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Russia Has Sights Set On Manned Moon Landing By 2030

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the red-moon dept.

Moon 207

New submitter techfun89 writes "Russia plans on sending cosmonauts to the moon as well as unmanned spacecraft to Mars, Jupiter and Venus by 2030. Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious. From the article: 'These ambitious spaceflight goals are laid out in a strategy document drawn up recently by Russia's Federal Space Agency (known as Roscosmos), the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday (March 13). And there's more. Roscosmos wants a new rocket called Angara to become the nation's workhorse launch vehicle by 2020, replacing the venerable Soyuz and Proton rockets that have been carrying the load since the 1960s.'"

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Wow! (0)

epp_b (944299) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373245)

Only 61 years late! ;)

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373465)

except that they will actually go; as opposed to faking some film in the desert

Re:Wow! (5, Interesting)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373573)

If they hurry, they can get there before China.

Re:Wow! (-1, Troll)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373595)

Only 61 years late! ;)

I'll bet all the special effects studios are drooling over the chance for another contract - they should do a lot better this time.

Re:Wow! (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373851)

James Cameron could say "I want to film a space opera, on location on the moon" and investors would be lined up around the block to throw billions of dollars at him. Assuming he survives his current cinematic adventure, that is.

Re:Wow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373879)

I'll bet all the special effects studios are drooling over the chance for another contract

Why do you keep spreading this myth around and treating it as if it's a fact? That's the seventh time I've seen you do that.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374049)

I'll bet all the special effects studios are drooling over the chance for another contract

Why do you keep spreading this myth around and treating it as if it's a fact? That's the seventh time I've seen you do that.

It's not a myth, it's a wager. 200 bitcoins to show, please.

Good idea! (5, Funny)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373259)

It will be good to finally get back to the moon. Can't wait to find out in what ways it's changed since the last time we visited.

Re:Good idea! (4, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373341)

It will be good to finally get back to the moon. Can't wait to find out in what ways it's changed since the last time we visited.

Actually a lot has changed since we last visited - sort of. When the first moon landings happened, the technology that folks were able to take down to the surface was exceptionally limited. This means that any landings in the future will be able to carry out experiments that could have only been dreamed about in the 60s. SO, while things on the moon itself may not have changed, we are probably still going to learn a vast amount for the first time.

Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

Re:Good idea! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373361)

Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

By 2030 SpaceX will probably be running regular tourist flights; they'll be able to wave to the Russians as they land.

Re:Good idea! (3, Interesting)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373745)

By 2030 SpaceX will probably be running regular tourist flights

Not at the rate they're going. Their last launch was Dec 2010. Their next is scheduled for April (probably May) this year. And their first commercial payload will be sometime next year.

Re:Good idea! (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373939)

Indeed. At the rate SpaceX is going, even the glacial Chinese program is likely to lap them.

Re:Good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373407)

Embarrassing? No. It's embarrassing how much money we don't have.

Re:Good idea! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373515)

America's got looooots of money.
The embarrassing part should be what you choose to spend it on.

Re:Good idea! (3, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374139)

Some Americans have lots of money as do some Chinese and some Russians and at least one Mexican. The rest of us are poor schlubs living hand to mouth like everyone else. Granted there are probably more documented rich in America.

Re:Good idea! (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374225)

America also has a massive ammount of debt - owned cheifly by China and Japan. Maybe America should start thinking about partnering NASA with JAXA and doing something that actually matters and that people will care about. Collecting soil samples? Meh. Space Station? Ooh. Moon Missions? Warmer! Moon Missions with Future Moon Colony? HELL YEAH!

And I mean lets be honest - Mars is interesting and dreams of future colonization are great - but if we can't even develop the moon then continued surveys of Mars are realtively meaningless. Let's get things going on the moon and use that as a springboard towards Mars.

Re:Good idea! (3, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373417)

Also we've changed. Our understanding of the moon's history and geology has improved dramatically, which means we also know which experiments we need to perform.

Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

I doubt it. The embarrassment of not having a manned space program, being dependent on the Russian Soyuz (which is struggling with reliability), should have resulted in a rush order on the Commercial Crew developers; instead, the House tried to zero the CCDev budget, and the Senate's compromise severely delayed it. But if you touch a dollar of SLS, which won't launch humans until after 2021 (plus delays), Congress calls you a traitor.

