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Russia To Establish Bases On the Moon 249

Posted by timothy
from the reopening-the-tang-mines dept.
ananyo writes "Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has said that Russia will pursue extensive, long-lived operations at the Moon's surface. 'We're not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago,' Popovkin said, through a translator at the Global Space Exploration Conference in Washington DC. 'We're talking about establishing permanent bases.' The heads of the space agencies for Europe, Canada and Russia, along with senior representatives from the space agencies of India and Japan were in Washington DC talking about the benefits of international collaboration. JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, also issued a clear pronouncement about targeting the Moon."
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Russia To Establish Bases On the Moon

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  • by vanquished (983173) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:00AM (#40086209)
    The rich are getting really creative hiding their money from the government now...
  • by Lucas123 (935744) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:01AM (#40086213) Homepage
    Nuclear waste from Earth stored on the Moon's far side explodes in a catastrophic accident, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it and the Moonbase Alpha hurtling uncontrollably into space.
  • I seriously doubt going to the moon is on anyone's mind. It's just pointless PR that means nothing.
    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      It's just pointless PR that means nothing.

      Looks like they've been learning from NASA. Just spout off some shit about going to Mars and the Moon, setting the date far enough into the future that you know neither you nor the current administration will never have to answer for it when it doesn't materialize. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

    • . . . with the World Economies in Decline . . . the Moon stands out as the next Emerging Market!

      . . . invest now! The Moon Economy will soon leave all the World Economies in the dust . . . !

  • by ACK!! (10229) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:06AM (#40086275) Journal
    they still fund their space program? Uh I got nothing.
  • That's no moon...

  • by Lev13than (581686) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:07AM (#40086295) Homepage

    Popovkin went on to announce that Drax Industries has been awarded the tender for construction of the new shuttle fleet and moon base. He went on to note that Drax's recent announcement of a toxic orchid-farming operation in the Amazon jungle was pure coincidence, and by the way did anyone know of an orthodontist in Washington who knew how to work with steel?

  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:08AM (#40086321)

    seriously, who's going to volunteer to live in a metal box on a barren rock with no women and no sex and a high risk of cancer due to all the cosmic rays?

  • Yes, you are talking.

  • 3 areas of concern (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:11AM (#40086361)

    3 areas of concern as seen on the ISS

    1) If you go full international everything will take 10 times as long and cost 10 times as much. That does NOT mean you should go isolationist. If the Americans want to drop a lab literally next door, thats OK, even if they want to share power and air thats OK. But you have to be firm about each item being owned and responsible by precisely one nation (or at most a very small group) and you cannot make the whole project or even subprojects depend on that one nation's work. If the Germans want to land a really cool telescope and click it into position next to the base like a lego block, fine. But if you need a full UN treaty to launch some oxygen tanks then you're completely F'd as those guys are utterly ineffective.

    2) Permanent as in ongoing perpetual expansion like a stereotypical overseas military base, or permanent as in we've not decided when to abandon ship yet? The danger of not being in perpetual expansion mode is you'll probably end up like the ISS, in construction for 99% of its lifetime and the week after the last bolt is tightened, its time to deorbit and give up. Permanent as in we intend to expand or improve this base to the tune of $1B/yr in perpetuity is a pretty good idea. Project management with a defined yet nebulous end date after which its managerially abandonded is a great idea for making "a" disposable rocket engine. Its a terrible idea for an entire base, or a station, or even a vehicle program.

    3) Please don't do the space shuttle and ISS thing of promising everything to everyone for free and instantly, and then scaling back until its a miserable failure compared to its original goals. So the ISS could hold 24 crew. OK, lets build everything to the assumption that the hotel labor load will be 2 people working full time, thats less than 10% of the crew changing air filters and gaskets or unclogging toilets or whatever the hotel load is on a station. Whoops we're imploding the crew size to 6, now a minimum of 1/3 of the on-orbit time is spent maintaining the station. Whoops. Suddenly a station where most of the people do scientific research turns into an aerospace version of "this old house". Whoops.

