Russia Is Going to Send a Man to the Moon

Roscosmos has invited bids for preparation of manned flights to Earth’s natural satellite

As RIA Novosti news agency reported, Roscosmos, a state corporation of Russia responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research has announced a tender for scientific research of issues associated with manned flights to the Moon.

The tender’s details have been published on a website dedicated to state purchase contracts in Russia. According to the bidding specifications, the agency wants tender participants to develop all the proper engineering requirements for future Moon missions. The total cost of a contract is $23.3 million. 

«The main goal of the research project is the development of proposals, recommendations and requirements for technology, components and systems of a space aircraft that can make it possible to implement a robust manned flight to the Moon, as well as safe operations on the Moon surface and on lunar orbit,» the agency said.

Moreover, this is the very first time Roscosmos has officially confirmed its plans to use an Angara class rocket along with a small transport space vehicle for their manned flight to the Moon. 

In December 2020 Dmitry Rogozin, CEO of Roscosmos wrote on his Facebook page that the agency will embrace the Angara for launches at the first phase of the Moon program. New heavy rockets should be designed later on, he said.

The current project requires bidding applicants develop engineering requirements for small lunar aircraft, which can be used for landing on the satellite’s surface. In August 2020, Rogozin told the RIA Novosti news agency that there is no way to land astronauts on the Moon without such a vehicle. However, back then the agency had never required its design.

In addition, Roscosmos wants a contractor to design a new spacesuit suitable for operations on the Moon (and even make its prototype), medical kits for astronauts, habitable and energy modules for a lunar station and a cargo rocket to transport supplies from Earth to the Moon.

Also, the document requires designing of a super-heavy rocket, manned transport spacecraft and a lunar takeoff/landing vehicle.

The bidding applicants have to get the first bunch of proposals done by the end of 2022. The entire project should be ready by the middle of November 2025.

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