The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitri Rogozin, said today that Russia plans launch a ship to the Moon in 2021. Only a few days ago, a Chinese ship stepped on the hidden side of the Earth satellite and recently the US president, Donald Trump, announced his intention to resume these missions.
«We have decided to resume the lunar program. We will send the first ship to the Moon in 2021, "he said in an interview with the television network Rossia 24 collected by the agency Efe.
Rogozin also said that the US has asked Russia to design a modified Soyuz spacecraft that can fly to the moon and return to create "a reserve transport system."
According to the head of Roscosmos, the US space agency has also asked Russia to continue transporting American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) even though the US plans to resume flights with its own ships.
The current contract to transport American astronauts on Russian spacecraft will expire in the spring of 2020.
Currently the relations of Roscosmos and NASA go through a tense moment, after the administrator of the US space agency, Jim Bridenstine, canceled the visit of Rogozin to the US because of the concern of some senators.
Rogozin, who is on the list of Russians sanctioned in 2014 by the Obama Administration, said today in another interview that he was prepared to invite Bridenstine to Russia if he can not travel to the US, a move he attributed on Wednesday to current tensions. between President Donald Trump and Congress.
This Thursday the deputy head of Roscosmos, Sergei Savéliev, spoke about it with his counterpart from NASA, Al Condes, but beyond that the conversation was "constructive", it has not transcended its content.
Rogozin also noted that the launch of the Luna-26 orbiter has been postponed until 2023 and that the Luna-27 moon landing mission has been delayed until 2024.
Both missions were previously planned for the years 2022 and 2023, respectively.
The head of the Russian space agency also noted that the state corporation is studying the possibility of organizing a commercial mission to space by the «Yuri Gagarin route ", the first man to orbit the Earth.
That feat was completed on April 12, 1961 and lasted 108 minutes, with only one round around the planet.
"We have already started negotiations with potential partners who are interested," said Rogozin, who said that once Russia uses the Soyuz-2.1a rockets to launch its ships from 2020 (now uses Soyuz-FG) the number of flights may increase.
"In part this increase (of flights) will bring us direct commercial benefits," he stressed.
According to Rogozin, the accident last October of the Soyuz-FG rocket, which launched a spacecraft, whose capsule had to return a few minutes to Earth when the emergency systems were activated has not diminished confidence in the Russian agency.
When the landing took place safely, the incident "has convinced the Americans, the Europeans and our cosmonauts that, regardless of what happens to the carriers (…) our ships are safe and return to Earth." , He said. EFE