After several years of recession, which forced the ambitious plans for the conquest of space to be postponed until better times, Russia returns, stronger than ever, to its original plans of building a Moon base for lunar exploration but also to serve for Helium-3 extraction. Thursday, on the 57th anniversary of the historic flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country will not give up this mission.
On the other hand, Russia has no intention of abandoning international projects in space, despite the current bad relations with the United States.
“This is an area of cooperation that unites and I trust that it will continue to be so, we do not intend to break anything, to leave any program, we have our partners for the Moon, and then to investigate Mars,” Putin said on his at the Museum of Cosmonautics, in Moscow.
Russians are interested in the Moon’s poles, at first
The plans to build a Moon base were born in the Soviet Union at the end of the 60s. The Soviet engineers realized that it will be necessary to have special technologies to build the lunar base, and even then, construction projects were proposed for that challenge.
The location of the future base is not decided but the Russians have a special interest in the poles of the Moon.
“Our experts will try to disembark at the poles because there are grounds which could gold water, there are things to do, and from there you can begin the study of other planets, of distant space,” explained Putin in a documentary broadcasted last March.
A future Russian Moon base will also serve for extracting Helium-3
The extraction of a valuable raw material, Helium-3, is the most feasible benefit that could be obtained from a future Moon base, Russians say.
A decade ago, Russia already proposed that Helium-3, an ideal fuel for the thermonuclear power plants of the future, can substitute fossil fuels.
The Moon houses, according to a Russian research, between half a million and a million tons of helium 3, which would be enough for at least 5,000 years since only 100 tons of helium 3 can cover all the energy needs of the Earth, for 1 year, according to the calculations made by the Russian scientists.
“Humanity will soon travel beyond Earth’s orbit, we will create an inhabited Moon base and we will tread Mars, we will make many great discoveries, which will help all the inhabitants of the Earth to have a more comfortable and secure life,” declared the Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, on board of the ISS.