Russia to explore Moon, Mars

Blagoveshensk (Russia), April 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia will develop new technology including huge new rockets for manned flights to the Moon and Mars by 2030, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.

Rogozin, who oversees the space and military industries, said Russia is planning to design a carrier rocket with a payload of 130 to 180 tonnes as well as powerful interplanetary vehicles.

The new technologies will lay the ground for manned flights to the Mars, Rogozin said.

Rogozin made his remarks while opening a meeting on the space industry in Russia’s Far East Friday, as Russia marks the anniversary of Yury Gagarin’s first manned space flight April 12, 1961.

Russia plans to start test of a new-generation spacecraft in the next two decades which could potentially be used for manned flights to the Moon, Rogozin said.

The Russian space industry is also set to develop a robot system for Moon exploration, as well as construct a permanent research base and a takeoff and landing pad there, he said.

The Soviet Union was developing a large rocket called the N-1 in the late 1960s for a lunar landing, but the project was abandoned after the US won the race to land first on the Moon in 1969.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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