Re:Good idea! (3, Interesting)

poly_pusher (1004145) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373421)

Is there any advantage to sending a person? Does that accomplish anything more than just doing it? I'm all for research and exploration I just don't see the point in wasting resources on sustaining a person until we have technology which makes it more practical.

Re:Good idea! (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373489)

Is there any advantage to sending a person? Does that accomplish anything more than just doing it? I'm all for research and exploration I just don't see the point in wasting resources on sustaining a person until we have technology which makes it more practical.

Well, given the time frame that they are setting, and the work that they are doing towards manned flight such as the Mars500 [esa.int] there does seem to be some hope for getting a small "colony" working and fairly self reliable. Would it be better if they had a precanned fusion reactor to go with it, ready to accept He3 and provide all the power they could ever use? Sure - although they can still go there without it.

But who knows what you will find out when you send folks to places that you wouldn't find out by sending a robot.

Re:Good idea! (4, Insightful)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373627)

Is there any advantage to sending a person?

Yes. As they put it during Project Mercury, "No Bucks, no Buck Rogers." Well, the reverse is true, as well.

Otherwise, why haven't we covered the Moon in rover tracks by now? It is much easier than controlling them on Mars, after all, and probably easier to land them (although no aerobraking might compensate for the lighter gravity). Likewise, they could have dispersed a wide net of sensors around it, instead of depending on the few left from the Apollo landings.

And, of course, the real expense is getting to High Earth Orbit. After that, as some hard SF writer put it, you are half way to anywhere. At least in delta-V terms.

Re:Good idea! (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373801)

"Yes. As they put it during Project Mercury, "No Bucks, no Buck Rogers." Well, the reverse is true, as well."

They didn't have the remotely-manned tech we do now or robots in quantity would have preceded men.

If there is, at the moment, anything a man can perform which a robot cannot, that argues for improved robots rather than sending expensive tourists. We need improved robot tech for all the dull/dirty/dangerous jobs on Earth, and as we are moving to "lights out manufacturing" in advanced industries so we should seek to automate everything else over time.

Re:Good idea! (4, Insightful)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374081)

I'm so tired of this attitude. It's people like you that keep me from having an apartment on the moon.

Re:Good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374321)

face it bro, we're obsolete

Re:Good idea! (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374329)

They didn't have the remotely-manned tech we do now or robots in quantity would have preceded men.

Robots did. There were 21 such robotic missions prior to the first manned mission. Apollo 12 [wikipedia.org] landed near (about 360 meters away) one of those robotic missions, Surveyor 3 [wikipedia.org] .

If there is, at the moment, anything a man can perform which a robot cannot, that argues for improved robots rather than sending expensive tourists.

There is plenty. Perhaps you ought to watch some Apollo footage sometime to see it. The thing to remember here is that humans are currently the best robots out there for a number of important tasks (such as making decisions, land-based surveying and prospecting, land-based sample collection, etc). Humans have overhead such as supplies and need for radiation protection, but that boils down to mass and power needs just like any robotic payload.

We need improved robot tech for all the dull/dirty/dangerous jobs on Earth, and as we are moving to "lights out manufacturing" in advanced industries so we should seek to automate everything else over time.

The problem here is that this approach gets in the way of us doing cool things. Suppose I develop a new industrial process, but the prototype requires considerable human intervention (precisely because a human developed it with limited resources). I don't have the capital for this "lights out" stuff or to make sure that my workers and I are sufficiently out of harms way to fulfill whatever safety levels you're attempting to achieve here.

I have a better idea. Let's not waste time or effort making the world ridiculously safe.

Re:Good idea! (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373935)

Is there any advantage to sending a person?

Yes. As they put it during Project Mercury, "No Bucks, no Buck Rogers." Well, the reverse is true, as well.

It's also nice to have a mechanic onhand to fix minor breakdowns. Sure beats having to send 250,000 miles for parts. We got a lot of mileage out of the Mars rovers. We could have gotten even more from them if there was a mechanic onsite to fix the glitches that showed up right after deployment.

