Russia launches lunar lander - declaring space race

Robert Zwilling

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First Russian lunar mission in 50 years. Says that it is not space exploration so much as it is a declaration to "ensure Russia's guaranteed access to the moon's surface."

If people don't get to the moon sooner rather than later, lunar rovers could become agents for making territorial claims.

Powerful rocket to get Russian lunar lander to the Moon's south Pole just before or just as India's lunar landing is happening. India launched its lander on July 14, using a series of maneuvers to get its lander into position to land on the moon at minimal cost. Using a much more powerful rocket, the Russian rocket will get their lander to the moon in 12 days.
 
Russia originally planned to land on the moon August 21, beating India, whose landing is scheduled for August 23. But an "abnormal situation" occurred at Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft on Saturday. Apparently it was trying to start maneuvers to land on the moon ahead of the India's lunar south pole landing. It is still orbiting ok. Glitches are not uncommon for lunar missions. No word yet on if the Russians will still be able to put their lander down on the surface before India does, scheduled for August 23. In 2019 India tried to put a lander on the south polar region, but a software glitch caused it to crash land.
 
According to the Russian news agency ' Luna -25 went into an off-design orbit and collided with the moon '.
 
It seems that with space rocketry. every failure is a step closer to success. It does go to show just how dangerous is manned space flight - especially when it comes to landing on a solid mass - and just how much of a pipedream is a manned mission to Mars by the end of the 2030s.
 
Until a country or a company's lunar landing missions become routine and carried off successfully, a Mars landing needs to be scheduled a long way off. For that to happen there would have to be a lunar base established. It would be more economical to build an "international hotel" instead of each country building their own base.
 
Until a country or a company's lunar landing missions become routine and carried off successfully, a Mars landing needs to be scheduled a long way off. For that to happen there would have to be a lunar base established. It would be more economical to build an "international hotel" instead of each country building their own base.

And we may not see viable lunar bases for another 20 to 30 years.
 
Russia had a successful Luna space programme until Luna-24 landed on the moon in 1976.There is some interesting footage on YouTube of the Russian missions to Venus. The scientific community in Russia has been crippled by a brain drain and a drop in government funding. More recently, it has also lost income from launching Western European satellites. I believe the Luna-25 launch was politically motivated, a demonstration that Russia is still a rich and powerful country . The Chinese and, to a lesser extent India, are doing the same thing. The Americans also need the motivation of being the top dog . The space race will only happen , if you have more than one contenders.
 
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Russia had a successful Luna space programme until Luna-24 landed on the moon in 1976.There is some interesting footage on YouTube of the Russian missions to Venus. The scientific community in Russia has been crippled by a brain drain and a drop in government funding. More recently, it has also lost income from launching Western European satellites. I believe the Luna-25 launch was politically motivated, a demonstration that Russia is still a rich and powerful country . The Chinese and, to a lesser extent India, are doing the same thing. The Americans also need the motivation of being the top dog . The space race will only happen , if you have more than one contenders.

A military incentive and possible and economic incentive as well.
 
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A military incentive and possible and echoic incentive as well.
" echoic incentive ". That is new one to me , I will just need to work out what it means , so I can work it into future conversations. Many thanks
 
A new space race would make things interesting though I honestly cannot see how a viable moonbase is remotely possible any time soon. Thus far manned spaceflight has been all about governmental PR: there's nothing out there astronauts can do that machines can't do better at a fraction of the cost. Space is the perfect place for machines that generally last much longer than expected. A manned moonbase would be an order of magnitude more expensive than a one-off Moon landing and the PR value would be much less. The whole world watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon meant something. But hearing daily reports from astronauts in a moonbase means about as much as hearing them from astronauts in the ISS. After a while it becomes very meh.* And the ISS costs a fraction of what a moonbase will cost.

I'll make a bet: a month's salary we don't see any manned moonbase whilst I'm still alive and make it to 80. Against a Mars trip I'll bet the house.


