Russia will renew its lunar program with a new moon landing mission, President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday.
“We need to successfully stand up to the challenges of space exploration,” Putin said during a visit to the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur region. He also said that Russia would continue work on a “next-generation spaceship,” as well as nuclear space technology.
The Luna 25 mission plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon’s surface later this year.
The project, which continues a Soviet space program of the same name, has been planned for the past decade but experienced repeated delays.
The Luna 25 launch date was initially planned for 2016, before being pushed back to 2018 and 2021.
The mission hopes to be just one part of a wider program, with plans to unveil an International Lunar Research Station with China in 2035.