Otherwise, why haven't we covered the Moon in rover tracks by now? It is much easier than controlling them on Mars, after all, and probably easier to land them (although no aerobraking might compensate for the lighter gravity). Likewise, they could have dispersed a wide net of sensors around it, instead of depending on the few left from the Apollo landings.

We gave up our high orbital capability with the Shuttle program. Everything else in NASA was pared back to feed the military's white elephant. If you'd ask a scientist at JPL during the Shuttle's heyday if they wanted to send probes to the Moon or to Mars, but not both, they'd tell you, send it someplace other than the Moon, we've already been there, we need probes places we've never been. Thus the Mars Rovers and our chunk of the Cassini mission, et al. It's a question of funding. When the funding comes in dribbles, you prioritize. When the Congresscritters cut your funding back, you cut missions. And the Congresscritters think going back to the Moon is a waste of time.

And, of course, the real expense is getting to High Earth Orbit. After that, as some hard SF writer put it, you are half way to anywhere. At least in delta-V terms.

Heinlein.

Re:Good idea! (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374261)

Where did Heinlein say that? I cannot recall and I have read most of his adult fiction and a few of his juvenile novels. Just asking to replace the hole in my memory.

Re:Good idea! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374083)

Otherwise, why haven't we covered the Moon in rover tracks by now?

The Soviets did. What was your point again?

Re:Good idea! (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373583)

When the first moon landings happened, the technology that folks were able to take down to the surface was exceptionally limited. This means that any landings in the future will be able to carry out experiments that could have only been dreamed about in the 60s.

Probably the most prominent new capability is that due to advances in computing and robotics, these experiments can now all be carried out remotely without having to send costly meatbags to tend to them.

Re:Good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374191)

Meatbags are cheap. The gear to keep them alive is expensive to get up there, though.

Re:Good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373949)

You mean like those experiments on moon rocks and dust that they brought back to earth? You mean we could have just done them up there instead and gotten better results?

Re:Good idea! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374185)

It will be good to finally get back to the moon. Can't wait to find out in what ways it's changed since the last time we visited.

Actually a lot has changed since we last visited - sort of. When the first moon landings happened, the technology that folks were able to take down to the surface was exceptionally limited. This means that any landings in the future will be able to carry out experiments that could have only been dreamed about in the 60s. SO, while things on the moon itself may not have changed, we are probably still going to learn a vast amount for the first time.

Besides, perhaps this is just the embarassment that the US space program needs to get some funding again.

Are there any lunar surface experiments that are better done by humans than by a robotic lander? Seems like it's an ideal place to run a remotely controlled lander since there's only a few second radio delay making control much easier than the Mars landers. And an unmanned mission would be much cheaper than any manned mission.

I know the Russians sent up a few unmanned lunar landers, but I think they were only capable of bringing home a sample.

Re:Good idea! (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373519)

It's amazing how strongly the cold war could catalyze and realize the Moon project 50 years ago (US side), while the technology was... 50 years behind, without the help of fast computing.

Re:Good idea! (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373979)

It wasn't really all the cold war, you know. Sure, the Toynbee Tile "footballs in space" thing had something to do with it. But it had as much to do with Kennedy's skill as an orator and a desire to build some unifying non-military national mission so we could lay off the killing foreigners thing for a while. Usually for these things I cite the text of the speech, but today I find the recording of Kennedy at Rice University [youtube.com] is up on Youtube now.

12:15 he anticipates the home PC.

I watched it again just now. Damn, but it's dusty in here.

Re:Good idea! (3, Funny)

sco08y (615665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374173)

But it had as much to do with Kennedy's skill as an orator and a desire to build some unifying non-military national mission so we could lay off the killing foreigners thing for a while.

Ah, so it was a national direction chosen to redirect the competitive energy of the nation towards an end that elevated national prestige and strategic aerospace technology while avoiding direct militaristic actions that could inflame tensions.

Clearly, little to do with any cold war.

Re:Good idea! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373685)

Well, now they'll be able to fake it in HD, which means they'll be able to put the stars in this time!

The processing power might even allow them to properly anti-alias the shadows!

