The Russians are Building a Base on the Moon

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( — December 21, 2019) — MOSCOW – Russia will build a base on the moon that will be a platform to test various technologies for further space exploration – permanent residents will be robots and human crews will come from time to time, the Russian news agency TASS reports.

Part of the base will be an observatory with telescopes that will search for asteroids whose paths are dangerously close to Earth.

TASS reported that Russia’s Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) has already commenced working on a concept of a module that will transport cargo between the Moon’s surface and an orbital lunar station.

“Energia is preparing proposals on a transport module that would be capable of landing on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite and of subsequently taking off,” a rocket and space industry source told TASS.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said that the corporation plans to create a “universal lift” upon a request from international partners. The possibility of cooperation with NASA or BRICS countries is being considered, the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, Igor Mitrofanov told TASS. He also said commercial use of the lift was possible, in order to compensate for the project’s expenses.

Roskosmos, the Russian space exploration agency, is currently developing a comprehensive plan and has set the location for the base which will be located at the south pole of the Earth’s satellite.

The site has desirable relief and conditions, enough light for solar panels, craters casting shadows, and ice reserves for fuel and raw materials, explains Alexander Bolshenko, head of the Science and Advanced Projects Division at Roskosmos.

The Russian Moon base will be a safe place to test technologies for further space exploration, such as smaller nuclear reactors which are currently being manufactured by Russia, a source told TASS.

According to scientific portals, the robots would be permanent members, composing the entirety of the crew of that base, while the human crew would only be in transit or temporarily “away”, that is. Human engineers would perform tasks that the robots are not capable of doing on their own.

Russia recently sent its `Skyboat F-850` robot, better known as Fedor, to the International Space Station. “We have chosen the platform for future planetary robotic systems. It will be a robot on feet and wheels, which will cross over obstacles either by rolling over them on wheels, or by bypassing them in steps,” a source from Roskosmos announced.