The United States might not have much interest in getting humans back to the moon, but it seems Russia wants to set boots on our lunar neighbor within the next 14 years.
RT News is reporting that the Russian Federal Space Agency, aka Roscosmos, is gearing up to land a manned mission on the moon by 2029. If all goes well, Russia is also in talks with China to establish a manned lunar station beyond that.
Russian scientists are already hard at work on designing the country’s new spacecraft, which they hope to fire off for a test flight as soon as 2021. From there, they’d like to dock the craft at the International Space Station by 2023, then send an uncrewed ship to the moon in 2025. After that, they hope to load up a team and send humans there by 2029. If Russia goes ahead with the plan, it’ll mark the first time in 57 years (at that point) humans have been back since the Apollo missions.
With Russia apparently gearing up for a moon trip, the European Space Agency has apparently signed on to piggyback a rover mission as part of its own push to return humans to the moon. China also wants to land humans on the moon in the mid-2020s, though those plans are a bit less definitive. So basically every space agency except for NASA is fired up for the moon. Which, sure, they’ve already been there. But still: Here’s hoping we actually make it to Mars at some point (no pressure, guys).
For those keeping score, NASA is currently aiming to have humans on Mars by the 2030s. So, once that eventually rolls around, they might be able to stop off for lunch at a Russian moon colony on the way.
What do you think? Should NASA be focused on Mars? The moon? Both?