Russia schedules four lunar missions before end of decade

Russia will start building an unmanned base on the Moon after 2025, the Central Research Institute of Machine Building said in a presentation at the Moscow International Aerospace Show. The presentation was based on a concept of the Russian aerospace industry development until 2030 and the later period.

According to the Russian lunar program, Russia and India will launch the Luna-Resurs probe in 2014. The mission aims at "comprehensive research of the Moon by a Russian spacecraft, which will land on a lunar pole to support the work of an Indian-made mini-rover and an Indian-made orbiter," the presentation says.

The second Russian mission, Luna Glob, will begin a year after. Another rover will land on a lunar pole to search for extreme-energy cosmic rays.

Two missions - Luna-Resurs-2 and Luna-Grunt - are planned after 2017. Luna-Resurs-2 will deliver a rover to the Moon for collecting lunar samples, which will be delivered to the Earth by the second mission.

The deployment of an automatic lunar base will begin after 2025, said the leading research center of the Federal Space Agency.

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