The Russian space agency Roscosmos will give up on manned flights to the Moon and related activities at least until 2025, the Russian Izvestia newspaper reported Tuesday, citing the updated version of the Federal Space Program (FSP). According to the FSP for years 2016-2025, the Russian space industry will refrain from creating a lunar landing complex, a lunar orbital station, a lunar space suit and the system of robotic software for Moon flights.
"As it follows from the text of the draft program, which Roscosmos has submitted to the government for review, a decision was taken to sacrifice the lunar program that was named a strategic goal for future development of Russian space research," the newspaper said.
In 2012, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the country’s space industry, suggested setting up space research base on the Moon, and pledged to personally control and manage all the processes related to its construction and functioning in the future.
Roscosmos also decided to suspend the project, and the Federal Space Program does not include expenses for it.
The suspension of the so-called Moon Program allowed to save the budget some 88.5 billion rubles ($1.2 billion at the current exchange rate), the newspaper notes.
Earlier this year, the Russian Space Agency Energia said that the the first Russian unmanned lunar mission would be performed by 2025, while a manned moon landing was planned for 2029.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on disbanding the Federal State Agency that will be replaced with a state space corporation. The same presidential decree instructed the government "to ensure the continuity of powers of and functions transferred to the State Corporation for Space Activity Roscosmos from the Federal Space Agency".