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back to article Russia plans 2025 Moonbase, 2035 Mars shot

Russia will put cosmonauts on the Moon by 2025, the head of the country's space agency has said. A permanent manned base might follow. "According to our estimates we will be ready for a manned flight to the Moon in 2025," Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov told AFP. He said that Russia could establish a lunar "inhabited station" …

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Jon

False economics

_According to NASA, the Apollo programme cost $19.4bn. Assuming 1970 dollars, that would equate to $104bn-odd today, which is a lot of oil and gas revenue for the Kremlin to spend._

Fine, and back in 1970 a simple chip with a couple of AND gates on it cost $1000. Now we have private individuals throwing sub-orbital shots. Whilst NASA is still tendering the shuttle replacement, the Russians / Chinese will probably be bouncing around on the moon because *they're* not afraid of taking a little risk...

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Naughty Russians

Dont they realise the Americans own the moon. What with their flag being there and that being apparantly how ownership is gained nowadays.

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Re: Naughty Russians

Actually, the first flag on the moon was Soviet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_2

And the flag on the North Pole was just a stunt. Russia is going through international organizations to make their claim:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_claims_in_the_Arctic

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Anonymous Coward

Err

Shouldn't the article read: "Manned moon visits have only ever allegedly been carried out by the USA, with six Apollo missions landing astronauts on the Earth's satellite from 1969 to 1972."?

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@ Chris:

Being the only country to have put people there would sort of lend credence, wouldn't you think?

Alas, however, for a treaty was signed prohibiting signatories from claiming territorial rights on the moon.

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@ Chris

That being the case, Utah is apparently owned by pirates.

http://www.pirate-party.us/

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Law

@ Michael

"Alas, however, for a treaty was signed prohibiting signatories from claiming territorial rights on the moon."

Didn't stop the US from building nukes tho... treaties are there to be broken when it suits!! ;)

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@Naughty Russians

To quote Eddy Izzard:

"Dashed cunning usage of a flag!"

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Also

Let's not forget to put "allegedly" before any mention of:

1) The holocaust

2) Black enslavement in America

3) The existence of so-called "geologist"

4) Diet Coke

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Re: False economics

All the "AND gates" in the world will not accelerate a spacecraft to 10 km/s. It still costs on the order of $10,000 to put a kilogram in orbit -- unchanged since the 60s.

It's not the "high altitude" bit that's hard/expensive.. it's the "high speed" part.

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False economics...?

If the moon really is full of Helium 3 (as they suspect) then it could turn out to be very profitable indeed.

e.g. 15 tons of Helium 3 could power the whole of the USA for a year.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium_3

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@John Stag

It's not like they are going to put up a mining station up there. Not yet anyways. Dang, sometimes I wonder how cool life will be after I'm gone. Moon this, mars that.

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He3 is a economic myth

It is not only too expensive to go and get, let alone sift is out from all that moon dust, there isn't a power plant that could use the stuff, and probably never will be. It would make more sense to investigate Ploywell fusion first, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell

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@John Stag

I've seen the Chinese are planning to mine Helium 3, and I've got this horrible feeling that mining the moon is A Bad Idea.

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a schoolboy calculation that thinks that messing with the mass of the moon is going to change how it relates to the Earth, which in turn, will change tidal behaviours and so forth. Even a small percentage might make a difference, it might not, but humans aren't known for dealing in small percentages when it comes to energy consumption.

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That's a lot of Helium 3

Helium 3 is only valuable if you have something to do with it. Commercial fusion power is 5 to 10 years away--or so it says in my 1966 high-school physics textbook. And I think the 2007 edition says the same thing.

Also, 15 tons (or even tonnes) of Helium 3 is rather a large amount. I tried seeing how much that was using regular He, but I kept adding more and more and eventually the scale just floated away. Good thing there's no atmosphere on the Moon, eh?

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@Richard Kilpatrick

How much He3 do you need to mine to change the mass of the moon by 1%?

Mass of moon = 7.36 × 10**22

1% = 7.36 x 10**19 which is a LOT of He3

I think the tides are safe for a few years.

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@Andrew Prentis

I think I'd like more than a few years, please. Depends on what they do with the waste materials of mining, but removing x unit of any material through mining tends to involve removing considerably more of the materials in the way...

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Not that much

Helium 3 isn't native to the moon - it's captured from the solar wind by the lunar topsoil. The estimates I've heard suggest there isn't more than a few millions tons on the entire moon. More than enough for our purposes (until we start mining Jupiter), but it's not going to have any effect on the mass of the moon.

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I don't think

I would voluntarily go there it seems sort of bleak but

then their russians what do they know from bleak.

