Lonely Planet Writer

Ready for a giant leap? Russian Roscosmos are hiring for the first moon mission

The Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) has launched the hiring process for the new space project on 14 March. Successful applicants will form the team for the brand new spaceship called Federation, which is expected to go to the International Space Station and then proceed to the Moon.

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Expedition 48-49
The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Expedition 48-49. Image by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

Federation is to replace the old Soyuz and Progress ship models. It will be able to carry up to six people and 500 kg of cargo. Its main task will be to deliver people and goods to the orbit and to the Moon. It’s also the first Russian spaceship that was named by the public: everyone could suggest a name for the ship and vote for their favourite idea.

To become an astronaut in Russia one has to be a citizen under 35 years of age who speaks English and knows some space exploration history, has higher technical or aircraft piloting education, and has no debts or criminal record.

The ship’s construction will start this summer, and the first launch is planned for 2021. If the program goes on as planned, this mission could lead to the Russians stepping on the surface of the Moon for the first time in history.

To this day, the Russian Space Agency is the only one in the world offering private space travel. Six people – Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberte among them – have taken the opportunity, having paid roughly US$20 million each to become pioneer space tourists. Elon Musk’s SpaceX program, if successful, will be the first to rival the RSA in delivering individuals to space. He’s racing against Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic in this venture.

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