Russia’s space agency is planning to land a person on the Moon and start construction of a permanent base by 2030, according to reports by TASS, the official state news agency.
A Russian official is quoted saying “[w]e are coming to the moon forever.”
The agency plans to assemble a 20 tonne base complex in orbit around Earth, then assemble a spacecraft to move the base into lunar orbit. Russia claims construction of some components has already started. The launch of the first robotic probe which will collect scientific data and scout possible base locations is scheduled for 2024.
The space agency projects assembly of the Moon base will take over 10 years once components are in place. The program is projected to cost $217 billion through 2050 according to an infographic created by TASS. The base will allegedly be powered by solar energy and will primarily be used for scientific research.
Studies show the United States could return to the Moon within five to seven years and build a permanent base 10 to 12 years after that. Currently however, NASA has no plans to return to the Moon.
The Obama administration stymied two separate projects initiated during the Bush administration designed to return Americans to the Moon by leaking information to the press and threatening to veto the projects. The Obama administration has diverted large portions NASA’s funding for lunar launches into environmental science programs designed to research global warming.
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