Russia solicits moon rocket proposals

Aug. 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM
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MOSCOW, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Russia's Roscosmos space agency has announced a $300,000 tender for a moon rocket design, the official Web site that tracks state purchases said.

The tender is for proposals to develop a blueprint of a heavy rocket-carrier capable of carrying manned spacecraft to the moon, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The proposals, to be submitted before August 28, must lay out the details of both the rocket-carrier and ground support systems in a project that must be completed by May 31, 2013, Roscosmos officials said.

However, Russia's planned manned spacecraft capable of flights to the moon will not fly until 2018, Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin has said.

That spacecraft will replace the aging Soyuz craft on trips to the International Space Station, as well as fly to the moon, officials said.

The heavy moon rocket, which would be be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Region, will be capable of landing with precision in an area just one-tenth the size needed by current Soyuz manned capsules, which use a parachute system to land, they said.

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