Russia will launch probes to several planets and their satellites, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said Thursday.
The probes are expected to study the moon and the Martian satellite Phobos, as parts of a dozen of projects in astrophysical and solar research before 2023, Roscosmos said.
The Astronomical Research Center (A.R.C) mentioned that the federal space program stipulates five planetary research projects by 2015, including research on Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. In addition, a lunar surface probe also will be sent to study the Moon, Roscosmos said.
A total of 9.6 billion rubles (327 million U.S. dollars) have been assigned from 2006 to 2011 for the projects and the development of instruments for the Mars-Surveyor research vehicle.
Roscosmos also plans 10 projects for solar research and the Sun-Earth interconnection, with 8.4 billion rubles (286 million dollars) allocated in 2006-2011. Six more projects will start between 2014 to 2020.