Russian research station to land on Moon in 2015

Successful implementation of the moon exploration program will help Russia regain its lost positions in space research, said Viktor Khartov, chief of NPO Lavochkin aerospace company.

"We must return to the Moon in 2015 and accomplish a landing Soviet-style, to demonstrate to all and, most importantly, to ourselves, that we remember what the Soviet Union was capable of doing," Khartov told Interfax-AVN at the Farnborough international air show. The capabilities of the manned spacecraft being developed in Russia allow it to land on any part of the Moon and explore it, he said. "We will land where researchers will tell us to, for instance, on the Moon's polar regions," he said.

Khartov said that the strategy for the development of the Russian space industry through 2030, drawn up by the federal space agency Roscosmos, portrays NPO Lavochkin's future in optimistic colors and lists priorities for it. "The plans set forth in the strategy define the company's future the way it is, which we see as a very positive thing," Khartov said. "The firm is prepared to compete for the exploration of the space research sector," he said. "We are not a monopoly in space research. Each project will have to be defended in tenders. But we are happy that Russia can and wants to pay serious attention to space research," he said.

Reports said earlier that Russia adjusted its plans to study the Solar System after the Phobos-Grunt failure. Under the new program, a Luna-Globe program will be implemented, under which two spacecraft will be launched to the Moon in 2015 and in 2016. And then a Russian-Indian project, Luna-Resource, will be accomplished.

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