Russian Moon Probe, Luna-Glob, Schedule for 2015 Launch
It's official as of Tuesday, January 15th, 2013. Russia has scheduled its first rocket launch from its new space operations facility in Roskosmos for 2015. The facility is still under construction but Interfax news reports the unmanned craft will be called the Luna-Glob, which translates to Moon-Globe in English.
The Globe will be designed to reach and orbit the Moon, releasing a terrestrial probe to land and transmit surface samples of lunar dust and rock back to Earth. As of now 4 missions are scheduled for the Globe.
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Space and government officials hope the new facility in the eastern Amur region will alleviate Russian dependence on Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a country once part of the Soviet Union.
Russia is set to spend over the equivalent of 70 million in U.S. currency over the next 7-10 years on space exploration. Even though Russia, then referred to as the Soviet Union, was the first country, in 1961, to send a man to space they have since lived in the shadows of the United States, which physically landed American astronauts on the moon eight years later.
The U.S. shut down its space shuttle program in 2010, and despite decades of satellite failures and Mars exploration debacles, it seems Russia is once again ready to carry the torch and raise the flag of its space glory days of yesteryear, during the Cold War.
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