Russian Cosmodrome Operator Chooses Orenburg Region As Landing Area For Lunar Missions

Russian Cosmodrome Operator Chooses Orenburg Region as Landing Area for Lunar Missions

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th February, 2021) The Russian Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure (TsENKI) has picked the area surrounding the city of Orenburg, located near the border with Kazakhstan, as the landing site for the Oryol (Eagle) piloted spaceship returning from the Earth orbit or the Moon, according to TsENKI chief designer Alexey Bogomolov.

In 2018, the choice was narrowed down to four locations. The appropriate location is supposed to be an unpopulated and non-mountainous terrain, no higher than 1,640 feet above sea level, without large rivers, woods, water basins, swaps and dangerous constructions.

"The TsENKI team ... has picked a landing area of the return vehicle in the area of the Orenburg city," Bogomolov said as quoted by the corporate newspaper.

The spacecraft's first manned flight from the Vostochny cosmodrome is scheduled for 2025.

The Oryol spaceship is being developed for deep space missions, primarily in lunar orbit. The spacecraft will also be able to replace the Soyuz launchers, currently the only means of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station.