No one has yet come up with a viable plan to live on the moon permanently. However, Russia does not think the idea is too far-fetched; they are planning on launching a new lunar probe in 2024 for scouting out the moon to see where it would be best to put a colony. They hope by 2030 people will be landing on the moon.
The Russians have made plans and started building the Luna 25 lander which will allow humans to explore and live on the moon. Apparently, the moon base is going to take more than 10 years and eventually it will serve as a permanent settlement. However, Russia’s first manned trip to the moon will be a year earlier, hopefully in 2029.
The president of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia), Vladimir Solntsev, made predictions at a recent space technology conference in Moscow. Thirty-eight percent of the RSC Energia is owned by the Russian state.
Right now, the Soyuz spacecraft is the only space vehicle capable of sending humans into space. NASA has been relying on the system to send their astronauts to the International Space Station with provisions and cargo.
Solntsev also said at the conference that in the next ten to twenty years the Russian manned programs will be exploring the moon. He added that Russia has developed a new and advanced transportation spacecraft, and will hopefully develop other elements and pieces for the lunar program in the near future.
The newest spacecraft that Russia is building is named Angara-A5V, which is a heavy-lift carrier rocket. It is expected to be constructed out of composites specifically made for lunar missions only.
Russia did have plans for a lunar landing drawn up in the 1960s, but they were never completed after NASA’s Apollo made the landing first. Russia has sent a few unmanned probes to the moon’s surface but haven’t sent a spacecraft to the moon since the sample return mission, Luna 24, had returned in 1976.
The country has promised to make new efforts in sending the cosmonauts to the moon. If this plan is successful, it would be considered as beating the U.S. in the attempt to return the lunar surface. The United States has been concentrating on seeing if there is a possible way of setting up a colony on Mars. However, the plans were pushed back in 2010 after they began planning to land on an asteroid, according to an announcement by President Obama. Due to the funding issues after that, the missions to the moon were seen as a low priority. However, the idea is still not out of the question and some of the officials are talking about future missions to orbit the satellite.
A recent study done by NASA has suggested that one day they will establish a human colony on the moon, too. NASA’s ideas involve the Evolvable Lunar Architecture Plan. The idea is to cut the price of building a base on the moon to about 10 billion dollars, using private rockets and mining water ice from the poles.
The study, done by NexGen Space LLC, said that it would be possible for humans to land on the moon in the next five to seven years, and it would take about 19 years to establish a base. Many people at NASA have also suggested that the agency is planning a quiet mission to land on the moon as part of a build up to landing on Mars. However, now that Russia’s plans have been made public, the United States may speed up these new ideas to try to beat Russia once again and land on the moon.
Earlier in the year, the European Space Agency said they would be interested in joining Russia in colonizing the moon. The ESA and Roscosmos said they were both working together to send a person to the moon’s South Pole to find water sources.
The Lunar 27 mission will hopefully launch in 2020 and that mission will be looking for deposits of water ice in the craters on the moon’s surface. These water deposits will hopefully help people live on the moon one day.