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Russia works near the North Pole, eyes Moon exploration

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Staff writer |
Barneo North Pole Russian baseA Russian military aircraft had started delivering parts for a new base near the North Pole. The base is scientific but the area is attractive because of oil reserves underground.

"A Russian Air Force Il-76 is delivering the first of three consignments for the Barneo-2013 station and a team of paratroopers, who will start work equipping the station and to prepare a runway for the planes," the Northern Fleet's press officer Eugeny Kirillov told local media. He said the 50-ton consignment, including an electric power generator, food, two tractors and other equipment, would be parachuted from a low altitude.

Russia's Barneo, existing since 2000, is serving scientific and tourism roles and needed to be rebuilt each year. The Barneo project was sponsored mainly by the Russian Geographical Society, head of the Barneo international department Margarita Tersitskaya told Xinhua.

At the same time, Russia plans to send a manned spacecraft to fly by the Moon after 2030, said Anatoly Malchenko, deputy head of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (Tsniimash). The institute is managed by the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and the task "has set for after 2030."

The United States planned to fly by the Moon in 2021, Mr. Malchenko told an innovation forum. What's more important, Russia is not aiming just at the trip to the Moon: "The year of 2021 is an unbearable task for us but after 2030 the manned flight will happen. It will be not just a flight, but an exploration mission," said Mr. Malchenko. He added that the Russian space industry works on a new-generation manned spaceship and the country would launch 68 spacecraft in total by 2015.

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