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Thread: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions

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    Default Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions

    Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions
    October 18, 2010

    Russia is planning to study the moon intensively with the assistance of unmanned missions after a break of more than 30 years. It will launch the first missions out of four of the “Lunar-Resource” and the “Lunar-Sphere” missions by the end of 2012 and early 2013. They will carry out preparations for the creation of a permanent fully-robotic base on the moon. Such a base will be an essential element for the future manned missions to the moon. Here are more details from Boris Pavlishev.

    Japan, NASA, the European Space Agency, India and China have launched probes to moon since the 90s to draw precise maps and carry out radar sounding. However, no country has landed automatic stations on the moon since the Soviet “Lunakhod” unmanned rovers in the 70s. This means that the Russian automatic stations will be the first to land on the moon in the 21st century. “Lunar-Sphere” is a Russia project that includes a landing vehicle and a lunar satellite, while the second, “Luna-Resource” is a joint project with India. It consists of the same landing vehicle, but an Indian rocket will take it to the moon with a small Indian moon rover.

    At present, scientists have gathered much more information about the moon than that they knew when the Soviet “Lunakhods” and American “Apollos” flew there. They are inclined to believe that moon was formed as a result of a giant impact when earth collided with a small dead planet Theia. Consequently, its composition is close to that of our planet. At present scientists do not consider the moon as a dry and uninteresting desert as before.

    Perhaps, there are organic materials on the poles of the moon brought by comets. The most interesting thing is that the scientists have discovered signatures of the presence of water in various forms on the moon. The key task of the missions will be the search for water. The probes will be landed on the North and the South poles. There could be water near the poles, especially in the regolith and also as ice between its particles like in Siberia’s permafrost. The presence of water on the moon is extremely interesting for scientists, says the head of a laboratory of the Space Research Institute, Igor Mitrofanov.

    “Scientists are unaware of how water came to the moon. Perhaps, comets that fell on it brought it. In the future, water will be the most important resource for the exploration of moon because it gives oxygen for breathing and hydrogen fuel for rockets,” Igor Mitrofanov said.

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    Default Re: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions

    Because we DIDN'T....
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions


    Russia Just Announced It's Going Back To The Moon

    September 2, 2015

    More than 40 years have passed since any human has walked on the moon, and all of them were American.

    Russia has some grand plans to change that as the US turns its attention to Mars.

    Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, wants to set up a high-tech lunar base, complete with human habitats, science and tech labs, a launching and landing port for spacecraft, and even an astronomy observatory.

    The moon and Roscosmos have a complicated past. During the Apollo-era space race, the former Soviet Union landed robotic rovers on the moon — but a series of rocket failures and explosions halted progress on any human-carrying missions. Eventually, Roscosmos decided its moon program wasn't worth the money and the risk and shut it down.

    But now Roscosmos is reviving that program and sending a robotic spacecraft, called Luna 25, to the moon to do some scouting for a future lunar base. The agency has announced that it will land Luna 25 on the moon's south pole in 2024.

    Engineers are already building the spacecraft, and the finished product will carry eight cameras to help it navigate, take pictures, and keep an eye on its drill tool as it digs into the lunar surface.

    Here's a model of what the spacecraft will look like:



    The Luna 25 spacecraft will run its electronics using a battery fueled by a radioactive material called plutonium-238. As the plutonium-238 naturally decays it generates heat, and the battery converts the heat into electricity.


    Plutonium-238 is pretty much impossible to turn into a nuclear weapon, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It's also not the kind of dangerous, skin-piercing radiation that humans have to worry about (unless it gets inside our lungs).

    Lots of spacecraft are powered this way, but the world is quickly running out of Plutonium-238. Space agencies will need to come up with another fuel source soon — unless Russia has a secret reserve of the valuable stuff, or some way of making it.


    Roscosmos isn't the only agency thinking about a return to the moon. The European Space Agency already announced plans for its own ambitious moon colony.

    In contrast, the US has turned its attention from the moon to Mars. Some spaceflight experts and engineers have criticized the US for this. They argue that NASA should practice setting up a lunar base first, and then move on to the more difficult — and more dangerous — Martian base once it's worked out all the kinks. (Buzz Aldrin has a plan that incorporates both a moon base and a Mars base.)

    Others argue that a return to the moon would be like moving backwards for NASA: We need to test the limits of human ingenuity if we want to make progress as a species, they say. Getting to Mars is one way to do that.

    "Let's just go [to Mars] — prove that it is doable, prove that it is feasible and then examine how you do it on a regular basis that's affordable," Harley Thronson, a senior scientist at NASA, told Space.com in 2013.

