Lunar Fly-by Mission Scenario
This mission will expand the commercial space market established by the LEO test mission to truly significant scientific research funded by commercial interest sponsorships.
A Proton rocket and upper-stage booster will be used to propel the Soyuz-Inflatable vehicle around the Moon similarly to the Apollo 8 mission.
If proven possible and safe to send the vehicle in a trajectory that passes over the lunar poles, illumination techniques could allow visual evidence of the existence of water ice in the permanently shadowed craters near the poles. This would be an historical find that makes future manned lunar settlement less costly than currently planned.
Although the Zond spacecraft (a close derivative of the Soyuz) successfully flew a similar mission back in the late Sixties, the Soyuz will need some slight modifications to withstand the temperatures associated with the higher re-entry speed.
Cost of the mission will be approximately $150 million, which includes the total package of launch vehicle, spacecraft, inflatable structure, mission control and crew training.
The mission will last approximately one week.
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