According to a recent report from Spaceflight Insider, one of Russia’s top space industry officials, Vladimir Solntsev, revealed that Russia could make a moon landing by 2029. Recently, a Russian crew began a unique isolation experiment in a mock spaceship, known as Luna-2015, testing how the crew would interact on a trip to the Moon and back.
“Our specialists will conduct a detailed analysis of all the data obtained in the Luna-2015 experiment,” said Mark Serov, the head of the flight testing department at RKK Energia. “We hope that this will help us improve the characteristics of the habitable environment inside the hardware which is being developed to deliver [humans] to the Moon.”
Solntsev says that Russian scientists in Moscow are currently working on a spacecraft, made with composites, specifically for Moon missions. Its first flight is scheduled for 2021. By 2023, Russia’s team aims to send the vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS), and have it complete an unmanned lunar mission in 2025. The last Russian unmanned mission to the Moon, Luna 24, landed on the lunar surface on Aug. 18, 1976. It was also the last spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon until the landing of China’s Chang’e 3 on Dec. 14, 2013.
RKK Energia will be the manufacturer of the Russian spacecraft and space station’s composite components. The company is the prime developer and contractor of the Russian manned spaceflight program.
Russia also plans to send a lunar polar lander around 2024, known as Luna-25, or Luna-Glob lander. It will be the country’s first step toward the creation of a fully robotic base on the Moon.