MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Russia begins designing the Venus-D automatic interplanetary station, Russian Academy of Sciences’ (RAS) Space Research Institute head Lev Zelyony said, adding that negotiations with contractors are underway.
"We are embarking on design engineering. An important meeting between RAS and Roscosmos management took place; we made a number of decisions, in particular, on the Venus program," Zelyony said.
According to the RAS scientist, the main contours of the Russian Venerian program will take shape during design planning. The first stage of the planetary exploration will be the launch of the Venus-D automatic interplanetary station. The project contractors are Lavochkin NPO and the Space Research Institute. The design planning may take two years, Zelyony speculated.
"We hope that the first spacecraft will fly to Venus in 2029," the scientist said.
The Venus program aims to deliver the planet’s soil to Earth. It will take place after landing, exploration of the landing area and examination of soil specimen.
In 2020, Zelyony told TASS that Russia plans a new Venus exploration program, which will involve launches of at least three scientific spacecraft. The Venus-D would become the first expedition, scheduled for the late 2020s, he said at the time, adding that Russia’s latest Venus program took place during the Soviet Union era.
Previously, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia plans to send its own mission to Venus, apart from the US-Russian joint Venus-D project. Roscosmos underscored that Russia does not refuse to cooperate with the US on the Venus-D project, but plans to refrain from widescale international cooperation on this mission.