BLAGOVESHENSK, Russia, April 12 (UPI) -- Russia will develop launch vehicles and other rocket technology for manned flights to the moon and Mars by 2030, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin says.
Rogozin, who oversees Russia's space and military industries, said work would begin to design a carrier rocket with a payload of 130 to 180 tons, as well as powerful interplanetary vehicles, RIA Novosti reported Friday.
The new technologies will lay the ground work for manned flights to the moon and later to Mars, Rogozin said.
He made the statements at a space industry conference in Russia's Far East Friday as Russia marked the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight on April 12, 1961.
The Russian space industry is also embarking on a program to develop a robot system for moon exploration as well as construct a permanent research base there, he said.
Russia had previously worked on a large rocket in the 1960s, the N-1, for a lunar landing mission but abandoned the project after the United States won the race to land men on the moon in 1969.