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Moon Space Science

Russia Has Sights Set On Manned Moon Landing By 2030 207

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-moon dept.
New submitter techfun89 writes "Russia plans on sending cosmonauts to the moon as well as unmanned spacecraft to Mars, Jupiter and Venus by 2030. Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious. From the article: 'These ambitious spaceflight goals are laid out in a strategy document drawn up recently by Russia's Federal Space Agency (known as Roscosmos), the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday (March 13). And there's more. Roscosmos wants a new rocket called Angara to become the nation's workhorse launch vehicle by 2020, replacing the venerable Soyuz and Proton rockets that have been carrying the load since the 1960s.'"
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Russia Has Sights Set On Manned Moon Landing By 2030

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  • Good idea! (Score:5, Funny)

    by multiben (1916126) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:19PM (#39373259)
    It will be good to finally get back to the moon. Can't wait to find out in what ways it's changed since the last time we visited.
    • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:28PM (#39373341)

      It will be good to finally get back to the moon. Can't wait to find out in what ways it's changed since the last time we visited.

      Actually a lot has changed since we last visited - sort of. When the first moon landings happened, the technology that folks were able to take down to the surface was exceptionally limited. This means that any landings in the future will be able to carry out experiments that could have only been dreamed about in the 60s. SO, while things on the moon itself may not have changed, we are probably still going to learn a vast amount for the first time.

      Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:30PM (#39373361)

        Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

        By 2030 SpaceX will probably be running regular tourist flights; they'll be able to wave to the Russians as they land.

      • Re:Good idea! (Score:4, Informative)

        by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:40PM (#39373417)

        Also we've changed. Our understanding of the moon's history and geology has improved dramatically, which means we also know which experiments we need to perform.

        Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

        I doubt it. The embarrassment of not having a manned space program, being dependent on the Russian Soyuz (which is struggling with reliability), should have resulted in a rush order on the Commercial Crew developers; instead, the House tried to zero the CCDev budget, and the Senate's compromise severely delayed it. But if you touch a dollar of SLS, which won't launch humans until after 2021 (plus delays), Congress calls you a traitor.

      • Re:Good idea! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by poly_pusher (1004145) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:41PM (#39373421)
        Is there any advantage to sending a person? Does that accomplish anything more than just doing it? I'm all for research and exploration I just don't see the point in wasting resources on sustaining a person until we have technology which makes it more practical.
        • by Fluffeh (1273756)

          Is there any advantage to sending a person? Does that accomplish anything more than just doing it? I'm all for research and exploration I just don't see the point in wasting resources on sustaining a person until we have technology which makes it more practical.

          Well, given the time frame that they are setting, and the work that they are doing towards manned flight such as the Mars500 [esa.int] there does seem to be some hope for getting a small "colony" working and fairly self reliable. Would it be better if they had a precanned fusion reactor to go with it, ready to accept He3 and provide all the power they could ever use? Sure - although they can still go there without it.

          But who knows what you will find out when you send folks to places that you wouldn't find out by send

          • The only problem with the 3He is there is hardly any on the moon. Like 2.8ppb. So about 100x less energy dense than coal, and you still need to get the 3He out of the stuff. You would probably end up using more energy getting the 3He than you would get out of it. Now add the fact that if you can burn 3He you can also burn DD, there really is no point at all. The 3He reason to go to the moon was invented my people desperate for a reason to go back.
        • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dwye (1127395) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:17PM (#39373627)

          Is there any advantage to sending a person?

          Yes. As they put it during Project Mercury, "No Bucks, no Buck Rogers." Well, the reverse is true, as well.

          Otherwise, why haven't we covered the Moon in rover tracks by now? It is much easier than controlling them on Mars, after all, and probably easier to land them (although no aerobraking might compensate for the lighter gravity). Likewise, they could have dispersed a wide net of sensors around it, instead of depending on the few left from the Apollo landings.

          And, of course, the real expense is getting to High Earth Orbit. After that, as some hard SF writer put it, you are half way to anywhere. At least in delta-V terms.

          • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by couchslug (175151) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:53PM (#39373801)

            "Yes. As they put it during Project Mercury, "No Bucks, no Buck Rogers." Well, the reverse is true, as well."

            They didn't have the remotely-manned tech we do now or robots in quantity would have preceded men.

