MOSCOW, Russia – Russia plans to launch four automatic spacecraft on the moon in 2031-2035, a source close to the space industry said.
“The Luna-30 landing complex will transport a 5-tonne lunar rover equipped with the necessary means to the lunar moon-31 landing complex to support the missions and to extract lunar resources,” explained the source.
In addition, the Luna-32 landing complex will transport the natural satellite of the Earth modules with about 6 tons of weight to build a lunar polygon. The launch of the Luna-33 orbiter will ensure communication and navigation, he added.
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said last week that exploring the moon is a priority task for the Russian space corporation. The goal was set by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Previously, Rogozin reported that in 2021-2023 the landing complexes Luna-25, Luna-26 and Luna-27 will be sent to the Moon. It will be the first Russian mission after an interval of 40 years, since the last Soviet station was launched in 1976.
Luna-25 will fetch ice water at the south pole of Earth’s satellite and test for soft landing technologies. Luna-26 is expected to examine the lunar surface and map it, while Luna-27 will take soil samples.
According to the Roscosmos data, the first Russian piloted mission is to go to the Moon in 2031, and these flights will subsequently become annual.
Meanwhile, the Chinese spacecraft of the lunar mission Chang’e 4 and the lunar vehicle Yutu-2, who have been investigating for more than a month the hidden side of the Moon, have “fallen asleep” again to spend the cold night on the Moon, according to the Chinese mission statement on the social networks.
The Chinese probe Chang’e 4 and the Yutu-2 lunar vehicle (Jade-2 Rabbit) were working during the holidays, while the whole country celebrated the Chinese New Year, but now it’s time to “sleep”. Chang’e 4 and Yutu-2 have been in suspension since Monday night and must “wake up” on February 28 and March 1 respectively.
According to the heads of the mission, all systems of the two devices work well and the experiments are being carried out according to plan.
Chang’e 4 probe landed on Earth’s natural satellite on January 3 to study in detail the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and the interaction between the solar wind and the moon’s surface, Xinhua reported earlier this month.
The mission has already performed several important tasks, including the first biological experiment on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite. The photos of the experiment sent to Earth showed seed germination of cotton, which means the success of this experiment, according to Chinese authorities.