MOSCOW: Russia plans to establish a long-term base on the moon as it aims to colonize it over the next two decades, the head of Russia’s federal space agency, Roscosmos, has said.
Roscosmos has received hundreds of applications from aspiring cosmonauts willing to become the first Russians to go to the moon by 2030. Russia’s new lunar exploration concept is scheduled to be drafted for Roscosmos sometime over the next week, its chief Dmitry Rogozin told state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Friday.
“We’re talking about creating a long-term base, obviously not [continuously] inhabited but one that can be visited,” Rogozin told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“But in general, we will transition to robotic systems, or avatars, that will perform tasks on the lunar surface,” he was quoted as saying.
Rogozin did not indicate the dates for when the lunar base would be created.
A 2014 draft government program prepared by Roscosmos, Russian scientists and academics outlined a three-step plan toward manning the moon. Its final stage planned for 2030 envisions humans setting up infrastructure for a colony using local resources.
President Vladimir Putin pledged to launch a mission to Mars next year and has said Russia would launch a mission to the moon to explore the existence of water.