Russian Wants To Build Colony On The Moon
October 19, 2011

Russians Wants To Build Colony On The Moon

A Russian cosmonaut said on Tuesday that it may be setting up a colony in volcanic tunnels on the moon.

The cosmonaut said the discovery of volcanic tunnels on the moon could provide a natural shelter for the first lunar colony.

"This new discovery that the moon may be a rather porous body could significantly alter our approach to founding lunar bases," Sergei Krikalyov, who heads Russia's Star City cosmonaut training center outside Moscow, said at a press event. "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."

Boris Kryuchkov, the deputy science head at the training center, said the first lunar colonies could be built by 2030.

"There wouldn't be any need to dig the lunar soil and build walls and ceilings," Krikalyov told Reuters.

"It would be enough to use an inflatable module with a hard outer shell to -- roughly speaking -- seal the caves."

Krikalyov said his plan is to send lunar explorers into the tunnels with inflatable tents.  He said once the explorers are there, the blow-up module expands until its hard outer shell seals the tunnel.

NASA had plans to return to the moon until President Barack Obama cancelled the plans in 2010 saying, "We've been there before. There's a lot more of space to explore."

Obama said he wants NASA to focus on landing on an asteroid by 2025, and eventually send a manned mission to Mars.


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