Russia, you’ll remember, originally beat the United States to that particular achievement in 1959, 10 years before Neil Armstrong touched down. The new craft will be called Luna-Glob (Moon-Globe), and will be the first spacecraft launched from Russia’s new facility in eastern Amur. Here are some details provided by Roskosmos:
Russian space officials have said Luna-Glob would consist of an orbital module and a probe that would land on the moon and beam back information about samples it takes from the surface.
The Luna-Glob mission had previously been slated for 2009 and 2010, but ran into financial problems both times. Now, though, Russia has committed $US70 billion in funds from 2013-2020. Both NASA and China have missions scheduled to go back to the moon in 2013 as well. [Reuters]