Russians Aim for Landings on Moon, Mercury, Phobos and Europa

During the International Academy of Astronautics Summit on Wednesday, Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov laid out Russia’s ambitious plans for Solar System exploration, which includes a sample return from Phobos and the Moon as well as landings on the planet Mercury and Jupiter’s moon Europa. The meeting, which was aimed at deepening international cooperation in space, was attended by 27 heads of space agencies.

The Russian space agency and ITAR-TASS reported on Perminov’s comments, which also included remarks about nuclear propulsion, climate change monitoring, asteroid missions, space situational awareness, and the International Space Station.

ROSCOSMOS PRESS RELEASES AND ITAR-TASS REPORT

Roscosmos Head Perminov mentioned that Russia planned to carry out a set of new important solar system exploration initiatives.

“Currently, Phobos-Grunt project is begin developed. Russian scientists used to take part only in international missions, and we appreciate our partners for providing the opportunities which brought a lot of good scientific results.

Our Lunar program was seriously pushed by the data obtained recently. Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource design continues. Russian scientists and engineers also have future plans to deliver lunar soil to the Earth and to build a lunar outpost”.

According to him, Russian project Mercury-II which intends landing on the Mercury will provide significant auxiliary data for the missions of NASA (Messenger) and ESA-JAXA (Bepi-Colombo).

The other project, Laplas-Europe-II, covers a landing mission to Jupiter’s icy satellite Europe. The dates of the mission are close to the dates of NASA’s and ESA’s similar projects.

Perminov emphasized that “asteroid and comet hazard awareness project is also a very important aspect for global international space cooperation”.

He said that preliminary analysis of the mission to Apophis asteroid had been done. “This is interesting from different points of view, including flight tests of prospective spacecraft.”

Nuclear Propulsion

Roscosmos Head added that “there is no system in the world similar to a new nuclear propulsion system to be used in spacecraft developed in Russia”.

The technology will allow bigger vehicles to be sent into space, making manned missions to Mars possible. It will also mean new and more efficient type of satellites to monitor weather and gather intelligence.

Climate Change Monitoring

Russian space systems can improve climate change monitoring capabilities, Perminov stated. “various climatic factors are to be studied thoroughly. Central Russia faced this problem this summer, which was very hot and fire hazardous.”

He noted that “modern space systems will be deployed by Russia in different LEO, including GSO and high-elliptical ones.” He named these systems – Meteor-M, Resource-II, Arcon-2M, Electro-L, Arctica-M. Operations of these systems will contribute significantly into global climate change studies, Roscosmos Head added.

Space Situational Awareness

Russia is in position to contribute into space situational awareness programs, Perminov stated. Roscosmos Head emphasized that “natural disaster response capabilities can be enhanced by advanced Russian natural and industrial disaster space monitoring system Kanopus-V.

According to Perminov, IGMAS project (international global natural and industrial emergency aerospace monitoring system) proposed by Russia as an international initiative, has “good prospective”. “IGMAS implementation, together with similar international systems GEOSS and UN’s SPYDER, is in line with the priorities of Russia’s foreign policy”, Roscosmos Head concluded.

International Space Station

Russian Federal Space Agency supports the opinion of the partners in the International Space Station program to prolong the orbital outpost’s life till at least 2020.

ITAR-TASS quotes Mr. Perminov: “Russian Governments provided its positive resolution in this issue”.

“ISS is a unique space lab capable of resolving a wide range of issues for the benefits of the program partners. Thus, our goal is to maintain effective and most complete utilization of the station within next 10 years”, Perminov said.

According to him, “moving this way gives the opportunity to have new understanding of the ISS utilization, to prepare for future space missions and opens new prospective of international cooperation”.