            If there is, at the moment, anything a man can perform which a robot cannot, that argues for improved robots rather than sending expensive tourists. We need improved robot tech for all the dull/dirty/dangerous jobs on Earth, and as we are moving to "lights out manufacturing" in advanced industries so we should seek to automate everything else over time.

            • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:55AM (#39374081)
              I'm so tired of this attitude. It's people like you that keep me from having an apartment on the moon.
              • by couchslug (175151)

                Automation is vital to the efficient production and distribution of everything you need to have an apartment on Earth.

                If you have an apartment offworld, it will take even more automation to build and assemble it. If you were to use human labor the cost would be prohibitive.

            • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by khallow (566160) on Friday March 16, 2012 @01:58AM (#39374329)

              They didn't have the remotely-manned tech we do now or robots in quantity would have preceded men.

              Robots did. There were 21 such robotic missions prior to the first manned mission. Apollo 12 [wikipedia.org] landed near (about 360 meters away) one of those robotic missions, Surveyor 3 [wikipedia.org].

              If there is, at the moment, anything a man can perform which a robot cannot, that argues for improved robots rather than sending expensive tourists.

              There is plenty. Perhaps you ought to watch some Apollo footage sometime to see it. The thing to remember here is that humans are currently the best robots out there for a number of important tasks (such as making decisions, land-based surveying and prospecting, land-based sample collection, etc). Humans have overhead such as supplies and need for radiation protection, but that boils down to mass and power needs just like any robotic payload.

              We need improved robot tech for all the dull/dirty/dangerous jobs on Earth, and as we are moving to "lights out manufacturing" in advanced industries so we should seek to automate everything else over time.

              The problem here is that this approach gets in the way of us doing cool things. Suppose I develop a new industrial process, but the prototype requires considerable human intervention (precisely because a human developed it with limited resources). I don't have the capital for this "lights out" stuff or to make sure that my workers and I are sufficiently out of harms way to fulfill whatever safety levels you're attempting to achieve here.

              I have a better idea. Let's not waste time or effort making the world ridiculously safe.

              • by couchslug (175151)

                "I have a better idea. Let's not waste time or effort making the world ridiculously safe."

                Don't presume "safety" is my main interest. That's not my goal. If .men were cheap I'd be fine with the "wooden ships and iron men" approach which worked well on Earth. We could afford to throw away both and we did. Men are now a burden. One has to ship them back and they can't be left in space until they die. Robots can be used, expended, and left in place. Their materials and parts may be used in the future.

                Robots ar

            • by kermidge (2221646)

              Is there some intrinsic necessity that it be not both man and machine? Or is it, for example, pettifogging so as to avoid the larger issues by dividing peoples' energies into squabbling over lesser ones?

            • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 16, 2012 @03:52AM (#39374757)

              They didn't have the remotely-manned tech we do now or robots in quantity would have preceded men.

              You should seriously read something about the space race and the moon landing. [wikipedia.org]

              Robots in quantity did preceed men, but history classes in the U.S. tends to focus on the manned mission since Soviet was first with all other important milestones in the space race incuding unmanned missions to the moon.

              Luna 9 [wikipedia.org] and Luna 13 [wikipedia.org] were the two unmanned Soviet probes that successfully landed on the moon before the American manned landing. The U.S. had some unmanned missions before the manned one but none of them managed to land.
              Luna 16 [wikipedia.org] landed and brought home moon soil, Luna 17 [wikipedia.org] was a Soviet rover that traveled over 10km on the moon.
              Luna 21 [wikipedia.org], Luna 23 [wikipedia.org] and Luna 24 [wikipedia.org] were other successful Soviet missions. (More automated moon traveling and soil gathering.)

              • The U.S. had some unmanned missions before the manned one but none of them managed to land.

                Not true. The Surveyor program [wikipedia.org] had seven missions in 1966-68, of which five landed.

          • by jamstar7 (694492)

            Is there any advantage to sending a person?

            Yes. As they put it during Project Mercury, "No Bucks, no Buck Rogers." Well, the reverse is true, as well.

            It's also nice to have a mechanic onhand to fix minor breakdowns. Sure beats having to send 250,000 miles for parts. We got a lot of mileage out of the Mars rovers. We could have gotten even more from them if there was a mechanic onsite to fix the glitches that showed up right after deployment.

