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Future of Moon exploration lies in developing landing modules — Russian space agency

Roscosmos said other important parts of the Moon exploration program are creating new reusable apparatuses and looking for new types of fuel based on solar and nuclear energy

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. The future of Moon exploration and the implementation of the Russian Moon program are possible if Moon landing modules are developed, the press service of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

Earlier today the Russian Academy of Sciences' Council on Space Research held a session with Roscosmos Rogozin and RAS President Alexander Sergeyev to discuss the Moon exploration program.

"Participants in the Council session are confident that joint efforts of the scientific community and organizations that conduct space programs, will bring better results. The future of Moon exploration and implementation of the Moon program is in creating new reusable apparatuses, designing Moon landing modules, looking for new types of fuel based on solar and nuclear energy," the press service said.

Among those who presented their reports at the session were director of the RAS Space Research Institute Anatoly Petrukovich and acting head of the TsNIIMash rocket and spacecraft scientific center Nikolay Sevastyanov.

Petrukovich said that the main concern is about landing missions, not spacecraft for flights to the Moon. "At the current level of development of space technologies, an expedition to Mars will be a one-time event. The Moon is a more logical goal, and we are talking about the Moon's surface. A Moon orbiting station is much less interesting since cosmonauts will not be able to remain there on a permanent basis due to high radiation levels. There are also not as many scientific objectives for this station," he noted.

In his report, Sevastyanov talked about the proposed stages of the Russian Moon exploration program, automated and manned missions, the roadmap for Moon exploration, as well as the expected results of the program.

A source in the space industry earlier told TASS that the RAS Council on Space Research supported projects on establishing an inhabited base and observatories on the Moon. According to the source, the Moon exploration program will start with the launch of automated stations, followed by the preliminary Moon orbiting mission with cosmonauts, and finally landing and establishing infrastructure.