According to reports by Russian newspaper Izvestia, Russia plans to have a lunar base and moon colony in place by 2030.
Izvestia claims it received a government document from the Kremlin that details the moon colony project. The project has been inspired by a collaborative effort between the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Roscosmos federal space agency, Moscow State University, and many other Russian space research institutes. The three-step plan reveals how Russia plans on successfully establishing a human colony on the moon.
The first stage in the plan involves landing a robotic spacecraft on the moon by 2016. By 2028, Russia plans to have the capabilities to send manned missions back and forth. By 2030, Russian astronauts would be sent to the moon to plant the groundwork for a lunar colony.
“Leading space powers will expand and establish their rights to convenient lunar footholds to ensure future opportunities for practical use,” the document predicted.
The price estimates just to complete the first stage of the project range from 28 to 160 billion rubles ($800 million to $4.5 Billion USD).
The report said Russia hopes to encourage private investors to help finance the project. Andrei Ioannina, a Member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, said it is “Difficult to imagine that a government would be prepared to spend trillions to create lunar bases, despite the fact that they have lots of other, more pressing problems: medicine, education, the army.”
An additional benefit for having a moon base is that “The moon can also be used as a launchpad for future missions into deep space,” said Ivan Moiseyev, Research Chief of Russia’s Institute of Space Policy.
China, Japan, and India have all recently announced they intend to send a manned mission to the moon in the near future.
Last month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced in state-media, “We are coming to the moon forever.” Rogozin continued, calling for a broad space exploration policy, “Flights to Mars and asteroids in our view do not contradict exploration of the moon, but in many senses imply this process.”