And instead of C's, it'll have Q's!

The flag will also be raytraced with 52 stars...for unknown reasons.

With one black stripe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373905)

For fair Virginia.

May we mourn her loss forever.

I think they have this wrong... (5, Funny)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373335)

The manned moon has its sights on landing in Russia by 2030.

Re:I think they have this wrong... (-1, Redundant)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373695)

in soviet russia, the moon land on YOU!

Re:I think they have this wrong... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373995)

You're thinking Mars. Mars is the one with the active defense forces.

Re:I think they have this wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374161)

And besides, everyone knows that we can't send a whole man to Mars, just his ass.

In Soviet Russia (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373339)

Moon lands on you!

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373667)

Moon lander puts sights on YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373887)

Actually, Putin's Russia is nothing like Soviet Russia. In Putin's Russia you only get a lot of promises about the Moon landing on you.

Time spent perfecting their power source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373381)

It took the Roosskies that long to perfect "Cobalt Thorium G"

Re:Time spent perfecting their power source (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373901)

No, it isn't Cobalt Thorium G, they perfected the Gravitzapa and the Pepelatz. [youtube.com]

Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373383)

many Russian aircraft don't get where they're going. Perhaps they should concentrate on these first.

Risk to human life (3, Funny)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373441)

never stopped Russia before

and others (1)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373537)

Neither did it stop the U.S., or any other country for that matter.

Re:and others (3, Informative)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373597)

Well, I take some exception to that. The U.S. space program proved that no matter how dangerous the mission, there would always be volunteers. However, NASA (as far as we know) never forced men into capsules that they knew were doomed [discovery.com] .

Re:and others (3, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373849)

I recall seeing a show on the space race where the US boys were scheduled to have become the first men in space, but the launch was postponed for a week or so over safety concerns. In that time the Russians launched their own ship and beat the US to a man in space.

The United States called their space travelers astronauts ("star sailors" from the Greek), and it was 3 weeks later, on 5 May 1961, when Alan Shepard became the first one in space, launched on a suborbital mission Mercury-Redstone 3, in a spacecraft named Freedom 7.

From The Space Race [wikipedia.org] .

While there are always volunteers to do things, they have a pretty decent record of only letting them do it if they feel it is safe enough.

Re:and others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374221)

After Iraq war and everything, haven't you learned to double-check the information in the Western media?

Also, whenever I read confessions by "former KGB agents" I think "fishy".

Re:Risk to human life (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373819)

Nor should it now. We ALL die. We die by the millions. We die in cars, in hospital beds, and everywhere else.

You can safely fly in modern aircraft thanks to generations of test pilots including many who died "pushing the (flight) enevelope" for the sake of knowledge. It was well worth the sacrifice.

Re:Risk to human life (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374281)

That doesn't mean it should keep happening that way. These days, we have computers that can serve as test pilots. There's no longer a need to put human lives at risk until after the technology makes successful flights a reasonable certainty.

Re:Risk to human life (0, Troll)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373907)

Human life is greatly overrated.

Re:Risk to human life (0)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373963)

Great attitude comrade! We have just the place for you in the Russian space program

Re:Risk to human life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374065)

Well, for me it's the only way to get into space for free.
Where to send application?

Re:Risk to human life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373965)

nor america for that matter.

Ambitious? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373445)

I like how the summary goes on about how ambitious it is for Russia to get to the moon in almost two decades. It took just a little over 8 years for the US to go from basically nada (hadn't even gotten into orbit yet) to landing on the moon. There is better technology out there today, plus it has now of course been done before; I would think there is some advantage in being able to look at the data from the Apollo missions (assuming NASA is willing to share it?) If anything, getting there by 2030 seems a rather conservative goal, even taking into account their recent issues.

Re:Ambitious? (4, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373897)

I like how the summary goes on about how ambitious it is for Russia to get to the moon in almost two decades. It took just a little over 8 years for the US to go from basically nada (hadn't even gotten into orbit yet) to landing on the moon.

That's the popular version - and it's also very, very, wrong.
 
