The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has announced plans to establish a permanent manned base on the moon within the next 15 years. Roscosmos aims to launch a probe to scout Lunar locations in 2024, and has already started construction on the Luna 25 lander that will send its people up to Earth’s satellite in 2030, Russia’s official state news agency Tass reports (via Yahoo).
During the space race between the US and Soviet Russia in the Late-1950s and 1960s, Russia was way ahead of its Western rival, launching the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957, and putting the first man in space, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The Soviet space program, however, suffered a severe decline – the details of which were kept secret until Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost (openness) policy in the 1980s – and was soon usurped by NASA, who landed Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, in 1969.
‘’The moon is not an intermediate point in the race. Ot is a separate, even a self-contained goal,” Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Premier, wrote in the Government’s official newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “It would hardly be rational to make some ten or 20 flights to the moon, and then wind it all up and fly to the Mars or some asteroids. This process has the beginning, but has no end. We are coming to the moon forever.”