots on the Moon’s surface from the spaceship.

Russia’s Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation CEO Vladimir Solntsev earlier said that the first Russian manned mission was expected to land on the Moon in 2031.

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