Russia’s space agency is planning to build a manned moon base – launching modules into space on six separate rockets.
Russia plans to launch a lunar probe in 2024 which will scout possible locations – before landing a man on the moon in 2030.
Construction of the Luna 25 lander has already begun, the official state news agency Tass has reported.
Once the components are in place, assembly of the moon base will continue over ten years.
Moscow has previously said that it envisages the base being permanent.
Last year, deputy premier Dmitry Rogozin said: ‘We are coming to the moon forever.’
In an article in the government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta he wrote, ‘’The moon is not an intermediate point in the race. Ot is a separate, even a self-contained goal.
‘It would hardly be rational to make some ten or 20 flights to the moon, and then wind it all up and fly to the Mars or some asteroids.
‘This process has the beginning, but has no end. We are coming to the moon forever.’