Russia talks of permanent moon base

Jan. 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Russia's space agency Roscosmos says it is in talks with European and U.S. partners about creating permanent manned research bases on the moon.

"We don't want the man to just step on the moon," Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin said in a radio interview Thursday.

"Today, we know enough about it, we know that there is water in its polar areas," he said, and "we are now discussing how to begin [the moon's] exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency."

Talk of a base harkens back to Cold War-era plans to create a permanent outpost on the moon, a subject of interest to Soviet and U.S. scientists since the late 1950s, RIA Novosti reported.

Popovkin mentioned two options, to "either to set up a base on the moon or to launch a station to orbit around it."

Russia is proceeding with plans to send two unmanned missions to the moon by 2020, the Luna Glob and the Luna Resource, Popovkin said.

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