Earlier this year, Russia’s Phobos-Grunt to Mars never left Earth orbit.
CREDIT: Lavochkin Association

Plans are underway to relink Russia with the moon. Shown here is Luna-Glob.
CREDIT: Lavochkin Association

Russia’s Luna-Resource mission is on the books as part of that country’s reconnection with moon exploration.
CREDIT: Lavochkin Association

Is Russia’s Robotic Space Program Headed for a Renaissance?

by Leonard David, Space Insider Columnist
Date: 11 December 2012 Time: 05:05 PM ET

Russian space officials are rekindling their plans for moon exploration, and some say a rebirth of that country’s robotic space endeavors beyond low-Earth orbit is on the horizon.

Work is already underway on the Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource missions, to be launched in the coming years. These orbiters and landers are preludes to future spacecraft that would haul lunar samples back to Earth, ostensibly setting the stage for even grander plans, such as a Russian moon base.

Also on the Russian space books is an aggressive Venus mission, as well as an attempt at the first Mercury landing.

Read more: Is Russia's Robotic Space Program Headed for a Renaissance? | Space.

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