Russia plans landing on the Moon by 2018
Russia has begun to develop manned spacecraft for flying to the Moon. The testing launches of these spacecrafts will start in 2015. Russian scientists also plan to develop the methods for landing and taking off from the lunar surface, inter-orbital tow trucks, and a spacecraft for technical maintenance of space vehicles.
The exploration of lunar surface is an integral part of the space exploration strategy till 2030, which is being developed by Russia’s state space agency Roskosmos. In the future, if sufficient funding is provided, Russia will be able to build a base on the surface of the Moon, Igor Marinin, chief editor of the News of Cosmonautics magazine says.
"Recently large water reserves have been discovered on the Moon which means that we don’t need to take water to the Moon from the Earth. It is possible to produce energy, oxygen and chemical substances which serve as fuel components right on the Moon. This makes the lunar exploration much cheaper than it was regarded in the 1970-s. Lunar exploration is a natural step for our country where cosmonautics has always been one of the driving forces of the national technical development, together with the nuclear industry."
The establishment of joint ventures can push forward Russia’s space industry. Earlier the representatives of Russian Space Agency said they were in talks with European and US colleagues on setting up joint-ventures but now joint projects with partners from India and China look more promising, Sergey Pukhov, chief editor of the Aviapanorama magazine, says.
"There are good prospects for Russia’s cooperation with India and China. Besides that we have a space program on the creation of a promising transportation space system on which our machine-building companies are working now."
The Moon is the closest celestial object to the Earth and also the best studied one. In 1967, an agreement was signed on the intergovernmental level which set the international principles of space explorations including the exploration of the Moon and other celestial bodies. Under this agreement, no country can appropriate any territories on other planets and satellites. The agreement also bans nuclear weapons tests and establishing military bases on the lunar surface. That is why in the near future the Moon has chances to become not only a space object for intensive international cooperation but also the only celestial body in the solar system which has life and is free from conflicts.