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Federal Space Agency postpones the “Lunar” expedition for 10 years
Federal Space Agency postpones the “Lunar” expedition for 10 years
The implementation period of the Lunar Program, which includes the flight of next-generation manned spacecraft to the Moon in 2028, was extended, Izvestiya reports. This appears from the «Fundamentals of the State Policy of Russian Federation in the area of space activities for the period until 2030 and further» unveiled by the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). The Lunar exploration was specified as the major goal in the network of development of the national space science. The project of advanced transport spacecraft was updated in accordance with the requirements of the Lunar program at the suit of Roscosmos. It was planned to start the work now and complete this project in 2020s. According to the “Development concept for launch vehicles for the period until 2030” the development of super-heavy rocket will be carried out during the period from 2021 to 2025 in order to “perform the flight of next-generation manned spacecraft to the Moon in 2028”. However, another schedule is specified in the «Fundamentals of the State Policy of Russian Federation in the area of space activities for the period until 2030 and further». According to the latter document, the operation of the super-heavy launch vehicle necessary for the expedition to the Moon will be started at Vostochny cosmodrome after 2030. Only construction of the infrastructure required for launching super-heavy launch vehicles from Vostochny is planned prior to this date. «The dates specified in the document will be observed rigidly, — the first deputy head of Roscosmos, Oleg Frolov, noted. — Specific dates for circumlunar mission will be defined after the start of development of the super-heavy launch vehicle». The «Fundamentals of the State Policy of Russian Federation in the area of space activities for the period until 2030 and further» was elaborated by TSNIIMASH, the leading science organization of Roscosmos. Deputy Director of TSNIIMASH, Anatoly Golovko, explained that the authors of this document tried to find balance between capabilities and requirements. «In this view the period after 2030 seems to be optimal. It is important not to repeat the history of “Energiya” launch vehicle – great vehicle was developed but there were no missions for it, — he noted. — Moreover, the new manned spacecraft is intended not only for performing flights to the Moon, but also for accomplishing other missions, which do not require a super-heavy launch vehicle ». According to the Director of Sciences of the Institute of Space Policy, Ivan Moiseev, the dates specified in the «Fundamentals of the State Policy of Russian Federation in the area of space activities for the period until 2030 and further» look optimistic even taking into account the postponed flight to the Moon.

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