            Otherwise, why haven't we covered the Moon in rover tracks by no

            • by wbr1 (2538558)
              Where did Heinlein say that? I cannot recall and I have read most of his adult fiction and a few of his juvenile novels. Just asking to replace the hole in my memory.
              • by kermidge (2221646)

                I don't remember, either. I seem to recall it from some interview he'd done. Might be nice if'n somebody could pin it down. At any rate, whether or not it's original to Heinlein, it's certainly not an unique view, as it was accepted as something of a truism at the Jerry Pournelle RT on GEnie, or by 'most anyone who's given the matter some thought.

              • I think it's probably TMIAHM [wikipedia.org]. I'd like to say it's because I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Heinlein's books, but in fact that's the book of his that I've read. I really ought to grok Starship Troopers some time.
          • Re:Good idea! (Score:4, Informative)

            by techno-vampire (666512) on Friday March 16, 2012 @02:36AM (#39374485) Homepage
            And, of course, the real expense is getting to High Earth Orbit. After that, as some hard SF writer put it, you are half way to anywhere. At least in delta-V terms.

            That was Jerry Pournelle, [jerrypournelle.com] the SF author and Byte coloumnist. He's said it quite a number of times over the years.
      • Re:Good idea! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:08PM (#39373583)

        When the first moon landings happened, the technology that folks were able to take down to the surface was exceptionally limited. This means that any landings in the future will be able to carry out experiments that could have only been dreamed about in the 60s.

        Probably the most prominent new capability is that due to advances in computing and robotics, these experiments can now all be carried out remotely without having to send costly meatbags to tend to them.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        It will be good to finally get back to the moon. Can't wait to find out in what ways it's changed since the last time we visited.

        Actually a lot has changed since we last visited - sort of. When the first moon landings happened, the technology that folks were able to take down to the surface was exceptionally limited. This means that any landings in the future will be able to carry out experiments that could have only been dreamed about in the 60s. SO, while things on the moon itself may not have changed, we are probably still going to learn a vast amount for the first time.

        Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

        Are there any lunar surface experiments that are better done by humans than by a robotic lander? Seems like it's an ideal place to run a remotely controlled lander since there's only a few second radio delay making control much easier than the Mars landers. And an unmanned mission would be much cheaper than any manned mission.

        I know the Russians sent up a few unmanned lunar landers, but I think they were only capable of bringing home a sample.

    • It's amazing how strongly the cold war could catalyze and realize the Moon project 50 years ago (US side), while the technology was... 50 years behind, without the help of fast computing.
      • Re:Good idea! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by symbolset (646467) * on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:34AM (#39373979) Journal

        It wasn't really all the cold war, you know. Sure, the Toynbee Tile "footballs in space" thing had something to do with it. But it had as much to do with Kennedy's skill as an orator and a desire to build some unifying non-military national mission so we could lay off the killing foreigners thing for a while. Usually for these things I cite the text of the speech, but today I find the recording of Kennedy at Rice University [youtube.com] is up on Youtube now.

        12:15 he anticipates the home PC.

        I watched it again just now. Damn, but it's dusty in here.

        • by sco08y (615665) on Friday March 16, 2012 @01:14AM (#39374173)

          But it had as much to do with Kennedy's skill as an orator and a desire to build some unifying non-military national mission so we could lay off the killing foreigners thing for a while.

          Ah, so it was a national direction chosen to redirect the competitive energy of the nation towards an end that elevated national prestige and strategic aerospace technology while avoiding direct militaristic actions that could inflame tensions.

          Clearly, little to do with any cold war.

        • It wasn't really all the cold war, you know. Sure, the Toynbee Tile "footballs in space" thing had something to do with it. But it had as much to do with Kennedy's skill as an orator and a desire to build some unifying non-military national mission so we could lay off the killing foreigners thing for a while.

          And guess why Kennedy was orating and finding a national mission,? (Hint: It's spelled "COLD WAR".) Rather than getting all misty eyed about his speech, pick up some decent space history and study th

          • by symbolset (646467) *

            That was one reason among many. It was important that we do this for national defense, to become preeminent in space - because others were really out to get us at the time and it were better if somebody master space first it were us. Competing in the Space Games was preferable to sending our boys out to fight and die in Afghanistan. It was also important for other reasons outlined there. By having a national mission focused on peaceful space we employed a great many of people, we depleted a great deal of

            • It's a shame that we've forgotten most of that.

