Russia plans to land its first cosmonauts on the moon by 2029 and European astronauts may be joining them.
The head of Roscosmos Energia, Russia’s answer to NASA, made the announcement this week at a space and technology conference in Moscow.
The Americans beat the Soviets to the moon in 1969 in the culmination of the famous ‘space race’ when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the lunar surface.
The Soviets had also secretly planned a manned lunar landing which was abandoned in 1970 after Apollo 11’s historic voyage. This only became public knowledge in 1989 in the dying days of the Cold War.
Along with Roscosmos, the European Space Agency (ESA) is also keen to put European astronauts on the moon.
The two international space agencies are reportedly in discussions to begin a manned moon programme, possibly resulting in a permanent lunar base.
Roscosmos is set to send the Luna 25 robotic robotic spacecraft to the moon’s south pole in 2024 with construction on the probe having already begun.
The ESA has previously investigated the possibility of a 3D-printed moon base.
Having already conquered the moon, NASA has its sights set on deep-space missions, including a Mars landing slated for the 2030s.
Image credit: ESA