Russia to launch multiple robotic missions to moon
Washington: Russia is developing a renewed robotic moon exploration program, building upon the history-making legacy of orbiters, landers, rovers and sample-return missions the country launched decades ago.
Igor Mitrofanov of the Institute for Space Research (IKI) in Moscow, unveiled the plan during Microsymposium 54 on held in Texas, on March 16 and 17, reports Fox News.
Mitrofanov said that the lunar pole is a most favourable place for future outposts for humans in deep space and emphasized that moon exploration was a step toward future Mars journeys.
Mitrofanov said that depending on the success of the first three missions, another two would be implemented.
Those five potential moon missions would launch in the following order- Luna Glob Lander in 2015, Luna Glob Orbiter in 2016, Luna Resource-1 in 2017, Luna-Resource-2 in 2019 and Luna-Resource-3 in 2020.
Mitrofanov said that Russia's robotic moon planners "have taken into account" the disaster with its Phobos-Grunt Mars mission in 2011-2012 - a failure due to reported poor management, technical glitches and a hurry to launch schedule.
Russia launched its last moon mission in August 1976, when it was still the Soviet Union. That mission, called Luna 24, was the last in the Luna series and featured a spacecraft that landed on the moon and returned samples of the Mare Crisium (Sea of Crisis) region.