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© RIA Novosti. Oleg Urusov

Russia plans missions to Mars and the Moon

by Evgeniya Chaykovskaya at 13/03/2012 17:36

Numerous launch failures did nothing to dampen Russian space agency’s optimism, as Roskosmos has grand plans for the next two decades.

The agency has published its strategy for development until 2030 and sent the document to the government. There are plans for manned flights to the Moon, Mars bases, and a new orbital station.

Ticket to the Moon and bases on Mars

Roskosmos plans to demonstratively “fly around the Moon, land, send cosmonauts out on the surface, and return them to Earth,” Kommersant reported. Roskosmos is not worried that the United States did something similar 60 years ago.

The agency is considering working with foreign partners for the flight, the head of manned-flight programs at Roskosmos, Alexei Krasnov, told RIA Novosti.

The strategy also includes plans for studying Venus and Jupiter. Foreign partners will help the agency to set up a series of research stations on Mars. The International Space Station will also be replaced in 2020, according to the plan.

Industry development a priority

The document is set to help Roskosmos secure the country’s place in the top three space powers in the world.

Priorities include the development of space technology, creating modern methods of space exploration and building a new generation orbital station. In order to do all this, space and rocket industry will have to be modernized, and there will be a Presidential Space Council.

By 2015, Roskosmos plans to use space probes made mostly of foreign components, but this will change by 2020.

By 2030, Russian space ships will provide 95 percent of all the nation’s space needs for science, defense and the economy (instead of 40 percent in 2011).

Vostochny, the space launch pad under construction in Amur region in the Far East, will be used by 2020 to launch “heavy manned ships of new generation” that are to be developed.

Russia also plans to work more on clearing the space rubbish floating around the Earth.

Head of Roskosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, earlier predicted that financing for new developments will cost 150-200 billion rubles a year by 2030. The money is expected to come both from the budget and private investors.

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