Russia plans to place positioning satellites around the Moon

December 3, 2018  - By
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The Orientale Basin in a 4K NASA video of the lunar surface using observations from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Photo: NASA)

The Orientale Basin in a 4K NASA video of the lunar surface using observations from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Photo: NASA)

Russian positioning satellites could circle the Moon by 2040.

In a draft document describing Russia’s program for lunar exploration, plans include deployment of navigational and communications satellite groupings in lunar orbit.

The document, adopted at a Nov. 28 joint meeting of Roscosmos and Academy of Sciences officials, was obtained by Russian news agency Sputnik, which described it here.

According to the document, the tasks described for 2025-2030 include “the delivery to the Moon of a series of spacecraft for orbital research and the establishment of a global communications and positioning system.”

The concept envisions the deployment of a lunar satellite navigation constellation between 2036 and 2040.

Russia’s Earthly navigation constellation is GLONASS.

A Roscomos press release Nov. 28 says a moon base is the agency’s top priority. “The interest of mankind to the moon is associated primarily with the fact that unique regions with favorable conditions for the construction of lunar bases were discovered on the satellite. The implementation of the lunar program will be held in several stages until 2040.”

Russia will reportedly implement its new strategy in three phases: the launch of an orbital station, a manned mission to the surface, and the eventual construction of a permanent base.

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