    It's not clear which strategy — moon or Mars? — is best for the US space agency.

    "I refer to them as the Martians and the Lunatics – the people who want to go to Mars, and the people who want to go back to the moon," Roger Launius, a senior space-history curator at the Smithsonian, told Space.com in 2012. "No one side has the clear-cut answer. There are positives and negatives for both."

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    Default Re: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions


    Revealed: Russia's Crewed Lunar Lander

    For the first time since the end of the Moon Race, Russian engineers have quietly begun working on a lunar lander capable of carrying cosmonauts to the Moon.

    February 3, 2016



    Although any future human trip to the Moon is still at least a decade away, behind the scenes, the next-generation lunar lander has already appeared on the drawing board—or more precisely, on a computer screen in Russia.

    The four-legged machine will be able to take at least two cosmonauts from a lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon. It is being developed for Russia's own strategic goals in human space flight and, more importantly, for possible international cooperation, if the politics make it possible.

    The nearly 20-ton spacecraft superficially resembles the famous Eagle lunar module, which delivered Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon, but the new Russian design is currently tailored for a smaller, cheaper Angara-5V rocket rather than a giant Moon rocket, like NASA's Saturn V from the Apollo era.

    Russian engineers are counting on a pair of Angara-5V rockets to deliver the lander without the crew toward its departure point in the lunar orbit. Two more such rockets would be needed to carry a transport ship with four cosmonauts from Earth to the lunar orbit, where the two would link up. Two crew members could then transfer into the lunar module, undock, and make a descent to the Moon.



    According to recent plans, the first Russian Moon landing could take place at the end of 2020s.

    Unfortunately, the Russian space program has drastically slowed in recent years, due to economic troubles in the country. However, there is a chance that in the next few years, leading space agencies would strike a deal for a large-scale space venture after the International Space Station goes off-line in the second half of the 2020s.

    Despite NASA's aspirations to go straight to Mars, it is increasingly clear that for its partners—primarily Russia and Europe—it would more affordable to start with the Moon. If the U.S. changes course and agrees on the joint lunar program, Russia's nascent lunar lander could come in very handy. That's because NASA long abandoned its own work on the Altair lunar lander to save money. At the same time, the US agency moves steadily toward the big SLS rocket, which is well-suited for lunar missions. So is the Orion spacecraft, which can deliver the crew to the lunar orbit, just few hundred kilometers from the Moon. The only crucial missing piece for the lunar expedition? The vehicle to carry astronauts to the surface.

    As envisioned by Russian engineers, the human-rated lander would consist of the 11-ton descent stage carrying landing gear and the propulsion system responsible for the trip from lunar orbit to the surface. In the meantime, the 8.5-ton ascent stage will contain the crew cabin with all the life-support gear and the engine to blast off from the lunar surface and to get back to the orbit around the Moon. It will also sport an electricity-producing solar panel and a radiator.

    The cabin will have two hatches, one in the front of the module leading to a surface ladder and another in the docking port at the top, for the crew transfer between the lunar module and the transport spacecraft, when they are docked.

    So far, Russian engineers have looked carefully at various layouts for the crew cabin. Cone-shaped and globular shapes were evaluated, but eventually dropped in favor of a classic cylindrical design. To save room in the cockpit, engineers suspended propellant tanks on the exterior of the ascent stage.

    The Russian space program inherited a very rich legacy in the lunar spacecraft engineering leftover from the glory days of the Moon Race. The USSR successfully put uncrewed robotic landers and rovers on the Moon and also worked on the crewed lander. The one-seat vehicle made three uncrewed test flights in the Earth's orbit, before the whole Soviet lunar landing effort was terminated in 1974.

    Currently, Russian engineers are also assembling two robotic landers, first of which is scheduled to land in a polar region of the Moon in 2019. If the joint lunar exploration program goes ahead, the 2019 lander will become a precursor for human missions and even for a permanently occupied lunar base.

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    Default Re: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post

    Revealed: Russia's Crewed Lunar Lander

    For the first time since the end of the Moon Race, Russian engineers have quietly begun working on a lunar lander capable of carrying cosmonauts to the Moon.
    Crewed? Or crude?

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    Default Re: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions

    Quote Originally Posted by MinutemanCO View Post
    Crewed? Or crude?
    Thought the same thing myself.

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    Default Re: Russia To Carry Out Moon Missions

    Answers:

    Crude
    nearly a decade away - is STILL over 4 decades in the past for the US.
    Libertatem Prius!


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