Thursday, May 24, 2012

Russia to create permanent base on the moon

The Moon is our closest neighbour, and so far it has been the only place outside the Earth where human beings have ever set foot. Us humans live exclusively on Earth, but science fiction has frequently portrayed stories in which we populated other planets. A first step to make this a reality is to set up permanent bases on the moon, something that the Russians are actually planning on doing.

Although no definite plans were made public, the Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed there are talks about creating permanent bases on the moon. It is not yet clear what they would look like, but they could possibly provide permanent shelter to astronauts. Japan is also aiming for the moon: their space organisation said they have made it their next target for human exploration, but again no definite plans were announced. 
Meanwhile, the American space organisation NASA plans to have humans on Mars by 2033. Astronauts would have to collect rocks on the Red Planet and bring them back to Earth for the sake of science. Again, we are only talking about goals here so it is currently unknown how they are going to pull it off. It is likely new rocket technology is required before launching people in the direction of Mars. Nevertheless, NASA already successfully landed a couple of times on the planet to deliver their Rover vehicles, that recently sent us a beautiful picture of the Martian landscape. 
All these plans sound terribly exciting. Ever since the Lunar landing, humanity has not pulled off any equally ground-breaking astronomic endeavours, but setting up permanent bases on the moon and travelling to Mars would definitely be in the same line of awesomeness as the Apollo 11, that landed on the Moon in 1969.

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