European Space Agency is joining hands with Russia in its ambitious plan to colonise the moon
Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly known as Roscosmos, announced on Tuesday its plan to launch a manned mission to the moon, RT News reported.
Head of Roscomsos Energia, Vladimir Solntsev, announcing the decision at a space and technology conference in Moscow said, “A manned flight to the moon and lunar landing is planned for 2029.”
A spacecraft for the venture is currently being built, which will probably take its maiden flight in 2021.
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After its initial flight, the plan is to have the spacecraft dock with the International Space Station in 2023 and then the agency will send an unmanned mission to the Moon in 2025, said Solntsev.
It seems the European Space Agency (ESA) is teaming up with Roscosmos as two weeks ago BBC News reported that ESA is interested in joining Russia’s ambitious plan to colonise the moon, by providing key technical expertise for a planned mission in 2020.
The mission, called Luna 27, would be the first in a series of missions that would eventually return humans to the lunar surface.
“We have an ambition to have European astronauts on the moon. There are currently discussions at international level going on for broad cooperation on how to go back to the moon,” Berengere Houdou, who heads the lunar exploration group at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (Estec), told BBC News.
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“The 21st century will be the century when it will be the permanent outpost of human civilisation, and our country has to participate in this process,” he added.
Luna 27 would be part of Russia’s Luna-Globb exploration program, which strives to establish a robotic lunar base on the Moon through a series of landers, The Verge reported.
However, Russia and ESA are not the ones trying to land people on moon as Chinese Lunar Exploration Program’s Chang’e 3 probe successfully landed on the moon in 2013 and hopes the Chang’e probes will pave the way for sending humans to the moon sometime in the mid-2020s.
Russia is currently in talks with China about creating a joint lunar station.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the question of “bringing China in as the main partner in creating a lunar scientific station” is currently being discussed with Roscosmos.
“We have told China of our plans about the possibility of creating a Russian national orbital station,” Rogozin told journalists after a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in China on April 28.
The article originally appeared on RT News