Russia's Space Plans Include Spacecraft to Moon, Jupiter, Mars, Venus by 2030
March 16, 2012 2:48 PM
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Roscosmos is also looking to replace its current Soyuz and Proton rockets with a new rocket called Angara by 2020
Russia has laid out some lofty space-related goals in a strategy document issued by Russia's Federal Space Agency, known as Roscosmos.
By 2030, Russia plans to send cosmonauts to the moon as well as unmanned spacecraft to Jupiter, Mars and Venus. Also, Roscosmos is looking to replace its current Soyuz and Proton rockets with a new rocket called Angara by 2020.
Roscosmos' moon-related efforts not only include a manned lunar landing by 2030, but also the development of a space station in orbit around the moon. The idea behind this plan is to replace the International Space Station, which is only
expected to stick around until 2020
In addition to a trip to the moon, Roscosmos wants to send unmanned robotic probes to Jupiter, Mars and Venus by 2030.
Instead of using the Soyuz and Proton launch vehicles that Russia has used to carry loads since the 1960's, it wants to use the Angara rocket to complete such missions by 2020. Angara will be a six-seat spaceship that will launch from a new spaceport called Vostochny in eastern Russia.
Russia's ambitious space goals are a bit surprising considering the troubles the country has had lately. Last year alone, Russia had a Rockot launch vehicle fail to place a satellite in order correctly, a Proton rocket send a communications satellite to the wrong orbit, an unmanned Progress 44 supply ship crash on its way to the ISS, and a
Soyuz 2 rocket crashed
after launch in December.
Earlier this year, the Mars probe Phobos-Grunt finally made its way back to Earth after getting stuck in Earth's orbit two months previous.
Russia isn't the only one trying to get its space affairs in order. The U.S. is currently working on sending its own spacecraft to the ISS after NASA retired its space shuttle fleet last year. Since the retirement, the U.S. has been stuck having to depend on Russia to get to the ISS, which has
proved to be a costly investment
. American space transport company SpaceX was expected to be the
first commercial company in history to dock at the ISS
in February, but the flight was delayed for further improvements to its Dragon spacecraft.
In addition, the U.S. hopes to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars by 2030.
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RE: Say what you want
3/19/2012 1:30:39 PM
It is sad but it heralds what America has become. America used to be known for ingenuity, hard work, drive to accomplish the impossible. People were tenacious and, at the same time, valued what was important, beyond the jade tinted paper. We valued scientific achievement, engineering prowess and hard, educational drive.
That's all gone now, replaced with stupid standardized tests. Tests that measure not what children can think, no, that is naught to say the least, but instead, how much they can cram into their skulls as dictated by heir fuherer the teacher (who is self-absorbed with meeting rating goals to keep their job as prescribed by the State and Federal governments).
The wonder is all gone. The need to dream has taken a back seat. From the radical fundamental religious to the stout, foolishly proud atheist know-it-alls, Americans are hailed to dream not but instead place their minds in the hands of the few that dictate what we should "know" or believe.
The great art of science, as I see it in America, is dying. Why be an engineer when you can rule with a clenched, iron fist squeezing the life out of your peers for every cent in their pockets in pursuit of the guilded currency bearing the all seeing eye? Why cast out a supple palm to latch onto the pursuit of scientific discovery when instead you can slaughter your neighbor in envy with your latest, shiniest car or fry their retinas with your gigantic big-screen television?
What's the point, or so our kids are told these days. You don't have to be smart, no, you instead just have to pass the tests in whatever way possible to fill your pockets from the public coffers--be it through Government handouts or Corporate greed. It doesn't matter, really, they are told, as it all comes from the same place eventually.
No, our values are screwed up. We used to dream in America. We used to value the sciences as well as the arts--food for the mind that gave our brightest that drive to clench new heights of technology and humanity.
It is shameful I say. NASA captured that imagination--the same that has been stomped out in modern times.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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