F1 engine development started in 1856 for example. At the time of Kennedy's speech, both the Apollo CSM and what would eventually become the Saturn V were already being developed as well. This is why he chose the Lunar Landing as a goal in the first place - it was a reachable scientific and engineering goal that was already quietly underway.
 

If anything, getting there by 2030 seems a rather conservative goal, even taking into account their recent issues.

In 1995, their goal was the Moon by 2000, and Mars by 2015. In 2000, their goal was the Moon by 2010 and Mars by 2020. In 2010 their goal was the Moon by 2020 and Mars by 2030.... The Russians have a long history of bold powerpoint plans, and basically have never accomplished any of them.

Re:Ambitious? (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374017)

From my compendium of odd facts: If you carry a top-end smartphone in your pocket every day your personal compute capacity exceeds that of the entire US lunar space program (both flight and ground, not just mission control but engineering too) - even in the car.

Not a chance (5, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373447)

It's not a coincidence that newer Russian designs don't work. The "old guard" has retired. The new — immgirated. Just the other day international rankings came out for higher education. Not a single Russian school is on the list. That's what happens when you don't even pay starvation wages to your professors. Sooner or later they throw in the towel. It's a miracle things held together this long.

Given the scarcity of talented engineers, and the pitiful salaries Roscosmos pays to its staff, I'm kind of wondering how they expect to pull this off. They couldn't even do it when they had some of the best schools in the world (which regularly minted Nobel laureates), during the Soviet times, with essentially unlimited budget and manpower. Nowadays they can only build 20 year old rockets, and make minor improvements here and there. Put simply, after neglecting higher education for about a decade and a half, they've pissed away their technical capability to do anything they haven't already done before.

Re:Not a chance (3, Interesting)

Zaelath (2588189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373581)

The supply of ex-nazi rocket scientists has also dried up since we last went to the moon.

Re:Not a chance (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373689)

There are people besides Nazis who can build rockets.

Re:Not a chance (2)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373713)

The supply of ex-nazi rocket scientists has also dried up since we last went to the moon.

Yeah, but the Soviets did not use ex-Nazis much. Their designs, perhaps as starting points, but they tried to work on home-grown talent, after they drained their captured Germans of everything that they knew. Post WWII, the Russians didn't like the Germans enough to let them around anything as dangerous as a MIG, let alone repurposed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Re:Not a chance (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374067)

The grandparent is referring to the US use of ex-Nazi rocket scientists, notably Wernher Von Braun - chief architect of the Saturn V and previously designer of the Nazi V2 buzzbombs.

But then we're skirting perilously close to Godwin here.

Today I learned: more people were killed at forced labor producing the V2 rockets than were killed by the V2 rockets.

Re:Not a chance (0)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374085)

Their designs, perhaps as starting points, but they tried to work on home-grown talent, after they drained their captured Germans of everything that they knew.

The USA's Germans were also better.

Re:Not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373657)

They can only build 20 year old rockets, and make minor improvements here and there?

Well in that case they're ahead of the game.

Re:Not a chance (1)

Bomazi (1875554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373675)

Not to mention their idiot president threatening to punish the engineers involved in recent failures. That's a great way to stop the brain drain.

Re:Not a chance (3, Insightful)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373865)

Nowadays they can only build 20 year old rockets, and make minor improvements here and there.

20 years? Soyuz is from 1966, and has heritage from the R-7 (designed starting in 1953, a derivative launched sputnik in '57).

So by my count, that's 55 years, with modifications along the way, but the major ones done in the first decade or two.

Russia's fall in engineering and science is rather tragic.

Re:Not a chance (2)

Frangible (881728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373877)

And the old guard in the US is gone as well. And not just retired. You cannot replace people like Werner von Braun, Walter Doringer, Kelly Johnson, and Sergei Korolev. Russia may be using 20 year old designs, but here's the thing: we're begging to ride on those 20 year designs.

When you don't have a car, you can't bitch about the year of your friend's car who's giving you a ride.

