Russia wants to colonize the moon

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Russia wants to colonize the moon

Post by falkor » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:42 pm

The moon may be a harsh mistress, but Russian scientists say they want to establish a colony below the lunar surface.
TG DAILY 20 OCT 11


According to Russian space official Sergei Krikalyov, recently discovered volcanic tunnels could provide natural shelter for the first colonists.

Indeed, scientists believe the moon's volcanic past created a vast underground network of lava tubes - some of which may be accessible by a meters-deep hole recently discovered by Japan's Kaguya spacecraft.

"This new discovery that the moon may be a rather porous body could significantly alter our approach to founding lunar bases," Krikalyov explained in a statement quoted by Reuters.

"If it turns out that the moon has a number of caves that can provide some protection from radiation and meteor showers, it could be an even more interesting destination than previously thought."



To illustrate his point, Krikalyov presented a slideshow showing bunker-like inflatable tents on the lunar surface.

"There wouldn't be any need to dig the lunar soil and build walls and ceilings... It would be enough to use an inflatable module with a hard outer shell to seal the caves."



Boris Kryuchkov, deputy science head at Russia's Star City cosmonaut training center, estimated the first such lunar colonies could be built by 2030. 

In the meantime, however, Moscow is focusing on rebooting its lunar program by prepping the Luna-Glob probe for a 2014 launch. The probe is slated to explore the Moon's polar regions, with a specific emphasis on analyzing lunar permafrost.

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