WASHINGTON, March 14. /TASS/. The exploration of the Moon may lay the basis for studying other planets of the solar system, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeyev said on Thursday.
"In general, the issue with the lunar program is not so obvious because, as it would seem, what kind of science can be practiced on the Moon? Moreover, we demonstrated long ago, back in the late 1960s, our possibilities to fly to the Moon, make a flight around it and land on the Moon’s surface," the scientist said.
"And now, after quite a long period, after several decades, we are again beginning to move in this direction but to move already in a new composition as China has also emerged as a major player," he said.
"Of course, you can engage not only in science on the Moon as it is possible to look for natural resources there and deal with other issues: as you know, the Americans have their program of creating what they call the Deep Space Gateway," Sergeyev noted.
"Indeed, if you think about what the issues of the Moon’s exploration are linked with, then, perhaps, this is, in the first place, an understanding that Mars is quite far away in terms of the exploration of planets while it is yet unclear how it is possible to work on Venus because there are completely extreme conditions there by our standards but, on the other hand, we still have to explore neighboring planets, if we want to continue engaging in space exploration in the future," the scientist said.
"That is, we should have some neighboring planet and understand how we can move forward. That is why, the Moon is, nonetheless, our closest object where we can organize such sort of extra-terrestrial existence, even though there is least of all interesting there than on Mars and Venus, proceeding from general considerations," the scientist said.