Information from secret documents published in Russia's main news source say that Vladimir Putin's government wants a lunar presence by 2016.
As if the ongoing conflicts over territory on at least three Earth continents weren’t enough, apparently it’s time for another international space race.
For the moon.
This time with robots.
The Huffington Post says that Vladimir Putin’s Russia has come out with a three-stage plan which would start with robotic craft being sent to the Moon by 2016.
“That move follows China's recent successful mission to place a robotic explorer on the surface. India and Japan are also preparing missions to explore the Moon, while NASA - which last walked on the surface 42 years ago - also has designs on going back.”
The Moscow Times quoted the major Russian newspaper Izvestia, citing the leaked document. “By 2028, Russia would be ready to send manned missions to orbit the Earth's satellite, Izvestia said, citing the report. In the final stage, planned for 2030, humans would be sent to the lunar surface to set up the infrastructure for an initial colony using local resources, the report said. The program also envisages building a space- and Earth-monitoring observatory on the Moon.”
The Post uses the phrase “leaked document.” That, by definition, means we don’t know who exposed it. It would be nice to ask, say, temporary Moscovite and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about it, perhaps, if he’s not too tuckered out from his recent tete-a-tete with Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.