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Russia’s lunar base to serve as stopover for inter-planetary travels after 2050

Russia’s space rocket corporation Energia unveils the likely phases and dates of implementing the national space program
A training facility at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre Marina Lystseva/TASS
A training facility at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre
© Marina Lystseva/TASS

STAR CITY /Moscow Region/, October 24. /TASS/. Russia’s space rocket corporation Energia on Tuesday for the first time unveiled the likely phases and dates of implementing the national space program in a detailed presentation at the cosmonauts training center near Moscow.

The program envisages creation of a manned Moon rover, radiation shelter, experimental production facilities on the Moon’s surface, a mineral resources production complex and many other ideas. Energia corporation hopes that after 2050 the base will be able to serve as a stopover for expeditions into deep space towards other planets.

Stage one (2017-2030)

The first stage of Russia’s Moon program is to be implemented in 2017-2030. Works will proceed along two guidelines.

One envisages selection of the site for a future lunar base. For this several space probes - Luna Glob, Luna Orbiter, Luna Resurs and Luna Grunt - will be sent to the Moon. Russia will participate in international unmanned space missions to the Moon and in creating an international Moon orbiter.

Also, the plan provides for remote sensing of the Moon, measures to practice accurate landing on the surface and examination of soil samples.

Alongside this a manned transport system will be created, such as a manned spacecraft (Federatsiya, already in the design phase - TASS), a super-heavy rocket, boosters, lift-off and landing module, a cargo landing module and relay communication hubs.

Ground infrastructures will be designed.

Stage two (2031-2040)

Preparations for deploying the lunar base will get underway. The residential, power supply and laboratory modules and a radiation shelter will be created. A manned Moon rover and other means of transportation will be developed within the same deadlines.

As Energria corporation hopes, this stage will see the first manned expeditions to the Moon, geological exploration and creation of lunar base components.

Stage three (2014-2050)

The main purpose of the third stage will be creation of a lunar base and a research program. Among the items to be created during this phase of the program there will be drilling equipment, experimental mining facilities, an astrophysical laboratory, and a medical and biological complex.

As follows from the presentation, the following tasks are to be resolved; production and use of water and oxygen, astrophysical, medical and biological research and manufacturing processes using materials produced on the Moon.

Phase four (after 2050)

The final phase envisages the use of lunar resources for deep space exploration. Energia corporation mentioned some of the equipment to be created then: facilities for the production and keeping of fuel components for spacecraft, reusable lift-off and landing vehicles, orbital assembly and fueling systems and a facility for the production of rare resources.

Other tasks to be addressed are the lunar base’s greater self-sufficiency, support for expeditions into deep space, a wider research program and production of rare resources.