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    This image provided by the European Space Agency, ESA, shows an artist·s impression depicting the separation of the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, named Schiaparelli, from the Trace Gas Orbiter, and heading for Mars

    ESA Plans to Work Together With Russia on Moon Exploration

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    ESA plans to cooperate with Russia’s Roscosmos on lunar research, Rene Pischel, the head of the ESA's permanent mission in Russia, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to cooperate with Russia’s Roscosmos on lunar research, Rene Pischel, the head of the ESA's permanent mission in Russia, told Sputnik.

    "If the Agency’s member states give their go-ahead at the upcoming ministerial conference in December 2016, the ESA will cooperate with Russia in exploring the moon," Pischel said.

    Roscosmos deputy chief Sergei Savelyev confirmed earlier that the two space agencies were mulling joint flights to the moon as continuation of their work on the ExoMars program, a joint endeavor to search for traces of life on Mars.

    Savelyev said Russia was already implementing a raft of lunar projects that had ESA’s attention. Roscosmos is now identifying areas of potential cooperation, he added.

    Additionally, ESA has plans to set up a "moon village," which is a permanent lunar outpost, possibly launching numerous missions to the moon with the help of other countries.

    This project can benefit from the launch of the Luna-27 lander by Roscosmos in collaboration with the ESA, which is in charge of developing the spacecraft’s automated landing system and a package for collecting and analyzing lunar samples.

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    Roscosmos, European Space Agency (ESA), Russia
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