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Russian scientists set sights on space
by Peter Lekarev
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Oct 18, 2013

File image.

Russian scientists plan to once again attempt to launch an exploratory mission on the Martian satellite Phobos - the date for the launch of the new probe entitled Boomerang is tentatively set on 2022. Moskovskiy Komsomolets talked with Igor Mitrofanov, head of the Gamma spectroscopy lab of the Institute of Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who outlined the future of Russian space exploration. Prior to the mission to the Martian satellite, scientists plan to launch a series of less complex missions - four probes to the Moon and one to actual Mars. Luna-25 is slated for a 2016 launch - the probe will spend one year on the Moon's surface. Luna-26 will be launched two years after that, in 2018 - the orbital probe will analyze Earth's satellite within the framework of the program "Moon resource." This same year Russia's Martian rover is slated for landing on the Red Planet - it's designed to fill the gaps which were missed by the Curiosity rover due to lacking hardware. Luna-27 will be launched in 2019 - it will be a Moon rover. Luna 28 will be launched in 2020 or 2021; finally, the new Phobos Mission will commence in 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the opening ceremony for the propene polymer factory Tobolsk-Polymer, which is destined to significantly improve economic figures of the Russian petrochemical industry, Izvestia writes. Its capacity is 500,000 tons of raw materials per year. To put things into perspective, that's 660 million chairs for 8500 stadiums the size of Moscow's central Luzhnii arena; 50 million car benders or enough infrastructure piping to supply 100,000 12-story residential buildings. Putin stressed that Russia needs to reduce its dependence on polymer imports and improve Russian production industry. Quote "We don't need to ship raw materials abroad, we need to process them here... We buy things we can produce, it's loss of economic benefit" end quote. The president suggested that primary applications for domestic petrochemicals should focus on road works, construction and housing and utilities. Improving the polymer industry will also cut down on useless oil gas incineration, which is employed in production, the daily notes. Energy Minister Alexander Novak promised to replace imports by Russian products by 2017, the article concludes.

On Tuesday, French shipbuilders have launched Vladivostok, the first amphibious assault and helicopter carrier Mistral-class warship commissioned by Russian Navy, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes. The celebratory event had high-ranking guests from the Russian and French militaries, including Viktor Chirkov, Commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy and head of France's Navy General Staff. Russia's ambassador to France and heads of the French state-owned shipbuilding corporation DCNS which executed the contract were also present, as well as representatives of the Russian military hardware trading company Rosoboronexport. Vladivostok, which was partially constructed in St. Petersburg, was classified as the testament of success of the French-Russian cooperation with regards to defense industries. The daily reminds that the contract for two Mistral-class ships for Russian Navy was signed in 2011 and cost 1.2 billion Euro. Vladivostok is now headed to St. Petersburg, where its outfit will be finalized according to specifications of the Russian Navy. It's expected to be fully equipped and stocked with weapons and helicopters next fall. The second Mistral-class ship will be given to Russia in the third quarter of 2014.

Lithuania's decision to complain to the World Trade Organization about Russia's ban on imports of its dairy products will delay their return on the Russian market, Russia's chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko said Tuesday. The Moscow Time writes that last Monday, Lithuania's Ambassador at the UN, Albinas Zananavicius, spoke about his country's intention to lodge a complaint with the WTO, but Onishchenko has warned against taking such a step, saying it would protract the process of lifting the ban "for an incalculably long time." He said that going to the WTO would stall bilateral talks and delay the departure of the inspection team that is planning to check the quality of Lithuania's dairy products. The newspaper reminds that Russia suspended imports of Lithuania's dairy products on October 7, with official reason being sanitary concerns. However, Lithuanian and foreign observers see the ban as the latest attempt by Russia to put pressure on the Baltic state to prevent it from signing trade agreements with the European Union.

On Tuesday Finance Ministers of European countries have adopted a decision which will add responsibilities to the European Central Bank (ECB), Novye Izvestia reports: the main financial body of the Eurozone became the cornerstone of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). ECB will start operating as the top European financial supervisor in one year, November 1, 2014. The daily notes that the SSM will unlikely concern itself with supervising the day-to-day of small financial entities: its primary function is to oversee operation of largest banks of the Eurozone: the estimated number of such banks to be scrutinized by the new entity is around 50. Overall, the ECB will monitor around 80% of bank assets of the Eurozone. One of the first steps after launch will be creation of a fund to close down problematic banks and development of a system of deposit protection for all seventeen member-states: the latter is expected to safeguard real economy from losses or at least minimize them. Some economic experts are skeptical over these ambitions, however, noting high price of the aforementioned fund; moreover, some member-states do not think it makes sense to give ECB such authority over national banks.

Kommersant has an article on the session of the Moscow government which was held on Tuesday in the wake of Moscow disorders. Mayor of the Russian capital Sergei Sobyanin admitted threat of creation of ethnic enclaves in Moscow and ordered to inspect all trading venues in the city as well as locations, known to be popular among illegal immigrants. He specifically addressed reasons for the disorders in the southern district of Moscow: quote "I think that the murder of Egor Sherbakov detonated the situation, such as the murder of the soccer fan detonated a similar story in 2010. Another thing, there is an objective factor - large trading facilities hire a large number of immigrants and natives of southern parts of the Russian federation. Such a facility, employing thousands of such people, cannot help but create tension in the area it's operating." End quote The mayor admitted that part of the immigrants working in the vegetable warehouse which was trashed on Sunday were, indeed, illegal. Admittedly, extremists exacerbated the situation deliberately, the official added. One of the proposals to remedy the situation was voiced by the Moscow Duma Commission on Legislation and Security - creative of work visas for labor migrants.

Source: Voice of Russia


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