Russia outlines its space exploration plans for the next two decades


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At a science conference in Moscow on Saturday the director of Russia’s Space Research Institute described in detail the future exploration plans for the Russian space program.

According to the story, Russia plans to return to the Moon and Mars with unmanned probes. He also described how the first missions will be in partnership with Europe, followed by Russian missions designed to test and prove the technologies. If these flights go well, in 2024 Russia will consider trying again with a repeat of the Phobos-Grunt mission that failed in 2012

This last detail is a change from previous reports that said Russia would launch Phobos-Grunt 2 in 2018. It is also consistent with much of the Russian program for the last two decades (as well as most of NASA’s own ambitious manned exploration program), where the agency makes bold announcements of future plans but somehow with each new announcement the dates for the actual launch have always been pushed back. The actual flight never seems to happen.

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