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Russia's President Announces Plan for Moon Base
Now, as Russia marks the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s historic flight, there may be grounds for reevaluating that assessment. President Obama has fundamentally altered the role of NASA in the future of manned space flight, even as private companies are independently developing launch vehicles that could serve a wide variety of private or public missions. (In fact, SpaceX recently announced it plans to build the large booster since the Apollo program’s Saturn V.)
Russia is continuing to developed its manned space program, and has now announced that it is planning to build a moon base by 2030. As Terrence Aym wrote for Helium.com:
While the US has reduced its national space program to skeletal proportions—and is now picking at the bones—Russia has announced an aggressive plan to build a huge base on the Moon.
During festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first human ever to reach space, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed Russia would have a moonbase.
The promise came on the heels of a Kremlin press release that stated, in part, "Above all, we are talking about flights to the moon and the creation of a base close to its north pole where there is likely to be a source of water," it explained. "This could be achieved close to 2030."
Helium-3 has been discovered on the Moon is significant quantities. H-3 is a form of the element that can be used as an efficient material to fuel future fusion reactors.
Fusion power—the underlying nuclear power source of the stars—has been a dream of physicists and nuclear engineers for almost a century. Fusion could provide a cheap, clean, almost inexhaustible energy source to a world with energy needs growing exponentially.
Other than their announced intention to seek ways to mine Helium-3 on the Moon, an element needed for advanced nuclear fusion reactors, the Kremlin also sees a large moonbase as strategic to their long term national security.
The Russian space program is military, not civilian, based.
Helium-3 has been discovered on the Moon is significant quantities. H-3 is a form of the element that can be used as an efficient material to fuel future fusion reactors. Fusion power—the underlying nuclear power source of the stars—has been a dream of physicists and nuclear engineers for almost a century. Fusion could provide a cheap, clean, almost inexhaustible energy source to a world with energy needs growing exponentially.
Originally posted by kinda kurious
I had always felt a mining operation to process the moon's purported vast source of Helium-3 for the purpose of non radioactive fusion would have played a vital part in developing a safer, cleaner energy resource.
But I was always shot down by critics that argued the cost of returning said fuel back to Earth poses cost effectiveness issues with current propulsion schemes.
In short: Uses more energy to get it back to Earth than it would generate.
Originally posted by FortAnthem
We have to keep in mind that technology today is light-years ahead of the tech we had last time someone set foot on the moon, so it should be much easier for them to do it this time around.
Originally posted by LunaStarr
can you're imagine the hold Russia would have over us if they got this
Originally posted by Beavers
Originally posted by kinda kurious
What current space vehicle technology has the ability to carry tons of processed material back to earth and then return for more?
there's barely any gravity on the moon. lifting it off, shouldn't be a problem at all!