              "We" can't forget something that's a complete fabrication of your imagination.

  • by idbeholda (2405958) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:27PM (#39373335) Journal
    The manned moon has its sights on landing in Russia by 2030.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      You're thinking Mars. Mars is the one with the active defense forces.
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Actually, I thought of this story as laudable goal, wrong country. Right country to do it is one of the overpopulated countries, like China or India, to start this w/ the goal of establishing manned colonies on the moon, and long term, reducing their population burdens. Russia has the opposite problem - an acute population shortage. Their going to the moon will have minimal benefits, but the Chinese & Indians going there will be good for both countries, as well as the world.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Moon lands on you!

    • by siddesu (698447)
      Actually, Putin's Russia is nothing like Soviet Russia. In Putin's Russia you only get a lot of promises about the Moon landing on you.
  • by gadzook33 (740455) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:43PM (#39373441)
    never stopped Russia before
    • Neither did it stop the U.S., or any other country for that matter.

      • Re:and others (Score:4, Informative)

        by gadzook33 (740455) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:12PM (#39373597)
        Well, I take some exception to that. The U.S. space program proved that no matter how dangerous the mission, there would always be volunteers. However, NASA (as far as we know) never forced men into capsules that they knew were doomed [discovery.com].
        • Re:and others (Score:4, Informative)

          by Fluffeh (1273756) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:03AM (#39373849)

          I recall seeing a show on the space race where the US boys were scheduled to have become the first men in space, but the launch was postponed for a week or so over safety concerns. In that time the Russians launched their own ship and beat the US to a man in space.

          The United States called their space travelers astronauts ("star sailors" from the Greek), and it was 3 weeks later, on 5 May 1961, when Alan Shepard became the first one in space, launched on a suborbital mission Mercury-Redstone 3, in a spacecraft named Freedom 7.

          From The Space Race [wikipedia.org].

          While there are always volunteers to do things, they have a pretty decent record of only letting them do it if they feel it is safe enough.

        • by peppepz (1311345)
          I don't believe that article. It says that the Russians sent the cosmonaut to die because:

          USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev decided it would be a nifty idea to show those Americans how space flight is done by staging a mid-space rendezvous between two Soviet spaceships

          Except that the death of a cosmonaut would go in the opposite direction: cast doubts upon the russian space program and lower the morale of future cosmonauts. So either the premise of the article is bullshit (the Russians didn't know that he would

    • by couchslug (175151)

      Nor should it now. We ALL die. We die by the millions. We die in cars, in hospital beds, and everywhere else.

      You can safely fly in modern aircraft thanks to generations of test pilots including many who died "pushing the (flight) enevelope" for the sake of knowledge. It was well worth the sacrifice.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        That doesn't mean it should keep happening that way. These days, we have computers that can serve as test pilots. There's no longer a need to put human lives at risk until after the technology makes successful flights a reasonable certainty.

  • Ambitious? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I like how the summary goes on about how ambitious it is for Russia to get to the moon in almost two decades. It took just a little over 8 years for the US to go from basically nada (hadn't even gotten into orbit yet) to landing on the moon. There is better technology out there today, plus it has now of course been done before; I would think there is some advantage in being able to look at the data from the Apollo missions (assuming NASA is willing to share it?) If anything, getting there by 2030 seems a ra

    • Re:Ambitious? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmai l . c om> on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:15AM (#39373897) Homepage

      I like how the summary goes on about how ambitious it is for Russia to get to the moon in almost two decades. It took just a little over 8 years for the US to go from basically nada (hadn't even gotten into orbit yet) to landing on the moon.

      That's the popular version - and it's also very, very, wrong.
       
      F1 engine development started in 1856 for example. At the time of Kennedy's speech, both the Apollo CSM and what would eventually become the Saturn V were already being developed as well. This is why he chose the Lunar Landing as a goal in the first place - it was a reachable scientific and engineering goal that was already quietly underway.
       

      If anything, getting there by 2030 seems a rather conservative goal, even taking into account their recent issues.

      In 1995, their goal was the Moon by 2000, and Mars by 2015. In 2000, their goal was the Moon by 2010 and Mars by 2020. In 2010 their goal was the Moon by 2020 and Mars by 2030.... The Russians have a long history of bold powerpoint plans, and basically have never accomplished any of them.

      • by rachit (163465)

        F1 engine development started in 1856 for example.

