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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Russia eyeing the Moon for colonization

•, Colin Druce-McFadden

Old Cold War rivalries aside, Russia is a key player in the maintenance and supply of the International Space Station (ISS) and has kept a steady interest in the stars in recent years. The gateway to those stars, by Russian estimation, is the Moon.

A committee comprised of members from The Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, and the private firm Roscosmos has just laid out a roadmap that would place a Russian colony on the Moon by 2040. The colony will eventually function as a staging ground for human expansion across the solar system, and the committee wants Russia to get this interplanetary gas station up and running before the competition.

Starting in 2016, a series of lunar rovers will begin scouring the Moon's surface for a site rich in minerals and water deposits. By 2028, manned missions will begin, though nobody will land on the Moon's surface until at least 2030, though, and it'll then take about ten years to get a permanent base up and running. The project will cost approximately $816 million all told, with funding split between private and public sources.

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