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Russia to launch super-heavy rocket to Moon in 2032-2035

January 23, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A super-heavy launcher is expected to be used to launch manned cargo spacecraft and other payloads into low near-Moon orbits, including the polar orbit

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© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. A super-heavy Russian rocket with a lifting capacity of 115 tonnes is expected to be launched to the Moon from the Vostochny cosmodrome during the second stage of the lunar program in 2032-2035, according to the presentation held by the Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation on Tuesday.

The developmental testing version of the super-heavy rocket and the super-heavy rocket of the first stage with a lifting capacity of 88 tonnes are scheduled to fly to the Moon in 2027-2028, the presentation materials say.

"The launch into the polar orbit of the Moon’s artificial satellite is planned for 2032-2035," the presentation says.

The space rocket will have a weight of 2,930 tonnes.

It follows from the presentation that the first launch of a Soyuz-5 medium-class carrier rocket will be made in 2022, as planned, from the Baikonur or the Vostochny spaceport (according to Energiya's plans, a super-heavy rocket is expected to be assembled from a package of Soyuz-5 space vehicles).

In 2027, a perspective transport spaceship (a Federatsiya or a lunar Soyuz spacecraft) is expected to be launched from the Vostochny spaceport towards the Moon using the developmental testing version of a super-heavy carrier rocket weighing 1,440 tonnes (a payload of 50 tonnes) to make a flight around the Earth’s sole natural satellite.

In 2028, a super-heavy rocket of the first stage with a total weight of 2,800 tonnes and a payload of 88 tonnes is planned to be launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome into the polar orbit of the Moon’s artificial satellite.

As Energiya First Deputy CEO and Chief Designer for Manned Space Systems Yevgeny Mikrin said, a Soyuz-5 medium-class carrier rocket with an RD-171MV engine as a modified version of the RD-171M mounted on the rocket’s first stage will be used to make launches of the manned resupply ship into the near-Earth orbit as part of the first stage of the lunar program.

"A super-heavy launcher is expected to be used to launch manned cargo spacecraft and other payloads into low near-Moon orbits, including the polar orbit. The launcher’s first and second stages will be developed on the basis of the first stage of the Soyuz-5 medium-class rocket. A new RD-150 oxygen-hydrogen propellant engine is planned to be developed for the rocket’s third stage," he added.

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