phys.org: Under an ambitious plan with the European Space Agency (ESA), scientists have new hope of again sending missions to the Moon and to Mars. by Maria Antonova
'The ambitious plan, however, has caused jitters among some observers and is dismissed as a pipe dream by others.
'In January, the ESA already warned that the 2018 mission could be delayed due to cash flow problems. With the economic crisis, the Russian government is likewise pressed to make budget cuts and space exploration is far from one of its priorities. The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, is itself in financial limbo but went ahead and announced its programme for the next decade in January, though the plan has yet to be confirmed, said Igor Marinin, editor of Space News magazine. "Now there is no plan, so there is no financing and Roscosmos is taking out loans just to pay salaries," he told AFP. "For this reason, I'm sceptical, and I don't think we will make a good landing platform in the time that's left."
'Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov last month admitted that Russia "does not have financial capabilities for advanced space projects."'