    • by dkf (304284)

      Permanent as in ongoing perpetual expansion like a stereotypical overseas military base, or permanent as in we've not decided when to abandon ship yet? The danger of not being in perpetual expansion mode is you'll probably end up like the ISS, in construction for 99% of its lifetime and the week after the last bolt is tightened, its time to deorbit and give up. Permanent as in we intend to expand or improve this base to the tune of $1B/yr in perpetuity is a pretty good idea. Project management with a defined yet nebulous end date after which its managerially abandonded is a great idea for making "a" disposable rocket engine. Its a terrible idea for an entire base, or a station, or even a vehicle program.

      Technically, a project has got to have a defined timeframe and goals. If you're going to maintain it indefinitely then you manage it as a product or service.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:14AM (#40086389) Journal

    It was the devastated by war Soviet Union that launched the first satellite, the first man, the first space station, has the record for longest space presence AND is right now the only country of launching humans into space...

    They were the first when they were poor and are the only now they are poor again. Something tells me that having a rich street full of day traders does not have much impact on a nations capacity to venture into space. It really isn't all that expensive either if you don't fluff you budget with pork.

    Can Russia do it (again)? No idea, but being a backward 3rd world nation sure didn't stop them before. And the west is currently begging to use that 3rd world nations tech. And it is not Russia that right now is bankrupting itself with insane military spending.

    The tech for setting up a moonbase exist, all it takes right now is will power. And in many ways, going into space is a lot easier then fixing the economy, or getting the banks under control etc etc. It is hard but managable task that more or less requires a leader who tells the rocket scientist to do it, and give them food, shelter and materials. Russian scientists are not spoiled, they farm their own food and launch rockets.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Can Russia do it (again)?

      If Sergei Korolev [wikipedia.org] hadn't died in 1966, they probably already would have. I think his death probably hurt the Russian space program more than scarcity of funding, or even the fall of the USSR, ever did.

    • And the west is currently begging to use that 3rd world nations tech.

      I think "begging" is a little unfair. We're paying a fair price for the launches we need, I believe as of now through 2016. People who beg are asking for favors. While I'm all for expressing disgust with the state of the US space program, I think this characterization is unnecessary.

  • Putin may now have a challenger. Even after the Russian presidential race has come to an end, Newt Gingrich is now convinced that he can win the presidency with a grassroots, insurgent campaign.
  • The US Patent office, MPAA an RIAA are collaborating together to find a means of "litigate to mitigate" to keep Russia from developing their space program further. Spokesman from the MPAA has stated their strategy is to tie up the russians in court so they have no time to work on the moonbases.

    NASA was unavailable for comment as their phone number has apparently been disconnected. A reply from someone at the "Contact Us" area of the NASA website stated that their phone number is indeed active, but they've

  • Cold war commie thing again?

    (too much repetition I'm told) Idiots.

  • That the Germans have outsourced the job to Russia to complete Operation Iron Sky?
  • A Russian moon base that "accidentally" happens to have offensive moon based warheads, lasers, magnetic rail guns or any other type of threatening technology facing the Earth.

    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/strategic-forces/156-electro-magnetic-rail-gun-2.html [defenceforumindia.com]

    Referncing this article:
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/02/railguns-for-space-launch.html [nextbigfuture.com]

    "The source of this post is this 10 page IEEE paper, Launch to Space With an Electromagnetic Railgun by Ian R. McNab, Senior Member, IEEE The cost of electricity

  • WHY? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sentrion (964745) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:07AM (#40088237)

    Why would Russia need a permanent moon base? I could understand if Singapore want some more elbow room, but Russia already has more cold, isolated, and desolate real estate than any other country.

  • ... we must not have a moon base gap [imdb.com]."
  • Obviously, what is needed is a unified National Space Pogrom to assimilate all independent US space entrepreneurs into a Monster Bureaucracy.

    That way, we'll have ANOTHER 40 years of no progress in space!

  • Since the USA has planted the Flag and owns the moon, I am wondering what fee will be changed for the use of the land for "Moonbase" privileges. I would hate to see the Government have to evict the Russians for squatting and/or not paying rent. Of course, the US must maintain regulatory compliance with Moon renting laws.

    Just because a highway, payed for by the Government, does not exist, DOES not mean people have the right to claim land. It may take a boat, a plane, a rocketship to get to the owned terri

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