"At the end of 2018, we received a Eurocopter AS350 from the [Russian] Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure. The helicopter will be used in the program for cosmonaut training this year. This will be done in order to familiarize cosmonauts not only with how to fly aircraft but also with the vertical take-off and landing vehicles. The skills that they are going to acquire will be useful in piloting vehicles that will land vertically on other planets", Vlasov said.
In April, Vlasov told Sputnik that the centre decided to include training on helicopters in its summer program in order to work out vertical landing on Mars and the moon.
"Today, on 7 May, at 3:59 p.m. local time [12:59 GMT] a Tu-204-300 aircraft landed at the [Russian] Defense Ministry's Chkalovsky airport. It is the second [aircraft] to be received by the GCTC united aviation corps from the Ilyushin Finance Company", the centre said.
The GCTC said that several adjustments were made to the aircraft's electric power and septic systems based on recommendations of cosmonauts and the agency's medical staff in order to accommodate the space flight crew once they returned to Earth from orbit.
Last year, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, announced that Russia was planning to build its own lunar station. Russia's general designer of manned spacecraft Yevgeny Mikrin has said that the construction of the outpost could begin in 2025.