MOSCOW, Russia – Construction of a Russian base on the Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite, can occur the head of the Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yuri Kostitsin said.
Earlier, news surfaced that Russia plans to install a complete base on the Moon between 2036 and 2040.
The base should contain modules capable of protecting cosmonauts from radiation and providing everything necessary for life, Earth’s space monitoring centers, energy and communication facilities, recycling and lunar substances and natural resources and development of new space equipment and technologies. An astronomical observatory should surround the base.
“Now, despite the concrete timeframe of the federal space program on base-building on the moon, this question seems more than utopian. But a base on the moon in case of successful colonization is necessary for us, particularly for flights to Mars and orbital stations, and it is more realistic to hold a meeting on the Moon because of the lower gravity compared to Earth’s gravity,” commented Kostitsin.
He pointed out that the lunar rocks are like Earth’s, that is, there is material for building a base. The lunar basalt, compared to the terrestrial, contains more aluminum and titanium needed for construction.
“For a base to be built on the Moon, it is first necessary to establish life and solve the issue of protecting cosmonauts against radiation. For this, it is necessary to build shelters with lunar material, keeping atmosphere inside them. water is a prime concern. We need to understand how much water there is, how accessible it is and how to release oxygen from it,” explained Kostitsin.
Russia’s current lunar plan is to develop a new launch vehicle for superweapons over the next decade and use it to create a permanent surface foundation sometime in the 2030s.
Roscosmos is also collaborating with other space agencies on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a project to build a manned space station orbiting the Moon that would serve as a relay point for satellite missions and beyond, where spacecraft could refuel as needed.
The plan is for Russia to provide several modules for the station, but in September Rogozin questioned the collaboration when he complained that the US wanted Russia to “play the second violin” on the project.