Russia plans to send probe to moon in 2015

MOSCOW Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:55am IST

Combines harvest wheat in the night on a field in the Novosyolovsky district, south of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk September 03, 2012. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin/Files

Combines harvest wheat in the night on a field in the Novosyolovsky district, south of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk September 03, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Ilya Naymushin/Files

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will resume a long-dormant quest to explore the moon by sending an unmanned probe there in 2015, the head of the space agency was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

The craft, called Luna-Glob, or Moon-Globe, will be carried by the first rocket to blast off from a new facility that Russia is building in its far eastern Amur region, Roskosmos director Vladimir Popovkin said, according to the Interfax news agency.

"We will begin our exploration of the moon from there," he said of the new space centre that will decrease Russia's reliance of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the ex-Soviet nation Kazakhstan, which it leases.

Russian space officials have said Luna-Glob would consist of an orbital module and a probe that would land on the moon and beam back information about samples it takes from the surface.

The Soviet Union got a jump on the United States in the Cold War space race, sending a probe to the moon in 1959 and putting the first person into space in 1961. But the United States first put a man on the moon in 1969 and Russia has not done so.

The last successful Soviet launch of a unmanned probe to the moon was in the 1970s, and Russia has suffered setbacks in its space program in recent years, including bungled satellite launches and the failure of a Mars probe in 2011.

A successful rocket launch on Tuesday put three military satellites in orbit, the Defence Ministry said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a plan last month to spend 2.1 trillion roubles on space industry development in 2013-2020, to pursue projects to explore the moon and Mars, among other things. (Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

FILED UNDER:

SAARC Summit

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferguson Violence

Ferguson Violence

More U.S. troops deployed in Ferguson to guard against fresh riots  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

Syrian government air strikes kill 63 in Raqqa - monitoring group  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

U.S. quarantine moves hurting Ebola response in Africa - Harvard  Full Article 

Fat and Cancer

Fat and Cancer

Fat to blame for half a million cancers a year, WHO agency says  Full Article 

Hong Kong Clashes

Hong Kong Clashes

Street clashes break out as Hong Kong clears part of protest zone  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage