The top-management of S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) presented a rough estimate for its advanced manned program, which will allow Russia to send astronauts to the Moon. Last week at the meeting of the Board of Roscosmos (Federal Space Agency), president of RSC Energia, Vitaly Lopota, said that the implementation of Lunar exploration program (elaborated in 2012) will require about one third of all funds allocated for space programs in Russia during the period until 2025 (about 1 trillion rubles), Izvestiya reports with reference to a source.
In late 2012 the ex-head of Federal Space Agency, Vladimir Popovkin, successfully defended the draft program “Space activities of Russian Federation” for the 2013-2020 period (the program’s budget was 2.3 trillion rubles).
«Taking into account the draft Federal Space Program for 2016-2025 (has not been signed yet) and the draft Federal Target Program for development of Russian cosmodromes, we can say that the total amount of money spent on space activities in 2020-2025 will far exceed 1 trillion rubles», — a source close to Roscosmos said.
Vitaly Lopota confirmed that this refers to one third of the funds allocated from the budget for space activities for the period until 2025: «Yes, that’s what I said – in total one third of the funds allocated for space activities will be enough to implement this ambitious manned program».
The major costs will be connected with development of a super-heavy launch vehicle able to place into orbit a payload of 70-90 tons (in future its payload will be increased to 120 tons). The head of Roscosmos, Oleg Ostapenko, has spoken about these plans before. In general, Russia needs such rocket to reach the Moon. That is why RSC Energia has already started development of a new manned transport spacecraft, which should replace Soyuz spacecraft after 2020. According to RSC Energia, the cost of this program (includes development of the manned transport spacecraft, emergency escape system, a block for assembly and protection of the rocket’s elements and a number of ground facilities) is about 160 billion rubles (at 2012 prices).