MOSCOW – In a major announcement it has been revealed that Russian cosmonauts will soon fly to the moon, which was stated in a public announcement by Vladimir Ustimenko, the official representative of the Roscosmos State Corporation, on Tuesday, March 19th. No specific date was given for the mission’s launch date.
“Soon,” he answered, corresponding to questions from journalists at a press conference devoted to the start of the four-month isolation experiment SIRIUS. “Especially on a cosmic scale, I would even say very soon,” he specified to TASS.
On February 9th, Alexander Bloshenko , Advisor to the Director General of Roscosmos State Corporation on Science, stated that the date of the Russian cosmonauts’ flight to the moon has not yet been determined.
Last week it was reported that Russia and the United States will launch a joint experimental project SIRIUS on March 19th, to simulate a flight to the moon and study its surface for the construction of a base.
The crew of SIRIUS will include three men and three women aged from 28 to 30 years old. The experiment will last four months.
The primary problem known to Roscosmos in developing a manned mission to the moon, is the existence of what are called the Van Allen radiation belts. These are several belts of lethal radiation that exist from 1,000 miles to 8,000 miles for the inner belt, and 12,000 to 25,000 miles for the outer belt. Both belts must be traversed in order to reach the moon, which is 252,000 miles away from the earth.
The radiation belts not only cause electronic devices to malfunction, but they are known to be lethal to human beings. According to NASA’s experience with manned moon missions:
“readings from radiation dosimeters carried by Apollo astronauts, their total dosage for the entire trip to the moon and return
was not more than 2 Rads over 6 days.
The total dosage for the trip is only 11.4 Rads in 52.8 minutes. Because 52.8 minutes is equal to 0.88
hours, his is equal to a dosage of 11.4 Rads / 0.88 hours = 13 Rads in one hour, which is well below
the 300 Rads in one hour that is considered to be lethal.
Also, this radiation exposure would be for an astronaut outside the spacecraft during the transit through
the belts. The radiation shielding inside the spacecraft cuts down the 13 Rads/hour exposure so that it is
completely harmless. “