Over 25,000 Americans lost their jobs when the Space Shuttle program ended. And you complain Russia isn't paying its people? Looks like it's not exactly a rewarding profession met with gratitude no matter which side of the pond you're on.
,br> Yes, I'm sure Russia's schools didn't meet whatever arbitrary meaningless criteria was used in those unscientific rankings. ("low diversity! Minus 300 points. There are mostly Russians in Russia! Who knew?", "Lack of a women's studies department, minus 20 points.", "Did not emphasize liberal arts enough to engineering majors, minus 50 points", "No sports teams or athletic scholarships, minus 1000 points")

Re:Not a chance (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373917)

They couldn't even do it when they had some of the best schools in the world (which regularly minted Nobel laureates), during the Soviet times, with essentially unlimited budget and manpower.

Except - they didn't have either. They had a limited budget, limited manpower, and they started years late because they didn't actually believe the US meant it. (If Kennedy hadn't visited Dallas, and Apollo subsequently pushed as his memorial - there's a non trivial change it would have vanished like so many other brave plans.) Then, on top of that, the chief designer and political string-puller of the project died after minor surgery...
 
And despite that they still came quite close to pulling it off.

Venera Landers (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373449)

I hope they do another lander--or better yet a rover.

Re:Venera Landers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373483)

Have you ever seen dash cam video from Russian drivers?

Re:Venera Landers (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373975)

Heh. Moscow drivers have nothing on Cleveland drivers. Their cars are probably in better shape as well.

Re:Venera Landers (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373915)

Roll over red rover!

Launch failures (3, Interesting)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373455)

>Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious.

Not sure I see the relevance, seeing as:
Recent failures are a blip in a long run of reliability, and
They're going to be flying different rigs by 2030, anyway, which may be invincible, or every one may fail...

Not sure I see much point to it, though. Maybe Putin is working on national morale, or make-work, or kickbacks to someone.

Re:Launch failures (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373931)

Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious.

Not sure I see the relevance, seeing as: Recent failures are a blip in a long run of reliability

What long run of reliability? The Russian boosters are no worse or no better than anyone else's. They've suffered a steady string of failures and problems across they years, and *then* comes the recent 'blip'. (Not so recent really, if you count the run of Soyuz problems running back to the turn of the century.)

Re:Launch failures (1)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374051)

I'd call 95%+ success on rockets reliable, no? Less than 2% fatality rate? It's not quite commercial aircraft level of safety, but, well, it is space travel, right?

That said, I can't see them abandoning Soyuz by 2030. I'm sure they'll be running it until at least the apocalypse, and possibly after, at this rate. Kind of like Americans and B-52s.

Re:Launch failures (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374313)

A less than 2% fatality rate puts it on par with the shuttle (2/135). Not exactly a glowing endorsement....

PR Curtain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373469)

In other news, the Kremlin has finally allowed a display of the "degenerate" art of Henry Moore.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17365978 [bbc.co.uk]

It's the PR Curtain. Putin needs progressive items in the headlines to counterbalance the protests. Russians on the moon and Henry Moore in the Kremlin are hollow trivialities. There is nothing good to actually report to Russians, even with only state-controlled media left standing.

Even the traditionally-safe winter's fair of hosting the Olympics looks like it's going to be a PR fiasco for Putin's clique. So heck yeah, "We're going to the Moon!" has been trotted out. They're desperate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Winter_Olympics#Concerns_and_controversies [wikipedia.org]

Boring (1)

mtm_king (99722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373669)

Sciencewise (yes, that is a word if I say it is) the moon is the most boring thing in our solar system. There is nothing to learn from putting humans on it again. I do not mind spending money (our money or the Russians) on science, but let's set our sights higher (higher than the moon, get it).

In Soviet Russia ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373683)

  moon lands on you!

They will go back before that (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373717)

The reason is that once private space is properly funded, then it will go to the moon around 2020. That will push Russia to join them. It will be as another ship (probable) or as a buyer of service (not at 100%), or more likely, a combination of these. I suspect that once bigelow puts a base on the moon, then every nation will want to go there, even if it means contracting to bigelow/IDC Dover for lunar base, and one of several up/down services (armadillo, masten, blue origin, etc). Once you are on the lunar surface, then you can set up your own base. IOW, contract with these companies to create your own services.

Re:They will go back before that (1)

Lotana (842533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373821)

The reason is that once private space is properly funded, then it will go to the moon around 2020.

