MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. Russian scientists continue cooperating with their NASA counterparts in implementing missions to Venus and the Moon, despite the tense international political situation, Scientific Head of the Space Research Institute within the Russian Academy of Science Lev Zelyony said at the 10th Moscow International Solar System Symposium on Monday.
"Last week, we had a symposium with NASA counterparts on our plans for new missions to Venus. We discussed possible landing sites. A mission to Venus won’t happen soon: we have plans for the end of the next decade. And I am very glad that we have developed very efficient cooperation with NASA, despite the political tension," he stated.
The international scientific community is expecting the launch of the ExoMars mission in 2020. Also, a mission to the Moon has been scheduled for 2021, the scientist reported.
"We are holding very interesting discussions with China on joint activity on the Moon and discussions are also underway with NASA on the lunar program," he added.
Russia’s Venera-D project
The Venera-D space mission is set to continue exploring Venus: its structure, the dynamics of its lower atmosphere, volcanism and other processes. The Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Lavochkin Research and Production Association are the Russian participants in the project, which is expected to be implemented in cooperation with NASA. The year 2029 is the intended date of the mission’s launch.
Deputy Director of the Space Research Institute Oleg Korablyov earlier said that the Venera-D R&D work was estimated at about 17 billion rubles ($262 million). Meanwhile, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeyev earlier noted that the space mission to Venus could cost $1 billion.
In late September 2017, Roscosmos and NASA signed a statement at the international astronautical congress in Adelaide (Australia), which highlighted the parties’ intention to jointly work on the implementation of space exploration initiatives. Both sides stated their intention to plan work on creating a habitable outpost in the near-Moon space. The lunar station was expected to be called the Deep Space Gateway. However, now the NASA documents mention it as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.
Head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin earlier said NASA would ask the Russian space agency to develop a Soyuz spacecraft for flights to the Moon to create a backup space transport system. According to Rogozin, the project to develop a Soyuz MS spacecraft with enhanced thermal and radiation protection for flights to the Moon will cost about $400 million.