Turns out annexing Crimea was just practice for something far more important – taking over the Moon.
Nearly a half-century after the US won the Space Race, Russia is ready to take another crack at lunar exploration. Determined to start (and win!) round two of the Space Race, Russia is planning to put a manned colony on the Moon by 2030 and is racing to dispatch the first robotic rovers to explore the Moon’s surface within two years. And why not? Putin’s already snatching up old Soviet territories, might as well throw the Moon in there too.
According to a leaked draft of a government document that Izvestia newspaper claims to have obtained, the first stage of the ambitious “Colonize the Moon” project may start as soon as two years from now.
The Concept of Russian Lunar Program outlines a three-step plan toward manning the Moon.
- Step 1: Send four automated rovers to the Moon and check out the Moon’s natural resources.
- Step 2: Send manned missions to the Moon’s orbit and check things out further.
- Step 3: Send cosmonauts to the selected site on the moon’s surface to survey the area and set the infrastructure for an initial colony using local resources. Also, set up an Earth monitoring observatory… possibly entitled the Kosmic-intelligence Gathering Building.
The leaked document stressed the importance of speedy lunar exploration, saying Russia needs to step up their game because “leading space powers will expand and establish their rights to convenient lunar footholds to ensure future opportunities for practical use” in the next 20-30 years. And while the program envisages some kind of international cooperation on the project, it emphasized that the “independence of the national lunar program must be ensured regardless of the conditions and the extent of the participation in it by foreign partners.”
In other words, Russia, and Russia alone, will claim dominance over the Moon. Although *technically* America already dominated the Moon back in 1969 with the clever use of a flag – and if Russia ever tried to remove the flag, well then…. I guess NASA would get some more funding?