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2 Nov, 2018 14:17

Russia to have permanent moon base – space chief

Russia to have permanent moon base – space chief

Russia’s plans for moon exploration are to be updated within two weeks, but Moscow still wants to have a permanent base on its surface, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said.

Rogozin, who was appointed Russia’s space chief in May, announced the looming lunar changes in an interview with RIA Novosti, as he was outlining his plans for a major overhaul of the space industry.

“We expect the suggestions from the Academy of Sciences and the Science and Technology Council of Roscosmos to come very soon. Within two weeks they are expected to present their vision for exploring Moon,” he said. He didn’t offer further details about how the program may change, but said plans for a surface base would remain in it.

Russia’s current lunar plan is to develop a new super heavy-lift launch vehicle over the next decade and use it to create a permanent base on the surface sometime in the 2030s. Roscosmos is also collaborating with other space agencies on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a project to build a manned space station orbiting Moon, which would serve as a relay point for missions to the satellite and beyond, where spacecraft could refuel as necessary.

The plan is for Russia to provide several modules for the station, but in September Rogozin put the collaboration into question, when he complained that the US wanted Russia to “play the second fiddle” in the project.

In the interview, Rogozin explained his plans to integrate various Russian space industry producers into three giant enterprises, which would be responsible for rocket engines, rocket hulls and instrumentation. He also promised to double the number of space launches next year compared to 2018 and gave a progress report on rocket projects, including the Soyuz-5 rocket and Angara rocket family.

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