back to article Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'

Barely six weeks after rolling troops into the Crimean Peninsula, an official from Vladimir Putin's Russia has announced the country's next expansion target: the Moon. As reported by the Voice of Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that establishing a permanent Moon …

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      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: No need to ask permission - @Trevor_Pott

          The book I have to back my "theological" claim isn't from the iron age, but it is one of the most celebrated pieces of philosophical writing in all of human history. maybe you should go read it.

          And I think Frederich Nietzsche would be a might upset about you calling his writings a work of theology. But hey, have yourself a ball with all that unbridled rage. Just don't break anything important, hmm?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: No need to ask permission - @Trevor_Pott

              "hyperbolic overestimation of homo sapiens sapiens"

              Where did I estimate (over or under) homo sapiens? I said the purpose of sentience was to spread life to the stars. I never once said is was the purpose of sentience to spread sentient life to the stars and certainly not necessarily to spread it's own species to the stars.

              I said the purpose of life was life itself. That we as sentients have a duty to spread that life. You inferred that I must mean the spread of our species and of sentient life.

              You were also the one prattling on about holy books and theology without actually stopping for a brief moment to ask what I might have meant. I gave you a very well known book by a seminal writer in our history from which at least one part of the quote - the purpose of life is life itself - is derived. From there, you're off on an anti-humanist tear that I think stopped somewhere around the intersection of hope-shattering nihilism, bleak despair, self loathing and evangelical atheism. (Where it isn't enough that you believe there is no supreme being, you must purge that belief from others.)

              Quoting one phrase form Nietzsche does not mean endorsing all of his teachings, nor does acknowledging him as one of the pre-eminent philosophers of our history. Our culture and our values are what they are because of the great thinkers of our past as well as those who acted upon those philosophies. Positive, negative, neutral...we are as a species the sum of our predecessors; genetically as well as culturally.

              If you want to sit in a corner and whip yourself for the sins of other people's grandfathers, you go right ahead. Have fun with that. You can hang any tag you want on it, I'm going to go with "beating yourself up over 'original sin'" because that's exactly what your tedious antihumanism appears to be from the outside.

              Why don't you do you reset your neurotransmitter levels by smoking a huge bowl and just going and getting laid. Chill the fuck out, man. It's only life; noone gets out alive.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Arnaut the less

          "There is no purpose".

          As far as *you* know.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: @Arnaut the less - @Tom Welsh

              "Potts's Nietzschean view"

              A) There is no S in my last name

              B) Even is there were an S in my last name "Potts's" is all kinds of wrong. Grammer, motherfucker, learn it.

              C) If you think I'm a follower of Nietzche, you're an idiot.

              One thing we would both agree upon, however, is that the various supreme beings that our species has manufactured over the aeons are nothing more than myths. There are a few other minor points we'd be able to have friendly beers over, but from there he and I would diverge quite significantly.

              Now, back in your box. Do 30 laps around your cage before you scream insanely into the aether. We need you tired out by bedtime, because the adults want to actually get some sleep tonight.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
                  Pint

                  Re: @Arnaut the less - @Tom Welsh

                  (beer)

                  1. Don Jefe

                    Re: @Arnaut the less - @Tom Welsh

                    'The purpose of life is life itself'.

                    That's so true and so very simple. If people kept that a bit more at the forefront of their thoughts the world would be a much happier place and everybody could have a lot more everything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No need to ask permission

      @Gray:

      "First take Crimea, then eastern Ukraine; then shoot for the moon".

      To extend your analogy, I suppose that after first taking Iran and Afghanistan, the USA can be expected to bomb the hell out of Titan and Enceladus. (For their own good, of course). The Moon is far too close.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: No need to ask permission

      It's funny that people regularly forget it, but you don't ask permission when engaging in conquest. International 'diplomacy' groups have been around for millennia, and when things are happy then it's all good. But when somebody steps out of line nobody ever does anything if the aggressor is winning, or just overwhelmingly aggressive. Hello Iraq...

      If somebody doesn't like your conquest they can attempt to stop you, otherwise you can do whatever you want as long as you've got the stones and resources to do it. The UN, or whoever, is fucking worthless if somebody inside the group wants to get invadey, you just do it. You don't ask permission.

  1. Christian Berger

    Makes sense

    Maned moon missions are a great way to boost your engineering for decades to come. Just look at what it did in the US. The momentum still lasted into the 1980s when it gradually became desirable not to be an engineer, but a banker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes sense

      Except the technology to get there exists now, so it isn't going to provide the boost it did in the past because there are no problems that need solving.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes sense

        "Except the technology to get there exists now..."

        And it didn't boost the Soviet economy at all, since it was unproductive state spending, and in a closed, secretive and centrally directed economy there were no spin offs for wider industry, unlike in the US, and the lack of a viable commercial sector meant that the multiplier effects of state spending were muted compared to a market economy.

        Put simply, space science fits largely in the "guns" category of "guns or butter".

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Makes sense

          Put simply, space science fits largely in the "guns" category of "guns or butter".