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Anonymous Coward

September 13, 1999

"It's not like they are going to put up a mining station up there" - instead, they'll use it as a nuclear waste dump. With disastrous consequences for the Moon, and for the careers of Martin Landau and Catherine Schell.

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Silver badge

Russians should have their own Moon base...

...Far far away from those that don't like to have loud, drunken parties in the pool at three in the gol-darn morning. I'd say give them the entire back side of the Moon.

Reporting from Plantation Bay Resort, Cebu, Philippines*

Jeffy

(*Where the swiming lagoon just outside our Waterside room _is_ full of drunken Russians having a loud drunken party continuing all night and all morning. Curse them.)

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Anonymous Coward

don't mine the helium 3

You fools, everyone knows helium floats. If you strip the moon of its He3 how is going to stay up in the sky ?

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Silver badge

We could balance out the mining....

So, if we're worried about removing mass from the moon, we could do a swap - each freighter taking helium3/moonrocks/cheese from the moon could carry up an equal weight of rubbish to bury on the moon. And by rubbish, I mean stuff like Captain Cyborg, Rosie O'Donnell, the worldwide distribution of "Snakes On A Plane" DVDs....

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Not quite false economics

Back in the days of Apollo, they were starting from scratch. Sadly the Americans are still starting from scratch this time (on account of having destroyed plans, prototypes and NASA departments who knew anything about it). I bet the Russians still have all this stuff stashed somewhere though, and that all the old guys are willing to come out of retirement to help out (Russian pensions not being worth quite what American ones are). Also a lot of the raw materials for building stuff *are* cheaper today, simply because they're in more widespread use - carbon fibre was literally space-age back then, whereas today there are kids using it for pimping their rides.

Rough analogy. Apollo was like constructing a row of houses in the times when you had to chop down the trees yourself, cut your own stone blocks and cast your own nails. Space-flight today is (or should be) more like constructing a row of houses today when you can nip down to your local DIY warehouse depot for everything you need. It still doesn't make it cheap, but the cost should be a whole lot less.

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Helium 3

Forget what you read on wikipedia about helium 3 fusion. For some things the wikipedia is good, for speculative physics it is a place for any nutter to spout his or her crackpot theory.

The fact is that the helium 3 - deuterium reaction is ~100 times slower than deuterium - tritium. If you leave the tritium out of the tokomak then two deuterium nuclei fuse together (again with a higher rate than deuterium - helium 3) to make tritium and a proton. Thus you end up with a deuterium - tritium reaction.

Helium 3 fusion is the stuff of sci-fi books and crackpot wikipedia articles, there is no sound nuclear physics involved.

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RE:RE: False Economics

If it cost £10,000 to put 1kg in space in 1960 and it costs $10,000 now does that not mean in real terms it is much cheaper to put something in space now (inflation). Therefore does this not mean the proof that going to the moon will cost $100 Billion dollars in the article is false?

Using the $10,000 dollar figure it will cost the exact same as the apollo program!

Chris

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Anonymous Coward

Russia on the moon?

What does the KG use ta B (FSB) need a base on the moon for?

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@By Richard Kilpatrick

Simple, for every kilo of helium 3 we bring back, we ship up a kilo of domestic waste... turn the moon into a giant landfill .... like a gigantic orbitting nappy sack ...

ow... smelly

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Anonymous Coward

@Gleb

The coolness was supposed to start in the year 2000, but all they seam to manage is discovering more ways in making people pay for the same stuff they already own

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I Don't Think So!!!!

Hum... this sound suspiously like what we said, in what the 1960's? or something like that.... Hum, and where are we now, still here on earth, doing the same things that we did back then. Only we have a little bit better technology now, then we did back then. Now can you think of anything that can make the trip to Mars from Earth, let a lone the moon. The moon is what only a days trip away from earth, and Mars is like what 2 to 3 years, do you know how much money and fuel that would eat up... Think about it. Now I am all for going back to the moon, but com' on Mars is a little far featched don't you think... I know that some of you Star Trekies think it is possilbe, but there is nothing out there (that I am aware of), other then Nuclear based, that is ever remotely possible of making that type of trip, and don't tell me staging is where it is at, cause that is only good for only a couple of hours at best, maybe a little longer.

Actually no, I am wrong there are ways, just look at the rovers we sent to Mars back in '99 and recently, they made it to Mar, but can that Technology be made to push over 2 billion tons (400 trillion pounds -/+) of the shuttle plus what ever the Astronots need to stay alive on the 2-3 year trip think of how much food and clothing, and water, and all that other stuff that needs to be considered for that type of trip. It will most likely be more like 2.5 billion tons (500 trillion -/+ lbs.) Com' on people think about it, it's almost impossible.

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Nothing was actually said about vodka,

Then what do you think he was referring to in

"involve huge challenges in terms of storage space and stress on the crew"

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