According to Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency V. Popovkin, it is likely that Russian cosmonauts will land on the Moon by 2020. Citizens of the Russian Federation, engineers or doctors by education, may apply for the program to be selected for the expedition. The Russian Federal Space Agency also announced its plans to build research stations on Mars. All that is yet to happen in future so why not look back into the past to see what space programs the Soviet Union and Russia had.
On October 4th, 1957 Soviet Sputnik-1 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, to become the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth orbit and trigger a space race between the USSR and the USA.
On November 3rd, 1957 Sputnik-2 became the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit and the first to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika. Laika died a few hours later from overheating and stress (in 1957 it was announced the dog died 6 days after the launch).
On August 19th, 1960 the dogs named Belka and Strelka spent one day in space and safely returned to Earth.
On April 12th, 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space. He spent there 1 hour 48 minutes.
Vostok-1 launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Y. Gagarin aboard.
Nikita Khrushchev gives a hug to cosmonauts G. Titov and Y. Gagrin after 25-year old Titov became the second human to travel into outer space. He spent 25 hours there. Titov remains the worldâ€™s youngest cosmonaut to travel into outer space.
On June 16th, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. A second woman was sent to space just after 19 years. It was S. Savitskaya.
On March 18th, 1965 Alexey Leonov became the first human to conduct a spacewalk.
On February 3rd, 1966 Luna-9, an unmanned spacecraft, became the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon to transmit photographic data to Earth.
Widow Komarova gives a kiss to her husbandâ€™s portrait during his funeral held on Red Square in Moscow on April 26th, 1967. Vladimir Komarovâ€™s spaceflight on Soyuz-1 made him the first cosmonaut to fly into outer space more than once, and he became the first human to die during a spaceflightâ€”when the Soyuz-1 space capsule crashed after re-entry on April 24th, 1967.
Soviet scientists examine two turtles that returned to earth after their journey to the Moon, 1968.
On November 17th, 1970 Lunokhod-1 became the first roving remote-controlled robot landed on the Moon.
Venera-9 was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. It consisted of an orbiter and a lander. It was launched on June 8th, 1975. The orbiter was the first spacecraft to orbit Venus, while the lander was the first to return images from the surface of another planet.