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Russia to launch series of lunar probes to prepare for manned mission

Russia plans to launch a series of probes to the moon in the next few years to prepare for a manned mission, state media reported on Tuesday.

The efforts, which include collaboration with the European Space Agency, are being conducted as the United States has expressed intentions to extract resources from the moon.

A manned Russian mission to the moon could take place after 2030, according to previous comments from Russian officials.

Russia plans to send a landing craft, Luna-25, next year to study the process of landing on the moon’s surface, state news outlet RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.

In four years, Russia plans to launch a satellite, Luna-26, to orbit the moon and photograph the lunar surface studying for potential future landing sites.

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Then the following year, in 2025, Russia plans to launch another landing craft, Luna-27, to study the lunar soil at a depth of up to 2 metres.

The design for Luna-27 should be completed by November next year, Vladimir Kolmykov, head of state aerospace company Lavochkin, was quoted as saying. (dpa)

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