Russia's space agency plans unmanned moon mission in 2015
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-07M space ship blasts off from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP / Dmitry Lovetsky)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:39AM EST
MOSCOW -- The Russian Space Agency says it will send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2015 from a new launch pad in the country's Far East.
Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that the rocket booster would deliver a 500-kilogram space exploration vehicle with up to 25 kilograms of scientific equipment that would search for water and take soil samples.
Popovkin said the moon-bound spacecraft would be launched from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome. President Vladimir Putin has vowed to invest US$1 billion in building this launch pad in the Amur Region not far from the Chinese border.
Russia's last and only moon mission was accomplished in 1973.
Please read our guidelines before commenting on stories.