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    Russia Plans to Start Moon Exploration Jointly With Partners

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    Russia intends to explore the moon with its new partners from other countries.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia plans to start exploring Earth's moon alongside partners from other states, a senior Russian space official said Thursday.

    Last month, Russian space agency Roscosmos said it hoped to send manned missions to the Earth's natural satellite by 2030.

    "We are going to include the moon program on our agenda soon. We are discussing these issues together with our new partners," said Vladimir Mitin, a deputy head of the manned program department at Roscosmos.

    The official did not specify which countries would be teaming up with Russia.

    Russian moon exploration plans include sending unmanned spacecraft both to the surface and into lunar orbit.

    In September 2014, Roscosmos said it was planning to launch a full-scale moon exploration program in 2016-2025.

    In October 2014, Lev Zeleny, head of the Russian Space Research Institute, said that the start of Russia's unmanned lunar program had been delayed until 2018.

    The former USSR was the first country to physically explore the moon when the Soviet Luna 2 spacecraft successfully landed in 1959.

    The last Soviet mission to reach the moon, Luna 24, successfully achieved its mission in 1976.


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