MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russia may build the first manned base on the surface of the Moon in 2030, the chief of the nuclear planetology department at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, Igor Mitrofanov, told TASS on Friday.
On Monday, Roscosmos corporation said Russia had plans for building its own base for space crews on the surface of the Moon. The possibility of cooperation with NASA or BRICS countries is being considered, the corporation said.
"I believe that Russia’s first inhabitable module on the surface of the Moon will emerge around 2030 or a little later. It will be the first forepost. Not a full-scale base yet, but a kind of guest house for visiting expeditions," Mitrofanov said. He believes that Russia is capable of carrying out such a program on its own both technologically and financially.
The first module of such a base will be equivalent in size to the module of the International Space Station. It will be planted firmly on the Moon’s surface and covered with a one-meter thick layer of lunar soil, which would protect it even from the effects of strong solar flares.
Mitrofanov said Russian cosmonauts would be able to move to the module from landing capsules, which are relatively small in size. The module would be equipped with a life support system using lunar resources, including water ice, which might be used to make fresh water and oxygen and, in the longer term, hydrogen that might serve as propellant in space rockets.