MOSCOW - Russia should set itself the "super goal" of building a large base on the Moon it could use to achieve "leaps" in science and to give a new sense of purpose to its troubled space program, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.

Calling the task "big, prestigious and political", Rogozin said the country's space industry - which has suffered a string of costly and embarrassing failures - urgently needed a tangible stimulus to force it to focus.

"There is a lot of competition among countries in the space sector and so we must have a big super goal that could pull forward science and industry; that would enable the country to escape from the morass of problems, which have kept us captive for the past 20 years," Rogozin told the Vesti FM radio station.

"Why not try to build a big station on the Moon that would be a base for future 'leaps' of science?"

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