          Correct. Space Keynesiansim brings you a bit farther than War Keynesianism, but it's not a panacea - just allocation of productive capital from the taxpayer to projects the government finds good and from there into the pockets of contractors.

          Seeing how 30 billion dollar somehow went AWOL in Sochi, and Russia still being a illiberal basket case economically, I'm not even sure how to feel about all of this.

          And now a message from our sponsors:

          MOON annexation by RUSSIA will be like a NEW MUNICH! Roll back the NEW HITLER!! Act now! HILLARY 2017!!!

        2. Don Jefe

          Re: Makes sense

          You can't compare US and Soviet economies directly with dollars. Unless you were at the higher end of the 'according to their needs' scale money had very little meaning for the average Russian of the USSR era.

          From the 'providing the means to manage a population', which is what economies are, the Soviet nuclear programs were highly successful. The number of people housed, fed and educated as a result of those programs was almost 3x greater than the numbers in the US. Interestingly, the kids in that weird town near Chernobyl tested on par with the Japanese and Germans in math and general sciences. Undergrads here in the US often score lower on the same tests.

          I am not saying life was good it Soviet Russia, but I am saying that giving a tiny portion of the population a bunch of money to develop programs that have cost enough to buy the UK but still never recovered the initial investment doesn't seem to have worked as well as giving a bunch more people a much more equalized share. Sure, Chernobyl sucked, and their waste management wasn't great, but Chernobyl was a good lesson for everybody, and the Superfund sites here in the US are cleaned up using technology and processes developed in Soviet Russia.

          Everything about nuclear anything is poorly understood by the general public and it's even worse if they start talking nuclear weapons. It's like they learned about it all by watching movies and listening to the news. It isn't exciting reading, but the US and UK both have had their archives open to the public for ages but nobody ever bothers to investigate the facts. It's far more fun to repet things that were wrong in the 1970's and are still wrong today.

      2. MacroRodent Silver badge
        Unhappy

        NO technology yet (Re: Makes sense)

        Except the technology to get there exists now, so it isn't going to provide the boost it did in the past because there are no problems that need solving.

        Technology for a very expensive moon picnic exists (or used to exist), but not for an extended stay, which would have its own set of unsolved problems: radiation shielding, dealing with moondust, recycling air and water for an extended time, surviving the cold lunar night, etc.etc.

        Plenty of challenges remain.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes sense

      "Maned moon missions are a great way to boost your engineering for decades to come".

      That's a natural lion to take.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Makes sense

        Upvote.

        I had mental images of the whole russian thing going quiet, then in thirty years time, the US making another attempt, and coming face to face with lions in spacesuits, silently roaring at them.

        But then I have had a long day...

      2. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Makes sense

        I think you may have hit a roar nerve there...

  2. David 45

    Bon voyage and happy landings

    This could prove interesting, bearing in mind that Russia's soft landing record on other planets is not exactly spectacular. I wonder if they really have the technology to pull this off or have THEY been spying on the Yanks?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Bon voyage and happy landings

      The US is using the Russians as its ride to the ISS and their rocket to launch the latest Atlas 5.

      What do you think?

  3. Lapun Mankimasta Bronze badge

    FWLIW, I serously doubt the Russians can annex the Moon. The British Empire had very serious doubts about annexing New Zealand in the 1930s, due to the length of time getting there and back. Now imagine getting the commissar to the Moon when you're dealing with weather getting in the way all the time ... there was some very serious intelligence behind the Moon Treaty of 1979:

    http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosa/en/SpaceLaw/gares/html/gares_34_0068.html

    Article 11:2

    The moon is not subject to national appropriation by any claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

    a restatement of the Outer Space Treaty of 1966:

    http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SpaceLaw/gares/html/gares_21_2222.html

    Article II

    Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

    If you can't get there in force, you can't enforce your claims; you can't prevent anybody else getting there.

    FWVLIW, I always laugh when I read Space Opera talking so blithely of Interstellar Empires - if you can't get there in a timely fashion, you can't be said to control it in any meaningful fashion, and they're only being polite.

    1. Lapun Mankimasta Bronze badge

      Bit late for edit, but for "The British Empire had very serious doubts about annexing New Zealand in the 1930s"

      read "The British Empire had very serious doubts about annexing New Zealand in the 1830s"

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        New Zealand was _only_ annexed because the confederation of Maori Chiefs petititioned Queen V to do so (there were a number of reasons for doing so). It wasn't even on the agenda before then.

        I don't see any luna natives who might do that, or any worthwhile resources to go after (everything that's on the moon can be had elsewhere in the solar system for far less effort, even helium 3)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Lapun Mankimasta

      "FWLIW, I ser[i]ously doubt the Russians can annex the Moon".

      If you look closely, I think you will find that there is no mention of annexing anything in TFA. That was just an irresponsible little flourish added in the subhead. (Seriously, guys, consider the possible unwisdom of misrepresenting the Russian government this way).

