10 Oct 2019 10:48

Russia to send rover to Moon in 2027 - Academy's Space Research Institute

MOSCOW. Oct 10 (Interfax) - Russia will send a rover to the Moon as part of the Luna-28 automatic landing mission, according to Maxim Litvak, head of the Neutron and Gamma Spectrometry Lab of the Nuclear Planetology Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Space Research Institute.

"A medium-sized autonomous rover will be deployed in addition to the return of samples to the Earth," Litvak said at the 10th Moscow Solar System Symposium going on from October 7-11.

"Originally, it [Luna-28] was supposed to consist only of a landing module with the principal task of bringing samples from the lunar south pole to the Earth," Litvak said.

The rover will weigh between 30 and 100 kilograms and will have a speed of up to 3 kilometers per hour, a top range of 30 kilometers, and a service life of one year. It will be equipped with a robotic arm.

Luna-28 is due to land near Luna-27 (which will go on mission in 2025) so that the former can collect lunar soil samples from the latter.

Luna-28 may be built by the German Aerospace Center, Litvak said.

Earlier reports said that Luna-28 would fly to the Moon in 2027 in order to return samples of frozen soil to the Earth. A larger rover will be transported to the Moon by the Luna-29 lander in 2028.