We sort of ignore the moon these days, because we've BEEN THERE and ugh it's kind of out of the way. But Russia says it's going back in 2015 with an unmanned probe.
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]