Russia plans robot moon mission for 2015

Jan. 15, 2013 at 7:13 PM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Russia says it will launch a robotic lunar mission dubbed Lunar-Glob in 2015 as part of a resurrected program previously on hold due to lack of funding.

The country's federal space agency Roscosmos said the mission would be launched from the new Vostochny spaceport currently under construction in Russia's Far East, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Luna-Glob is the first of four missions planned to establish a fully robotic lunar base sometime after 2015, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin said.

It will carry 260 pounds of instruments for astrophysics experiments, dust monitors and plasma sensors to study ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, Roscosmos officials said.

The mission, part of the Federal Space Program dating back to the late 1990s, was put on hold due to financial restrictions and resurrected several years later.

The resurrected program had been scheduled to resume with a launch in 2012, but the launch has been postponed twice, first to 2010 and then to 2014.

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