Russian Lunar Base
The United States had previously invited Russia to participate in the "Artemis" moon landing plan, but Russia finally chose to reject the US invitation and instead cooperated with China to build a lunar research station. Russia chose to carry out a lunar project with China instead of continuing to cooperate with the International Space Station outside of LEO (Low Earth orbit, also known as low earth orbit, refers to the orbit where the spacecraft is at a low altitude from the ground). The press office of the Russian Space Agency stated that the official announcement of the establishment of an international lunar research station is to coincide with one of the upcoming international events. St. Petersburg will host the 2021 Global Space Exploration Conference in June.
The Russian lunar exploration program was compiled by the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences on behalf of Roscosmos in 2014. IKI proposes to use the Moon as a scientific testing ground for large-scale astronomical and geophysical research. It is proposed to create an optical observatory on the Moon and an automatic radio telescope-interferometer, consisting of separate receivers distributed over the surface of the Moon. Despite the fact that the program was not officially published, its main provisions were undoubtedly taken into account when developing the Federal Space Program for 2016-2025. The program for studying and mastering the Moon is divided into stages, united by a common strategic goal and differing in the methods of work on the Moon. In total, four stages of work on the Moon have been identified, although the experts themselves speak of three, since the latter is not considered in their program.
First stage: 2016-2028 - Until 2028, it is planned to study the Moon by automatic stations, select a site for expanding the human presence. It is already known that it will be at the South Pole, but the exact location will be chosen only after the automatic missions provide all the information about the resources necessary to supply the future base, including energy (sunlight), the presence of ice, etc. In addition, by 2025 it is planned to begin sketch design of automatic research stations of a new generation, which will be able to start studying the Moon in the second half of the next decade and after 2030.
Second stage: 2028-2030 - The second stage is transitional. The developers of the program expect that by this time the country will have a super-heavy carrier rocket with a carrying capacity of about 90 tons (in low Earth orbit). For these years, it is planned to practice the operations of landing a manned expedition on the moon. It is planned to fly cosmonauts to a circumlunar orbit on the new PTK NP spacecraft, circumlunar docks of the spacecraft with fuel modules and a reusable one with a takeoff and landing apparatus. The latter will have to select samples of ice-containing soil from the lunar surface several times, which astronauts can deliver to Earth. The operational training program also includes refueling the takeoff and landing module in the lunar orbit.
Third stage: 2030-2040 - During this period, a "lunar test site" with the first elements of infrastructure should not be created. Manned flights are only intended for short visiting expeditions. The goal of the astronauts will be to maintain equipment, machinery and scientific equipment.
Stage four: beyond the planning horizon - After 2040, a permanently inhabited lunar base with elements of an astronomical observatory should be built on the basis of the lunar test site. The base workers will be engaged in monitoring the Earth, experimenting on the use of lunar resources, developing new space technology necessary for expeditions into deep space.
Russia plans to create a permanent base on the moon and work out a transport scheme for the delivery of helium-3 to Earth. This was announced on 25 January 2015 by the head of RSC Energia Nikolai Sevastyanov at the opening of the 30th Korolev Readings. "We plan to create a permanent station on the Moon by 2015, and from 2020 industrial production of a rare isotope, helium-3, may begin on the Earth's satellite," he said. According to scientists, humanity must move beyond the Earth to search for new environmentally friendly sources of energy. It may well be the isotope of helium-3 for thermonuclear energy, which is abundant on the moon. According to experts, the satellite contains at least 1 million tons of helium-3, which can fully provide terrestrial energy for more than 1000 years.
An important role in the creation of the lunar base, according to Sevastyanov, will be played by the ISS, which by 2009 should "grow" to 12 compartments and turn into an international spaceport. The station's crew by that time will consist of 6 people, who will have to mount the structures of the future base in orbit. The new reusable Clipper spacecraft, scheduled for commissioning in 2015, will deliver astronauts and cargo to orbit. The manned Clipper and the interorbital tug Parom, developed by Energia, form a single reusable transport and cargo space complex that will serve the industrial development of the Moon. Thanks to the new transport system, Russia will also be able to provide commercial services for the delivery of various, including bulky, cargo into space.
In September 2018, Russia refused to participate "in secondary roles" in the US Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway program. The visit to the United States of the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, scheduled for February, also did not take place. Since March 2014, the head of the state corporation has been on the sanctions lists of the United States and the European Union.
In November 2018, the Russian Academy of Sciences adopted a concept for the exploration of the Moon, according to which the first cosmonauts will be sent to the Earth's satellite by 2035, and elements of a full-fledged lunar base have been created by 2040.
By December 2018 Russia had plans to deploy a full-scale base on the Moon between 2036 and 2040, according to a draft decision for a joint meeting of Roscosmos and the RAS Council on Space. "Roskosmos" and the Russian Academy of Sciences within three months were to form the lunar program of Russia and present it to the president and the government. As follows from the document, the work of the lunar base will begin with "the delivery of large-tonnage cargo and the saturation of the lunar test sites with various scientific experiments."
At the end of 2025, with the launch of the base module, it was planned to begin construction of a Russian national station in the orbit of the Moon. Subsequently, ships and takeoff and landing modules will dock to the orbital station for the landing of astronauts on the surface of the Earth satellite.
The project did not specify what a full-fledged lunar base will look like. However, this was indicated in the 2014 proposal of the working group of Roscosmos and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Such a base was planned to be deployed in the region of the south pole of the Moon, taking into account the maximum long-term illumination, constant radio visibility from the Earth and the presence of local natural resources for the life support system.
