The head of Russia’s space agency announced this week a new endeavor to send manned missions to the moon, which will include scouting locations for future “lunar expeditions” and “lunar bases.”
Oleg Ostapenko, head of Roscosmos, said Tuesday the agency was already working on plans to send a man back to the moon for the first time in decades by 2030, Time reports.
“By that time, based on the results of lunar surface exploration by unmanned space probes, we will designate [the] most promising places for lunar expeditions and lunar bases,” Ostapenko said according to Russian news outlet ITAR-TASS.
Ostapenko made the announcement alongside Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has repeatedly threatened to cut the U.S. from the International Space Station by refusing American astronauts rides on Russian Soyuz spacecraft — a retaliation against U.S. economic sanctions imposed over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine. (RELATED: Russia Announces It WIll Cut US Off From ISS Over Ukraine Sanctions)
“At the end of the next decade, we plan to complete tests of a super-heavy-class carries rocket and begin full-scale exploration of the Moon,” Rogozin said.
The mission announced during a government meeting chaired by Rogozin comes one week after NASA announced new contracts awarded to SpaceX and Boeing to build new manned launched programs, which will ferry astronauts to and from the ISS from Cape Canaveral for the first time since the retirement of the shuttle fleet in 2011. (RELATED: Boeing And SpaceX Win NASA COntracts For New Manned Spaceflight Programs)