It has been over 46 years since the crew for the United States landed on the moon. The date was July 20th, 1969, when Apollo 11 brought the first humans to the Moon. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to step foot onto the lunar surface. Since this historic day, we have not yet to see another human reach the Moon.
However, this may soon change, as Russia has announced plans to land its first cosmonauts on the Moon before 2030; Europe is also eager to take part in the mission as well.
On Tuesday, at a space and technology conference in Moscow, the head of Roscosmos Energia announced, “A manned flight to the moon and lunar landing is planned for 2029.”
Russia will be teaming up with the European Space Agency, which made history this past year when they landed the first spacecraft on a comet.
“We have an ambition to have European astronauts on the moon,” Bérengère Houdou, head of the lunar-exploration group at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Center, recently told BBC News. “There are currently discussion at international level going on for broad cooperation on how to go back to the moon.”
While they are several decades behind the United States in this area of space exploration, the mission is still exciting. Russian and Europe have expressed interest in establishing a permanent base on the moon; they have already begun taking steps to achieve this goal.
Roscosmos Energia previously announced last month that they will be sending a lander, Luna 25, to the moon’s south pole in 2014. Roscosmos is looking to investigate the lunar surface for future lunar bases.
The Luna 25 mission was actually initially proposed in 1997 but has suffered a number of delays. The help from Europe appears to be exactly what this mission needs to finally get off the ground. According to Tech Insider, construction on the spacecraft has already begun.
We have seen a reignited interest in deep-space travel, and a mission to the Moon will only help to fuel the interest in continued space exploration. This collaborative effort in space exploration is exciting to see as the world looks to take on even more dangerous missions, such as Mars.