Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rogozin renews call for Russian lunar exploration, base

Luna-Grunt - Rover Configuration
Russia's space program suffered a huge set back to a renewed lunar exploration effort with the loss of the Phobos-Grunt sample return mission in 2011. A joint mission with India designed to ferry the ISRO Chandrayaan-2 lunar rover to the Moon's surface was cancelled and the Grunt standard prototype lander was returned to the drawing board. Above, a 2010 notional view of a Grunt descent stage delivering rover to the Moon [Anatoly Zak/RussianSpaceWeb].
MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russia should consider farsighted space projects such as building a manned outpost on the moon, a senior Russian defense official said Tuesday.

“We must formulate practical plans from conceptual projects and fantasies,” said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defense and space industry.

Rogozin suggested the Russian space agency Roscosmos and the recently launched Future Research Fund (FPI) should work in tandem on developing such projects.

The FPI – patterned on the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – began distributing grants in April to fund farsighted defense projects. The fund will disburse $70 million this year.

“Many organizations are unfortunately stuck in their busy routines and they have no time to stop and think about new projects,” said Rogozin, who made a similar appeal in September last year for a Russian lunar base to reinvigorate the country’s space aspirations.

On Saturday the 140-kilogram Chinese lunar rover Jade Rabbit made the first soft landing of any probe on the moon in nearly four decades. China is the third nation to achieve a soft lunar landing after the US and the Soviet Union.

Related Posts:
A Russian Moon? Dwayne Day, The Space Review (January 28, 2013)
ESA lunar lander axed (November 21, 2012)
Rogozin presses lunar base, Chandrayaan-2 delayed (September 12, 2012)
Soyuz replacement delayed until 2018 - Popovkin (July 19, 2012)
Craters near Lunokhod-1 officially named (July 3, 2012)
Is there money on the Moon?  Joshua E. Keating Foreign Policy (June 21, 2012)
Russian outlines spaceflight plans to 2030 Marcia S. Smith SpacePolicyOnline (April 29, 2012)
Russian Academy plans Lunokhod-3 and 4 (April 9, 2012)
Popovkin: 'To the Moon in Seven Years?' (February 8, 2012)
"Boy, that sure looks like Luna 9!" (December 3, 2011)

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