It seems that already in the foreseeable future, the most developed countries will enter the struggle for "spheres of influence" on the moon. At least NASA is planning in 2022, that is, after only three and a half years, to create an international inhabited near-moon station. The Russians will also be able to attend it, but if the issue of creating space vehicles is not resolved now, our astronauts will have to fly to this station on NASA ships. What does it mean?
Firstly, in this case, Russia will completely depend on NASA in the exploration of the Moon, which is not very good in the general context of complex political relations with the United States. Secondly, independent flights to the moon are a matter of national prestige. Now Moscow is investing so much in the development of Russian cosmonautics that Roscosmos will inevitably have to prove to society the usefulness of its existence. Independent flights to the moon are one of the best arguments for this expense.
The issue of the delivery of Russians to the moon is increasingly being discussed in government circles of our country. However, to achieve this goal, you need to decide on vehicles. Recently, the head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin emphasized that the legendary Soviet spacecraft Soyuz can be used to fly to the moon. Despite the half-century age, various modifications of the Soyuz spacecraft are in service and can easily be converted to perform such complex flights, especially since at one time they were created for them. Now spacecraft of the Soyuz type carry Russian astronauts to the International Space Station, but in the future they may well become the first “moon taxis”. It is not only about delivering astronauts, but also about making commercial flights to the moon.
To move to flights to the moon, the Soyuz spacecraft will have to be seriously modernized. However the question technical modernization rests on finances. At one time, instead of modernizing the Soyuz, Roscosmos invested money in the Federation ship. Its launch is planned only in 2022. But the Soyuz ships because of the "Federation" did not receive decent funding. Therefore, RSC Energia is looking for private investors, promising in exchange for investments in the modernization of the Union to take them as tourists on a flight to the moon. Energia even called the price - 150 million dollars per person, but it’s clear that it’s difficult to find people who are ready to pay such money for a tourist flight to the moon even among multi-billionaires. Therefore, the question of state financing of the project still remains open and, most likely, if the Soyuz is really modernized and adapted for lunar flights, then it will be funded with state funds, and not with the money of potential lunar tourists.
Meanwhile, it is possible that at Roskosmos, not satisfied with the pace of the Federation project, they decided to “take on the old,” recalling the reliable and tried and tested Soviet Union. It remains only to hope that the plans of Roskosmos will really come true, the space agency will be able to provide adequate funding and in a few years the Soyuz will take the Russian cosmonauts to the moon.
The second life of the "Union": Russia will launch a taxi to the moon
- Author: P P 'SЊSЏ RџRѕR "RѕRЅSЃRєRёR№
- Photos used: https://ytimg.com