Russia’s territorial ambitions go far beyond Earth. The country is planning to set up a permanent base on Moon by 2030. Last year, President Vladimir Putin had outlined a draft government program to put a permanent Russian colony on the lunar surface by 2030. Now the TASS news agency has learned from sources within the rocket and space industry that the manned mission will require six launches of the Angara-A5V heavy-lift carrier rocket.
Everything depends on Russia’s draft Federal Space Program
Sources told TASS that the launches will be carried out from Vostochny cosmodrome and the Plesetsk cosmodrome with very small intervals between the blast-offs. However, this ambitious project could become a reality only if the draft Federal Space Program 2016-2025 includes the development of Angara-A5V rocket, manned transport spacecraft, lunar boosters, and other necessary technology and infrastructure.
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Each of Russia’s six Angara-A5V launches will send a new module to the Moon. Once all the modules have been sent, a manned mission will be launched to set up the base. China has successfully placed a robotic explorer on the lunar surface. India and Japan are also working on their manned missions to explore the Moon. NASA is also planning to return to Moon as estimated costs of building a base on the lunar surface have declined by almost 50%.
Roscosmos plans to launch the first manned mission in 2028
Russian space agency Roscosmos plans to send a lander called Luna 25 to the south pole of Moon by 2024. The lander will investigate the lunar surface and identify locations for the future lunar bases. Only then the six Angara-A5V rockets are likely to carry modules to the lunar surface. Roscosmos plans to launch a manned mission in 2028 to orbit the Moon, testing the space systems for eventual landing.
The human landing is expected to take place in 2029 or 2030. After that, the Russian cosmonauts will spend roughly 10 years building up the base. While Roscosmos is looking to colonize the Moon, NASA is working to send humans to Mars in 2030s.