*The most popular video I can find on the ISS dates back 8 years and clocked 107 million views. But then you have Skibidi Toilet 17 three months back at 224 million views. Public interest is a fickle thing....
 
A new space race would make things interesting though I honestly cannot see how a viable moonbase is remotely possible any time soon. Thus far manned spaceflight has been all about governmental PR: there's nothing out there astronauts can do that machines can't do better at a fraction of the cost. Space is the perfect place for machines that generally last much longer than expected. A manned moonbase would be an order of magnitude more expensive than a one-off Moon landing and the PR value would be much less. The whole world watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon meant something. But hearing daily reports from astronauts in a moonbase means about as much as hearing them from astronauts in the ISS. After a while it becomes very meh.* And the ISS costs a fraction of what a moonbase will cost.

I'll make a bet: a month's salary we don't see any manned moonbase whilst I'm still alive and make it to 80. Against a Mars trip I'll bet the house.


*The most popular video I can find on the ISS dates back 8 years and clocked 107 million views. But then you have Skibidi Toilet 17 three months back at 224 million views. Public interest is a fickle thing....

First off , any lunar colony would have built underground to keep it. out the suns rays and radiation , that's the easy part. Getting water up there in sufficient qualities and an atmosphere that can be replenished eceomically . There this the moon dust problem to consider which I cannot imagine what the solution to that one would be. And then there problem of the lower gravity and tall that issues and consequences that brings .
 
First off , any lunar colony would have built underground to keep it. out the suns rays and radiation , that's the easy part. Getting water up there in sufficient qualities and an atmosphere that can be replenished eceomically . There this the moon dust problem to consider which I cannot imagine what the solution to that one would be. And then there problem of the lower gravity and tall that issues and consequences that brings .
The moon has water ice and plenty of oxygen. Moon dust should be treated like germ or chemical warfare - sealed outside and rinsed down when it is necessary to bring something through an air lock. But there is no reason that spacesuits or anything else used outside should be brought in to where people live.

And the living quarters could be lava tubes that are lined with "inner tube" liners that remain sealed until installed and inflated, so their insides are also never exposed to moon dust. Like bicycle inner tubes, the liners don't have to be strong, just air tight since the cave walls will provide the strength.
 
A new space race would make things interesting though I honestly cannot see how a viable moonbase is remotely possible any time soon. Thus far manned spaceflight has been all about governmental PR: there's nothing out there astronauts can do that machines can't do better at a fraction of the cost. Space is the perfect place for machines that generally last much longer than expected. A manned moonbase would be an order of magnitude more expensive than a one-off Moon landing and the PR value would be much less. The whole world watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon meant something. But hearing daily reports from astronauts in a moonbase means about as much as hearing them from astronauts in the ISS. After a while it becomes very meh.* And the ISS costs a fraction of what a moonbase will cost.

I'll make a bet: a month's salary we don't see any manned moonbase whilst I'm still alive and make it to 80. Against a Mars trip I'll bet the house.


*The most popular video I can find on the ISS dates back 8 years and clocked 107 million views. But then you have Skibidi Toilet 17 three months back at 224 million views. Public interest is a fickle thing....


Totally agree with this. I'd love to see a moonbase, and a manned mission to Mars; eventually a Mars colony. But none of it will happen. Sure, it's theoretically possible, but prohibitively expensive and extremely hazardous.

It doesn't help when NASA said that they were planning to have a manned mission to the Red Planet in the early 2030s; they haven't landed on the Moon in over 50 YEARS. Expectations have been set far too high, and are unrealistic in the extreme. That's like me struggling to walk round to the local shop today, but saying that I'll be able to complete a marathon next month.

I assume NASA are saying this to get funding, but is anyone seriously expecting it to actually happen?
 
Totally agree with this. I'd love to see a moonbase, and a manned mission to Mars; eventually a Mars colony. But none of it will happen. Sure, it's theoretically possible, but prohibitively expensive and extremely hazardous.

