by Elena Kovachich
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 18, 2012
Luna-Glob, a Moon-exploration program, will be a priority for the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) for the next 10 years, academician Lev Zeleny, director of the Space Research Institute of the Russian academy of sciences said. On the surface of the Moon the Russian scientists plan to master the technologies and operations for the future mission to Mars and Fobos.
The Russian Space Agency decided to focus of moon explorations after the failure of its Fobos-Grunt mission. The mission was launched on 9 November 2011 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, but subsequent rocket burns intended to set the craft on a course for Mars failed, leaving it stranded in low Earth Orbit.
Russia decided to postpone but not to give up the Fobos mission. In the coming years it will master all the details of the mission on the Moon. If two previous expeditions were linked with the exploration of mid latitudes of the Moon the goal of the coming expedition is to make a soft landing in one of its polar areas, Lev Zeleny says.
"The Russian equipment installed at NASA's orbiter has discovered big reserves of water ice in the polar areas of the Moon. The Moon is no longer a dry and lifeless celestial body for us but an object with a lot of interesting phenomena to study. Mars also has water ice reserves, not only in polar areas but also near the equator."
Scientists assume that ice was brought to the Moon by comets, which are often called "life-carriers". The Moon is considered to be an ideal place to study comets, the academician says.
"Fallen comets rest there like in a refrigerator for billion years. It is impossible to study these objects from a distance while a contact study would help us to learn a lot about them. It would be better of course, if samples are delivered to Earth. Our lunar program is built around these ideas."
For the implementation of this program Russia plans to launch three missions. The first landing is to take place on the South Pole approximately in 2015. The next two missions will feature the collection of scientific data.
In 2016, the second orbiter Luna Glob with a rover on board will fly to the Moon. In 2017, it is planned to drill ground in the polar areas of the Moon using a special drilling vehicle which will be delivered to the Moon by Luna-Resurs mission.
Source: Voice of Russia
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Russia postpones Luna-Glob moon mission
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 12, 2012
Russia's Luna-Glob moon mission will see its first moon landing in 2015, a year later than originally planned, the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences said Tuesday. "We are planning to make the first moon landing on its South Pole in 2015 with a Luna-Glob landing module," Lev Zelyony, director of the institute, told reporters, adding that the next space vehicle, an ... read more