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Russia plans unmanned moon mission in 2015
Tuesday - 1/15/2013, 4:09am EST
MOSCOW (AP) - The Russian Space Agency says it will send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2015 from a new launch pad in the country's Far East.
Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that the rocket booster would deliver a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) space exploration vehicle with up to 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of scientific equipment that would search for water and take soil samples.
Popovkin said the moon-bound spacecraft would be launched from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome. President Vladimir Putin has vowed to invest $1 billion in building this launch pad in the Amur Region not far from the Chinese border.
Russia's last and only moon mission was accomplished in 1973.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)