The base includes modules with life support systems and radiation protection for astronauts' accommodation, Earth space monitoring centers, power supply and communication facilities, space stands for experiments on the processing and use of lunar matter and natural resources, stands for testing and testing new space vehicles and technologies. A lunar astronomical observatory should be located around the base.
The first Russian expedition to the Moon will start in 2031, after which such missions are planned to be made annually. The construction of a Russian lunar base is scheduled to begin in 2034. This follows from the message of the Central Scientific Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering (TsNIIMash) - the head institution of the state corporation "Roscosmos". As specifies on 09 February 2019, during the expeditions it is planned to study the possibility of movement of astronauts on the surface of the Earth satellite using a heavy lunar rover, as well as test robotic systems.
The landing area of ??the Russian lunar station "Luna-27" may in the future turn into a zone of Russian national interests, where a lunar base will be created, said Igor Mitrofanov, head of the nuclear planetology department of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, at a meeting of the RAS Council on Space 18 March 2020. “It is known that our American partners adhere to the concept of 'national parks' around the spacecraft that they landed on the moon in the past. If we also adhere to this concept, then an area within a radius of several kilometers around the landing site of the Luna-27 spacecraft will be in one way or another, it is connected with the implementation by the Russian Federation of prospective plans for the exploration of the moon, "added Mitrofanov.
In 2011, the US government raised concerns about protecting its property on the moon. Then NASA released the report "Recommendations for organizations operating in space: how to protect and preserve the historical and scientific value of US government-owned lunar objects." The document gives recommendations on what and how commercial organizations and other states should do in the event of a landing on the moon, so as not to damage American property. The list of "national parks" includes the landing sites of the Apollo missions, automatic vehicles, equipment brought by the Americans, a disc with the messages of the leaders of 74 countries of the world, the tracks of American astronauts and rover tracks on the surface of the Earth satellite.
Russia cannot afford to participate in the American project of the lunar station Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway (Deep Space gateway) in its current form, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said 22 September 2018. "Russia cannot afford to participate in this project in its current form on a sideline. We are creating our own transport system," Rogozin said at a conference in Korolev. According to him, Russia can create a lunar scientific station together with the BRICS countries. "Whether there will be a Russian lunar station on the Moon or an international one is the subject of negotiations. Perhaps it will be a joint station with our friendly countries - the BRICS countries," Rogozin said at a conference in Korolev.
Russia will not allow the privatization of the Moon, no matter who such initiatives come from, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said 25 May 2020. And on the air of the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station, he stressed that such plans are illegal. “The moon interests us primarily from the point of view of its origin and preservation as a satellite of the Earth. But the Moon is not the ultimate goal. We are not going to participate in the lunar race, which resembles an election competition,” Rogozin said.
The Kremlin said that Trump's plans for the commercial development of the moon require study and legal assessment. Rogozin himself earlier with equal to US plans for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. "The principle of the invasion is the same, be it the Moon or Iraq: the creation of a" coalition of willing "is initiated (as an option, a" coalition of willing "), and then, bypassing the UN and even NATO, if there is someone in doubt, forward to the goals. Only another Iraq or Afghanistan will come out of this," he tweeted.
On 25 October 2020 the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin announced the inability of the United States to implement the lunar program without the Russian Federation. The exploration of the moon is possible only in international cooperation, no state can cope with it alone, said Rogozin. "I think that the future conquest of the moon will not be able to be nationalized by some country, they will not do without us," Rogozin said on Channel One, commenting on the plans of the United States to conquer the moon. The head of Roscosmos is confident that cooperation in space between Russia and the United States will continue in any case. "We will come to the aid of the Americans. I think that the Americans will not refuse to help us," he said.
In January 2021, Russia withdrew from the American Deep Space Gateway lunar project. She joined him in September 2017 and undertook to create airlock modules for the lunar station and provide a super-heavy rocket for the delivery of structures. Russia is not interested in participating in the American lunar program, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin wrote 25 January 2021. So he commented on the reports that appeared that Russian experts withdrew from the expert group to discuss the circumlunar station Gateway. "How can you be excluded from some" lunar group "if we have never entered there? Yes, NASA sent us some documents a couple of times, held a briefing (not a discussion, but a briefing). But we have repeatedly declared that they are ready to take part in a project where all participants are equal," said the head of the state corporation. To participate in the Gateway, Russia had planned to revise the Federal Space Program, but the new head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, considered that Moscow should not participate in the project on a sideline.
On 09 March 2021 Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of Roscosmos State Corporation, and Zhang Kejian, Head of the National Space Agency, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the governments of Russia and China between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation on cooperation in the creation of the International Scientific station (MNLS). Roscosmos State Corporation and KNKA, guided by the principles of parity distribution of rights and obligations, will promote cooperation in the creation of an open access missile system for all interested countries and international partners, aiming to strengthen research cooperation and promote the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes for the interests of all mankind.
The International Scientific Lunar Station is a complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and / or in the orbit of the Moon, designed to carry out multidisciplinary and multipurpose research work, including the exploration and use of the Moon, lunar observations, fundamental research experiments and technology verification with the possibility of long-term unmanned operation with the prospect of a human presence on the moon.
Within the framework of the project for the creation of the MNLS, Russia and China, using their experience in the field of space science, the creation and use of space technology and space technologies, will jointly develop a Roadmap for the creation of the MNLS, as well as conduct close interaction in planning, justification, design, development, implementation, operation the project for the creation of the MNLS, including its presentation to the world space community.
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