Russia, U.S. to hold joint test flight to Moon in 2019 – Institute
Russia and the U.S. will hold a joint four-month experiment imitating a flight to the lunar orbital station Deep Space Gateway in 2019 in Moscow, Russian Institute of Science said.
The press service of the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Science (IBMP) said this on Friday.
In 2016, the IBMP and NASA signed a cooperation agreement on conducting a series of experiments dubbed SIRIUS.
Within its framework a number of experiments dedicated to the flight to the Moon will be conducted by 2025.
In September 2017, NASA and Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos signed an agreement on the possibility of the creation of a lunar orbital station called Deep Space Gateway in the 2020s.
“The scenario implies the imitation of a flight by a six-member crew to the Moon, docking at a space station similar to the Deep Space Gateway.
Then within two months the crew will be conducting research and will decide where to land, after which four crew members will land on the Moon,” the press service said.
The experiment will take place on the IBMP’s premises, where a complex for experiments isolated from the outside world has been built. The research itself will kick off in 2019.
Apart from the flight and work on the station the experiment implies the recreation of the experience of walking out on the surface of the Moon.
This stage will take up to 10 days. After that four crew members will have to lift off from the Moon and dock to the station and return back to the Earth with their colleagues.
According to the IBMP, the crew will be international with at least two women. The experiment aims at testing the equipment necessary to ensure the welfare of astronauts far from Earth, checking the medical aid system and other essential issues.
Before the four-month experiment there will be two weeks of preliminary research at the end of 2018.
Then in the second half of 2019 an eight-month experiment is expected to start, which will be followed by a year-long project due to kick off at the beginning of 2021.
Moreover, Russia and the U.S. have announced their intention to keep the cooperation going after the end of the already planned missions during the period from 2023 to 2025, the press service concluded.
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