Russian deputy PM proposes Moon station

September 11, 2012
Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, pictured in July 2012, on Tuesday proposed setting up a space station on the Moon to revive Moscow's struggling space programme, a day after the prime minister ripped into its failures.

A top Russian official on Tuesday proposed setting up a space station on the Moon to revive Moscow's struggling space programme, a day after the prime minister ripped into its failures.

Outspoken recently-appointed deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is a former envoy to NATO, suggested the plan in an interview to Vesti FM radio station, saying that Russia's space agency should focus on a single goal.

"I would suggest that we work on solving one large task. Such a task could become the creation, let's say, of a Moon station, a ," said Rogozin.

"Why not try to work in the conditions of ? Why not try to do a big station that would be on a natural satellite of Earth?" he suggested, adding it could be "a base for further jumps and hops, a kind of hub."

He spoke a day after Prime Minister lashed out at the , which has seen a series of humiliating failures, including losing 10 satellites in one and a half years and the crash of a Progress cargo ship last year.

Medvedev said the situation was "unacceptable" and warned the against "throwing (its funding) to the winds."

Rogozin said that such a moon programme would "pull science and industry after it" and "allow the country to pull itself out of the imprisonment in certain problems that we have been in for the last 20 years."

He blamed deep-seated problems for recent conspicuous failures, saying that the space programme lacked a clear focus.

"Russia must finally formulate what she wants from space. Define the aims, what we are trying to achieve," he said.

"If you look at the documents that have been prepared up to now in the space sphere, it looks as if we want to do all good things: fly there, and go here, and carry out piloted programmes on the ."

"In fact there is no architecture of values, no clear understanding of the game plan."

Russia is now the only country able to ferry to the International Space Station, but it has suffered failures, including last month losing two satellites after the unsuccessful launch of a Proton-M rocket.

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baudrunner
not rated yet Sep 11, 2012
He's right. There has been, for a long time, nothing new in the Russian space program, and the routines of space flight have dulled the senses of their space agency employees. What is needed is a major new undertaking, pursuing new goals, and developing a new game plan.

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