A second space race? Russia and US both declare intentions to walk on the moon

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MOSCOW – The manned flight to the Moon with the landing of Russian cosmonauts is planned for 2030, said the director general of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitri Rogozin.

“The [cosmonauts] landing on the moon is scheduled for 2030,” Rogozin said during a presentation at Moscow University (MGU).

He added that in 2029 the moon would be orbited by space devices, and by 2030, modules would be deployed on the lunar surface where the cosmonauts would work.

Rogozin also commented that a Russian spacecraft will fly to the moon between 2026 and 2028, unmanned.

“Between 2026 and 2028, the ship will test in flight,” he said.

The head of Roscosmos declared that he “does not believe much” in the industrial exploitation of the resources of the Moon.

“I do not really believe in the industrial use of the moon,” Rogozin said.

During his presentation Rogozin also commented on US plans to land astronauts on the moon in 2024. According to him, it is a “show.”

“We have information that Congress will allocate more funds to this show by landing on the Moon (in 2024) and will allocate less to the orbital lunar station,” he said.

It was previously predicted that the US would create the Lunar Orbital Platform station in international cooperation and that the first module would be inserted into orbit in 2024.

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Russia could create a coupling module in this project and also help in the creation of a space transport system.

According to the latest plans, the United States plans to land astronauts on the Moon in 2024.

Elsewhere, the magazine Nature reported that the Chinese rover Yutu 2 discovered on the hidden side of the moon two new types of mantle rocks. It is noteworthy that it is the first time that these rocks are obtained and that they were taken from the bottom of the Aitken crater, in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.

So far, neither the Soviet spacecraft nor the spacecraft at the US Apollo mission had taken samples of the lunar mantle . Scientists say their study will help shed light on the puzzles of the origin of Earth and the Moon.

In that connection, the researcher at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nathan Eismont, said that the new discovery could completely change the accepted hypothesis about the formation of the moon.

“In fact, this discovery could visibly change our understanding of how the Moon was formed,” he said.

“Now, the most accepted hypothesis suggests that the Moon was formed as a result of the collision of the ancient Earth with some celestial body, which plucked a piece of Earth and what came out of that piece is the Moon,” he recalled.

“It is possible that the discovery of the Chinese lunar rover gives some explanation, help to find a solution to these contradictions that exist in the theory of the evolution of the Solar System in general and in the theory that explains the origin of the Earth and the Moon. To do this, it is necessary to conduct a deep investigation of what was obtained by the Chinese lunar rover,” said Eismont.

The Chang’e-4 spacecraft was launched by the Long March 3B rocket on 8 December and landed successfully on January 3 on the hidden face of the Moon.

Both the probe and the rover are performing measurements and collecting rocks that may reveal new details about this unexplored area of ​​Earth’s natural satellite.

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