An Orthodox priest conducts a blessing in front of the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft set on the launchpad ahead of its upcoming launch with International Space Station crew, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan March 20, 2018. (REUTERS PHOTO)
MOSCOW, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia plans the country's first manned mission to the moon in 2031, RIA Novosti news agency reported Saturday, citing a document by the Russian Central Research Institute of Machine Building.
The crew members are expected to conduct astronauts' activities on the moon and implement tasks set by the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Russia plans to send a rover to the moon to transport astronauts in 2032. The second expedition team will test the vehicle.
A year later, astronauts are expected to take long-distance trips on the lunar rover to carry out scientific experiments and test robotic systems.
Russia aims to start the construction of a lunar base in 2034 and it will continue into 2035.
Russia is actively implementing a lunar program through 20200, aiming to send astronauts to the moon, President Vladimir Putin said in April 2018.
The Federatsiya spacecraft was nearing completion, while work had begun on creating a rocket for the moon projects, he said.