January 20, 2012
Russia Says It Is Planning Moon Base With NASA And ESA
The Russian space agency (Roscosmos) said on Friday that it is talking with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) on plans to create a manned research base on the moon.
Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin told Vesti FM radio station that it plans to discuss the possibility of a permanent moon base with NASA and ESA.
"We don't want man to just step on the moon," Mr Popovkin told Vesti FM radio station. "Today, we know enough about it, we know that there is water in its polar areas ... we are now discussing how to begin (the moon's) exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency."
The plan, according to Popovkin, is to set up either a base on the moon, or develop a space station to orbit around it.
He also said that the space agency is planning to send two unmanned spacecrafts to the moon by 2020.
Russia has been faced with adversity in its space program lately, most recently with its Mars probe Phobos-Grunt plummeting back to earth on a failed mission.
This mishap cost the country $175 million, and investigators are still trying to determine what exactly caused the mission to fail.
Russia also lost a Progress supply ship last year, three navigation satellites, an advanced military satellite and a telecommunications satellite.
All of the space agency's attempts to reach Mars have failed since the 1960s, totaling 17 missions.
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