Private enterprise operate for only a single purpose: profit. What profit is there in getting anything (Be it human or probe) to the moon?

At least some governments need to demonstrate that their dicks are the biggest in the world and use blind nationalism to motivate people to work on these profitless ventures. Paying a private company to get them there will not count, since there isn't much pride in paying someone to do it for you. My prediction is that the next person on another planet/moon will be delivered by government agency, will plant a flag and won't be followed on until another nation decides to prove its engineering superiority to the neighbours.

If I had a nickel (4, Funny)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373721)

If I had a nickel for every time the Russians announced some ambitious program I could run my own space program. Let's see if any money actually gets allocated.

The races is on (1)

ben4528 (2588219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373733)

The race to man the moon between Russia and China is under way. They are both loaded with cash to burn on projects like this.

Re:The races is on (0, Troll)

Lotana (842533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373889)

Russia loaded with cash?! Only because of high oil/natural gas prices and only a small percentage of the population pocketing the proceeds. I have doubts that oligarches are interested in the space race. As soon as the commodities crash again, Russia will go back to being dirt-poor once more anyway.

Poor Russia just can't get a break. Their history since the Mongol invasion can be summarised in five words: "It just kept getting worse". At least they haven't had another bloody revolution in quite a while (Fall of Soviet Union was surprisingly peaceful), though seeing how things currently are: it is comming eventually. It will most probably follow the same old pattern: brutal, followed up even worse regime.

Re:The races is on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374295)

With the US government going over budget by 1 trillion at a time, you can bet your sweet ass commodities are never coming back down. At least not for americans. The dollar is sinking my friend. Hope you have yourself some gold.

Re:The races is on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374317)

"At least they haven't had another bloody revolution in quite a while (Fall of Soviet Union was surprisingly peaceful), though seeing how things currently are: it is comming eventually. It will most probably follow the same old pattern: brutal, followed up even worse regime."

And you are desperate to see it coming; that's why the U.S. State Dept allocates hundreds million dollars to Russia's NGOs, correct?

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-12-08/europe/30489537_1_ring-scandal-opposition-groups-emails

Gingrinovich (1)

cactopus (166601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373817)

Quick... someone send Newt to Russia.

The right approach ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373863)

We shouln't settle for landing a man on the Moon. We should be trying to land a man on the Moon and doing it better. This is because a new approach will advance science and engineering. Those advances will have applications on Earth. Those applications may create a new economic boom that may feed back on itself by providing real career opportunities for scientists and engineers, for both space/aerospace and terrestial industries. Recreating Apollo era technology to do science on the Moon and achieve political objectives will create a short boom/bust cycle. And maybe it will give Russia the boost that it needs over the next few years, but they (and China and India and us) should be looking towards a longerterm terrestial payoff - not just Moon rocks and nationalist pretige.

OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373883)

Well, Hope they realize that they'd actually be the first to land on the moon

Passport? (2)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374043)

Hey, isn't there a US flag on the moon? That being the case, will the Russian astronauts need passports when they get there? I hope they thought this through. I'd hate to see them get deported from the moon for being illegals.

One of these times... (1)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374087)

One of these time Russia will have a successful mission to Mars. Nineteenth time's a charm! (All joking aside, I would like to see these missions become a success.)

They can bring back souvenirs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374103)

Wonder what Americans would do if they landed at the apollo 11 site, rolled up the US flag, and brought it back to a russian museum. Doing this while planting the Russian flag in its place.

Re:They can bring back souvenirs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374243)

Buzz Aldrin would go over there and punch them in the face, then buy them a drink.

null (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374109)

for fuck sake, at least somebody is doing something... i want us back to the moon so bad...

Telepresence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374111)

With UAV's becoming ubiquitous and having less then a half dozen humans parked in a trailer monitoring sensor data from halfway across the planet looking for campfires. I wonder if the same type of technology could be utilized by building humanoid robots that could sent up to the moon and controlled from earth. The robots could construct human habitats and or facilities for power generation and food. Since the robots would be humanoid any vehicles or tools could be used by humans later on. Would the lag time for the control signal be too much to do any real practical work in real-time?

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