Russia Plans Its First Moon Landing for 2031

Flickr / sjmck

Russia is now recruiting cosmonauts for the country’s first-ever human mission to the moon, set for 2031.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos announced Tuesday that it’s looking for between six and eight cosmonauts to operate a spaceship now in development to fly to and land on the moon.

So why is Russia going to the moon? It has to do with the European Space Agency’s plans to build a moon base by the late 2030s.

The selected cosmonauts will operate the new-generation Federatsiya manned transport ship, which is designed to fit four people and fly to the moon. Roscosmos plans to conduct a manned test launch of Federatsiya in 2023.

It seems that Russia is working to revitalize its glory days from the Soviet era, although it’s not vying for a manned mission to Mars yet. Instead, it’s focusing on getting humans to the moon. The last time humans set foot on the moon was 45 years ago.

Marina Lysteva

Russia currently has 30 cosmonauts, and 14 of them have never been to space. Roscosmos will be accepting applications for the next four months, and the agency is requiring IT skills, knowledge of a foreign language, and an engineering degree or pilot training or experience in the aviation or space industries.

Cosmonauts also must also undergo psychological and physical tests, including gynecological examinations for women. One of these fitness tests include being able to cross-country ski for 5km.

Marina Lystseva

The moon’s become a trendy destination as of late. SpaceX plans to send two private citizens around the moon late next year. China will also send a probe to the moon in November to collect moon rock samples and to land a probe on the dark side of the moon next year.

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