Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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Russia Opens Contest to Select Cosmonauts that will Land on the Moon


(Photo : Roscosmos) Russia's Federatsiya spacecraft bound for the Moon.

Russia is recruiting more cosmonauts for its first manned landing Moon mission scheduled for 2030 and has launched a second open contest to select these people.

The first open contest to enlist new cosmonauts was held in 2012. Seven Russians passed the state exams and were qualified as cosmonaut researchers.

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The second open contest launched last week by Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos) will select anywhere from six to eight cosmonaut trainees. Roscosmos is the governmental body responsible for Russia's space science program and general aerospace research.

In its announcement, Roscosmos also said the aspirants in this second open contest will take part in the first space missions on board the Federatsiya (Federation) spacecraft that will fly to the Moon.

"The selection begins today (March 14) and it will last till the end of the year. The results will be summarized at the end of December. A group of six to eight trainees is to be selected," said Roscosmos First Deputy CEO Aleksandr Ivanov.

The selected cosmonauts will be the first to fly Federatsiya, a new-generation, partially reusable piloted spacecraft. They will be the first Russians to land on the Moon.

Roscosmos said the purpose of the contest is to select the best specialists who already have certain knack in operating space or air technologies. All will be trained under the International Space Program.

Applicants will have to undergo several selection stages. They will be tested for education and professional aptitude; will undergo a medical examination, psychological tests and physical fitness tests.

Applications will be accepted from Russians no older than 35 years who have higher education in engineering, research or other flight specialties, and a previous work record. Those with experience in Russia's aircraft-building and space rocket industry will enjoy priority.

Candidates are expected to have a knack for studying space technologies, computer skills and must speak fluent English. Applications will be accepted for just four months. Testing of candidates will begin afterwards.

Russia plans to launch a lunar probe in 2024 to scout colony locations, before landing the first Russians on the Moon in 2030.

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