        Now that's what I call planning ahead.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      From my compendium of odd facts: If you carry a top-end smartphone in your pocket every day your personal compute capacity exceeds that of the entire US lunar space program (both flight and ground, not just mission control but engineering too) - even in the car.
  • Not a chance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by melted (227442) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:43PM (#39373447) Homepage

    It's not a coincidence that newer Russian designs don't work. The "old guard" has retired. The new — immgirated. Just the other day international rankings came out for higher education. Not a single Russian school is on the list. That's what happens when you don't even pay starvation wages to your professors. Sooner or later they throw in the towel. It's a miracle things held together this long.

    Given the scarcity of talented engineers, and the pitiful salaries Roscosmos pays to its staff, I'm kind of wondering how they expect to pull this off. They couldn't even do it when they had some of the best schools in the world (which regularly minted Nobel laureates), during the Soviet times, with essentially unlimited budget and manpower. Nowadays they can only build 20 year old rockets, and make minor improvements here and there. Put simply, after neglecting higher education for about a decade and a half, they've pissed away their technical capability to do anything they haven't already done before.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zaelath (2588189)
      The supply of ex-nazi rocket scientists has also dried up since we last went to the moon.
      • by dwye (1127395)

        The supply of ex-nazi rocket scientists has also dried up since we last went to the moon.

        Yeah, but the Soviets did not use ex-Nazis much. Their designs, perhaps as starting points, but they tried to work on home-grown talent, after they drained their captured Germans of everything that they knew. Post WWII, the Russians didn't like the Germans enough to let them around anything as dangerous as a MIG, let alone repurposed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

        • by symbolset (646467) *

          The grandparent is referring to the US use of ex-Nazi rocket scientists, notably Wernher Von Braun - chief architect of the Saturn V and previously designer of the Nazi V2 buzzbombs.

          But then we're skirting perilously close to Godwin here.

          Today I learned: more people were killed at forced labor producing the V2 rockets than were killed by the V2 rockets.

      • by khallow (566160)
        Doesn't seem to have hurt SpaceX.
      • Only the Ubermensch can build good rockets?

        (/sarcasm)

    • Re:Not a chance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Formalin (1945560) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:08AM (#39373865)

      Nowadays they can only build 20 year old rockets, and make minor improvements here and there.

      20 years? Soyuz is from 1966, and has heritage from the R-7 (designed starting in 1953, a derivative launched sputnik in '57).

      So by my count, that's 55 years, with modifications along the way, but the major ones done in the first decade or two.

      Russia's fall in engineering and science is rather tragic.

    • by Frangible (881728)
      And the old guard in the US is gone as well. And not just retired. You cannot replace people like Werner von Braun, Walter Doringer, Kelly Johnson, and Sergei Korolev. Russia may be using 20 year old designs, but here's the thing: we're begging to ride on those 20 year designs.

      When you don't have a car, you can't bitch about the year of your friend's car who's giving you a ride.

      Over 25,000 Americans lost their jobs when the Space Shuttle program ended. And you complain Russia isn't paying its people?
    • They couldn't even do it when they had some of the best schools in the world (which regularly minted Nobel laureates), during the Soviet times, with essentially unlimited budget and manpower.

      Except - they didn't have either. They had a limited budget, limited manpower, and they started years late because they didn't actually believe the US meant it. (If Kennedy hadn't visited Dallas, and Apollo subsequently pushed as his memorial - there's a non trivial change it would have vanished like so many other bra

  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:43PM (#39373449) Journal

    I hope they do another lander--or better yet a rover.

  • Launch failures (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Formalin (1945560) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:44PM (#39373455)

    >Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious.

    Not sure I see the relevance, seeing as:
    Recent failures are a blip in a long run of reliability, and
    They're going to be flying different rigs by 2030, anyway, which may be invincible, or every one may fail...

    Not sure I see much point to it, though. Maybe Putin is working on national morale, or make-work, or kickbacks to someone.

    • Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious.

      Not sure I see the relevance, seeing as: Recent failures are a blip in a long run of reliability

      What long run of reliability? The Russian boosters are no worse or no better than anyone else's. They've suffered a steady string of failures and problems across they years, and *then* comes the recent 'blip'. (Not so recent really, if you count the run of Soyuz problems running back to the turn of the century.)

