A spacecraft will “conduct a demonstrative manned circumlunar test flight with the subsequent landing of cosmonauts on [the Moon’s] surface and their return to Earth” by 2030, according to a leaked strategy document from Russia’s space agency, Roskosmos.
Moscow has periodically announced ambitious plans for space exploration in recent years, but this is the first time a firm deadline has been set for a manned lunar mission.
How successful will this project be? An NPR story from just two days ago provides reason to be cautious:
For Russia's Troubled Space Program, Mishaps Mount
NASA says Russia is still a trustworthy partner, but critics say the once-proud program is corrupt and mismanaged — good at producing excuses, but not results....But since December 2010, Russia has experienced at least six mission failures, including the loss of a $163 million Mars probe....Lisov says some projects, like the failed Mars probe, took so long to complete that parts of them were obsolete before they were launched. In the end, he says, the only option was to launch it, or give it to a museum.