It doesn't help when NASA said that they were planning to have a manned mission to the Red Planet in the early 2030s; they haven't landed on the Moon in over 50 YEARS. Expectations have been set far too high, and are unrealistic in the extreme. That's like me struggling to walk round to the local shop today, but saying that I'll be able to complete a marathon next month.

I assume NASA are saying this to get funding, but is anyone seriously expecting it to actually happen?
It depends on whether you think solving a runaway climate disaster will necessitate orbital infrastructure, and if you think we'll try to survive the coming disaster or not.

If we do decide not to kill ourselves, moon mining will be useful. And if we are already doing that, then Mars becomes a somewhat minor next step.
 
Expectations have been set far too high, and are unrealistic in the extreme.
Methinks there is a real incentive for governments to keep their people optimistic about the future. If people believe in a glorious age to come then they will accept whatever they have to in the present which means, essentially, that they will be good citizens who can be relied on to make sacrifices and work for that future. That interests a government. If people aren't optimistic about the future then they are far less willing to accept the difficulties of the present; resentment builds up against the current order and especially against a government whose existence depends upon that order. The Soviet Union collapsed simply because its population lost all faith in the Workers' Paradise and no longer had any interest in maintaining the status quo. That lack of interest manifested itself as decreased production and increased corruption (if the future is bad then grab what you can in the present and to hell with the common good). Mid-level management took note and began to insist that something had to be done. Their insistence communicated itself to the top who realised they could no longer be complacent with the status quo, and they acted.

No government wants to go through that so, sure, do anything to convince the people the future is bright. Space travel fits the bill perfectly.
 
It depends on whether you think solving a runaway climate disaster will necessitate orbital infrastructure, and if you think we'll try to survive the coming disaster or not.

If we do decide not to kill ourselves, moon mining will be useful. And if we are already doing that, then Mars becomes a somewhat minor next step.


If forward thinking had taken place, and decisive action taken, it's unlikely that we would be in the situation we currently find ourselves. Everything that's being done appears to be reactive, and even then not always carried through. It's even arguable that an increase in building space rockets, and regular launches into space, could actually increase our carbon footprint rather than reduce it.

I agree that any energy consuming activities that can be done outside of our planet's atmosphere are a good thing, but there's a deal of difference between wanting something to happen and it becoming a reality.
 
Methinks there is a real incentive for governments to keep their people optimistic about the future. If people believe in a glorious age to come then they will accept whatever they have to in the present which means, essentially, that they will be good citizens who can be relied on to make sacrifices and work for that future. That interests a government. If people aren't optimistic about the future then they are far less willing to accept the difficulties of the present; resentment builds up against the current order and especially against a government whose existence depends upon that order. The Soviet Union collapsed simply because its population lost all faith in the Workers' Paradise and no longer had any interest in maintaining the status quo. That lack of interest manifested itself as decreased production and increased corruption (if the future is bad then grab what you can in the present and to hell with the common good). Mid-level management took note and began to insist that something had to be done. Their insistence communicated itself to the top who realised they could no longer be complacent with the status quo, and they acted.

No government wants to go through that so, sure, do anything to convince the people the future is bright. Space travel fits the bill perfectly.


Kennedy's speech was both mesmerising and astonishing. It left no-one in any doubt that the US would put a man on the Moon, no matter the cost. you knew it would be done. Since the last person set foot on the Moon in 1972 we only seemed to be going backwards in our vision of the future. Yes, great things have been achieved with space stations, with probes and the Mars Rover. But the determination to send humans beyond close orbit seems to be notable by its absence.

Put simply, why is it more than 50 years since we set foot on the Moon? I think perhaps its that we've realised how foolhardy it was, and how incredibly lucky we were. Given the advances in technology, I think that we are now more aware of the hazards of space travel, even 'short haul' to the Moon.
 

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