      • by Formalin (1945560)

        I'd call 95%+ success on rockets reliable, no? Less than 2% fatality rate? It's not quite commercial aircraft level of safety, but, well, it is space travel, right?

        That said, I can't see them abandoning Soyuz by 2030. I'm sure they'll be running it until at least the apocalypse, and possibly after, at this rate. Kind of like Americans and B-52s.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          A less than 2% fatality rate puts it on par with the shuttle (2/135). Not exactly a glowing endorsement....

    • by khallow (566160)
      The real problem here isn't Russia's launch abilities, but rather that it's space program has made a series of unexecuted plans and promises over recent years that have turned out to be completely irrelevant. Maybe they're planning to go to the Moon, but maybe, as they've done many times before, they're just saying that they're planning to go to the Moon.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:36PM (#39373717) Journal
    The reason is that once private space is properly funded, then it will go to the moon around 2020. That will push Russia to join them. It will be as another ship (probable) or as a buyer of service (not at 100%), or more likely, a combination of these. I suspect that once bigelow puts a base on the moon, then every nation will want to go there, even if it means contracting to bigelow/IDC Dover for lunar base, and one of several up/down services (armadillo, masten, blue origin, etc). Once you are on the lunar surface, then you can set up your own base. IOW, contract with these companies to create your own services.
    • by Lotana (842533)

      The reason is that once private space is properly funded, then it will go to the moon around 2020.

      Private enterprise operate for only a single purpose: profit. What profit is there in getting anything (Be it human or probe) to the moon?

      At least some governments need to demonstrate that their dicks are the biggest in the world and use blind nationalism to motivate people to work on these profitless ventures. Paying a private company to get them there will not count, since there isn't much pride in paying someone to do it for you. My prediction is that the next person on another planet/moon will be delive

    • The reason is that once private space is properly funded, then it will go to the moon around 2020.

      Whatever you're smoking, I'd like some please. Just don't cross any border checkpoints with it, because something that powerfully hallucinogenic is almost certainly illegal.

  • by tsotha (720379) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:37PM (#39373721)
    If I had a nickel for every time the Russians announced some ambitious program I could run my own space program. Let's see if any money actually gets allocated.
  • Quick... someone send Newt to Russia.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:07AM (#39373863)

    We shouln't settle for landing a man on the Moon. We should be trying to land a man on the Moon and doing it better. This is because a new approach will advance science and engineering. Those advances will have applications on Earth. Those applications may create a new economic boom that may feed back on itself by providing real career opportunities for scientists and engineers, for both space/aerospace and terrestial industries. Recreating Apollo era technology to do science on the Moon and achieve political objectives will create a short boom/bust cycle. And maybe it will give Russia the boost that it needs over the next few years, but they (and China and India and us) should be looking towards a longerterm terrestial payoff - not just Moon rocks and nationalist pretige.

  • Hey, isn't there a US flag on the moon? That being the case, will the Russian astronauts need passports when they get there? I hope they thought this through. I'd hate to see them get deported from the moon for being illegals.
    • by mug funky (910186)

      they'll have to take their space-boots off.

    • That being the case, will the Russian astronauts need passports when they get there?

      Possession is 90% of the law. If the US isn't there to keep them out, no passports will be needed. If they can establish a permanent base, they can even claim for their own.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      No one owns the Moon, or has any sovereign rights to it [wikipedia.org]. The things that are on the Moon are still the property of where they originated. So while from a legal standpoint the Russians can go traipsing around in Neil Armstrong's footprints, literally, the moment they set foot on the Apollo 11 descent stage, they're busted. Of course, it is like the old Zen koan: if a Russian steps on a lander and no one is there to see him, does he get busted?

      There have been some rumblings of a new lunar treaty [nytimes.com] that
  • One of these time Russia will have a successful mission to Mars. Nineteenth time's a charm! (All joking aside, I would like to see these missions become a success.)

  • This is not going to happen given the political and economic situation in the country.

    The economic situation follows the political one, and there is NO NEW CATEGORIES OF WEALTH created in Russia. It's all the same thing: pump oil and gas and cut some logs and mine some metals and then sell all this stuff, but it really does not require that many people working compared to the entire population.

    The political situation is such that the old categories of wealth are plenty enough to keep a gigantic bureaucratic

  • by TCaM (308943)

    Maybe they can recover one of the lunokhod rovers, or at least some trinket from it?

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison

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