Russia may delay lunar mission until mid-2019

The Luna-Globe mission was originally scheduled for late 2018.

The Luna-Globe mission was originally scheduled for late 2018.

NASA
The Luna-Globe mission was originally scheduled for late 2018

The first mission of Russia's lunar program, Luna-Globe, may be moved until the middle of 2019, a source from the rocket and space industry told Interfax.

"The spacecraft launch has been preliminarily scheduled for July-August 2019," he said.

The spacecraft is due to be assembled in October 2016 and tested in late 2018 - early 2019, the source said.

The Luna-Globe mission was originally scheduled for late 2018. The first five spacecraft will be sent to the Moon from Vostochny.

The federal space program for 2016-2025 assigns 38.6 billion rubles for lunar studies.

According to the program, five spacecraft will fly to the Moon to study its south pole from orbit and on the ground and to deliver lunar soil samples to the Earth.

The first launch from Vostochny is planned for April 27. A Soyuz-2.1a rocket will put into orbit Aist-2D and Mikhailo Lomonosov satellites and a SamSat-218 nano-satellite.

The construction of the Vostochny space center began in the Amur region in 2010 on an area of approximately 700 square kilometers.

It was planned to inaugurate Vostochny with the first launch in December 2015. President Vladimir Putin proposed in mid-October 2015 to move the launch until the following year.

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