January 08, 2016

"Popular Mechanics suggested on Wednesday that Russia is still thinking of landing cosmonauts on the moon when that country’s fiscal situation improves."

examiner: “Over the course of 2015, Russian engineers quietly devised a moon-going strategy including 41 launches of Angara rockets to support the nation's lunar program during the next two decades. According to this grand plan, beginning in 2023 seven Russian crews would fly the new spacecraft, and five of them land on the moon, concluding with the establishment of a modular habitable moon base.” by Mark Whittington

'The Angara rocket is smaller than the planned American Space Launch System, requiring more launches to support a lunar exploration program. It would pay for itself by launching commercial satellites. The new spacecraft referenced will be a replacement for the venerable Soyuz that has been the mainstay of Russian human space flight for decades.

'“Unmanned flight testing of the new spacecraft in Earth orbit would start in 2021, followed by an automated docking at the International Space Station in 2023. In the same year, the first crew would fly the new ship to the ISS.

'“In 2025, the new Russian spacecraft would be ready to make its first flight beyond the Earth's orbit without crew. The year later, the lunar module designed to take cosmonauts from the lunar orbit to the lunar surface would also make an unmanned test flight. By that time, a pair of Russian robotic landers, currently under development, is expected to pave the way for human explorers."'

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