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New deep space ‘race’ has begun, says Russia's space chief

New deep space ‘race’ has begun, says Russia's space chief
Russia has entered a new space competition, according to the head of the country's space agency, Roscosmos. The new “competition” is focused on manned space flight and deep space exploration.

“Now we are entering a new stage of a certain competition with leading space powers, related to future manned programs, including in deep space,” Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.

Rogozin also revealed that he recently talked to the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev and discussed the details of the Moon program and specifications of payloads needed for that.

Given the complexity of space exploration any “space race” – contemporary or the one belonging to the Cold War era – is actually a sort of “cooperative competition,” Nathan Eysmont, chief fellow at Russian Institute of Space Studies, believes.

“It doesn’t mean that everybody is working with their elbows and racing somewhere to be the first one. It might be surprising, but without cooperation there won’t be any competition altogether,” Eysmont told RT.

The first Russian cosmonauts are expected to walk on the surface of the Earth's only natural satellite by 2030. The Moon program involves development of a super-heavy lifter and landing/ take-off module.

Ahead of the much anticipated Moon mission itself, Roscosmos will need to perform a number of test launches, including of a Don-type super-heavy carrier rocket. The Don-type rocket is expected to be able to carry a payload of a whopping 130 tons to the low Earth orbit and up to 32 tons to the orbit of the Moon. The manned mission to the Moon will be also preceded by a launch of a, yet-unnamed, lunar module.

Aside from performing the Moon mission, Rogozin mulled establishing a permanent base on the satellite last year. The base, if it comes to fruition, will be inhabited by remotely-controlled “avatar” robots, according to the Roscosmos chief.

Also on rt.com Pandora, anyone? Russia plans to set up moon base inhabited by ‘avatar robots’

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