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Russia considering manned lunar base

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The Russian space agency Roscosmos is studying the feasibility of building a base on the moon.

The idea of building a permanent outpost on the moon has been something that has cropped up a lot in recent years, but given recent financial troubles and the fact that nobody has been back to the moon for several decades, the likelihood of a manned outpost being constructed there any time soon seems bleak.

In a new feasibility study, Russia’s space agency is aiming to determine whether or not building a base on the moon is something that could be realistically achieved.

“Our nearest task within the limits of the planning horizon is the construction of a piloted outpost on the Moon,” said Lev Zelyony, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute. “A working group was recently set up at the order of Roscosmos’s head Vladimir Popovkin.”

Officials believe that the single biggest hurdle in a manned lunar outpost would be finding a way to protect astronauts from the harmful effects of radiation exposure.

“A spectrum of concrete tasks for crews to deal with on the Moon have been put forward,” said Zelyony. “But even on the Moon humans will have a difficult life. Long-duration missions on the Moon could only be possible in special shelters, most probably under the lunar surface.”

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