Russia plans to launch an Unmanned Spacecraft in 2015

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is planning to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the Moon in 2015, a first step toward the ambitious long-term plan to establish a robotic base on the surface of our largest satellite. The spacecraft, called Luna-Glob (“Moon globe”), will be followed by two more orbiters and two rovers that will study the lunar soil locally and collect samples of rocks and dust, bringing them back to Earth for analysis.


The Luna-Glob spacecraft will lift off from Vostochny, in Far Eastern Russia, and carry a scientific payload of 120 kilograms (260 pounds) to measure dust and cosmic rays as well as conduct astrophysics experiments.

After enough data has been gathered, the next step will be to launch a joint orbiter-rover mission featuring a 58 kg (90 lbs) rover that will land at the Moon’s south pole, examine a crater and scout the area for up to a year, running on solar panels.

Next, another orbiter with annex lander will be launched. The lander is set to carry a large, 400 kg (850 lbs) rover that will be able to investigate the soil locally. A second lander will then shuttle about one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of soil and rock samples back to Earth.

Finally, by 2037, the Russians expect to build a robotic lunar base that would include a solar power station, a long-range research rover, and a dedicated orbiting satellite.


The Russians have to face several setbacks in their space program in recent few years.  Phobos-Grunt which was launched in November 2011, to bring Rock and soil samples back to earth from Martin moon, crashed in the Pacific Ocean before leaving the Earth’s orbit.  In last December, telecom satellite failed to reach its destination because its fuel supplier rocket crashed in the mid air.

Russia is in process to build a permanent lunar base since 1990s.  The Luna-Glob spacecraft was launched for its completion but the project was delayed due to some financial problems.  Now, in the light of recent developments, it is being that programs is seems to be on its track.

In reality, despite of several setbacks in their space mission during recent years, Russia is committed to increase its investment in space exploration.  Just a month ago, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has approved a project to double output of Russian space industry by 2020.  The Russian PM approved a budget of USD 70 billion for the period of 2013-2020 for Russian space program.

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