    3. Sandtitz Silver badge

      @Lapun

      "http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosa/en/SpaceLaw/gares/html/gares_34_0068.html

      Article 11:2

      The moon is not subject to national appropriation by any claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."

      Yes, and Russia signed a treaty 20 years ago to honor the independence and territory of Ukraine. Big deal. There's some similarities with a certain Munich Agreement, wouldn't you say?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Lapun

        "Yes, and Russia signed a treaty 20 years ago to honor the independence and territory of Ukraine. Big deal. There's some similarities with a certain Munich Agreement, wouldn't you say?"

        No, I wouldn't. Recall that on Feb. 9, 1990 US Secretary of State James Baker publicly promised, "no extension of NATO's jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east," provided the Soviets agreed to the NATO membership of a unified Germany. (So far, NATO has expanded over 400 miles east of the German border; if Ukraine were to join, that would extend to over 1,250 miles. Some "inch").

        Many commentators have asked why Gorbachev didn't ask that commitment to be put in writing, or perhaps enshrined as a solemn treaty. The answer is obvious: if you can't trust someone's promise, you can't trust it whether it's verbal or in writing. Actually, the closest resemblance that I can see to Munich is that Baker and Bush conned Gorbachev in much the same cynical way as Hitler conned Chamberlain.

        Back in Germany, Hitler recounted the Munich meeting to his cronies with some amusement. He was introduced to a nice old gentleman, he said, who asked for his autograph - so he gave him it. Sounds to me exactly like what the clever people in Washington would have said to one another after fooling the gullible Russians.

      2. Lapun Mankimasta Bronze badge

        Re: @Lapun

        My point - which you've missed in its entirety - is that there are good solid PHYSICAL REASONS why the Outer Space and Moon treaties read as they do. Simply that exercising exclusive control over the Moon is impossible. It's one of the reasons why I tend to ignore SkiFFy books and films - you need to blanket Near Earth Orbit with weaponized satellites to prevent a breakout. The Brilliant Pebbles of the Gypper's SDI - Raygun's Star Wars for the incognescenti - was a valiant attempt to do precisely that, only it would've bankrupted the US to do so and kept them from trusting Near Earth Orbit, let alone their National Technical Means of Verification (spy satellites) that various arms control treaties rely upon..

        Treaties that last tend to take physical realities as seriously as they take political realities.

  4. Kit-Fox
    Joke

    Its ok we can let the Russians paint the moon communist red...

    In the long run it will be a saving for us, all we will need is enough white paint to put coca-cola on the moon then :P

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "Its ok we can let the Russians paint the moon communist red..."

      News just in: Russia hasn't been communist since 1917.

      News update: Russia hasn't even been pretending to be communist since 1991.

      But they like red almost as much as the Republicans, so I'll let you have that one.

      1. Kit-Fox

        title

        ok, ok lets nitpick the decades old joke. how clever we all are :P

        ffs, it was only a throw away joke, even headed with the joke icon. what more do you lot want ?!?!

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
          Facepalm

          Re: title

          Actually I didn't see the icon.

          Sorry.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Check the news. Communism has been dead as dead since 1989 or so.

  5. VinceH

    Design for the base, along with a design for a space craft for use there.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Coat

      @VinceH

      Just as long as the inhabitants don't have to wear flared trousers...

    2. gisabsr

      And there I was, thinking that 'missle' was a horrible misspelling that arose thanks to the infosuperhighwaybahn. I was wrong.

  6. Big Al
    Alien

    New rockets?

    Contracted out to, in competition with or designs just stolen from SpaceX?

    All sounds like jolly good fun whichever is the case :)

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: New rockets?

      Actually, Space X's rocket design is based on Russian designs.

  7. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Putin's ego

    FOUND ON THE MOON

  8. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Aint no chances?

    1 - US is broke and has enough money for wars but not for financial, social or political reforms

    2 - Ruskies are used to hardships given weather, geology and geography of their habitat. Space is just a natural extension of that and the moon a natural extension of that (it is a recursive thang no?)

    3 - heck, India and China have more chance of setting bases on the moon than US and EU combined (partly due to US and EU financial services and socio-politico consequences of how it has been dealt.

    4 - US and EU will reserve enough resource to ensure it can individually or jointly participate in armed conflict formal or informal.

    5 - what's wrong with flares?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Aint no chances?

      Heinlein's books pretty much predicted the same thing, The protagonists in his moon books tended ot be ethnically russian or chinese.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Since this is an IT site...

    ...let me be the first to point out that (with a round-trip latency of just a few seconds) only a complete cretin would populate a moonbase with fleshies. They need air, food, water, healthcare and a psychological need not to be boxed up in a confined space for months on end. You want drones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Since this is an IT site...

      Ken, some bloke from Roscosmos just called. They seem to have misplaced your CV and were wondering if you could send it again.

    2. Vociferous

      Re: Since this is an IT site...

      > You want drones.

      For an actual moon base doing actually useful stuff, like bouncing broadcasts, yes, or better still fully autonomous robots. Luna is the worst possible target for a human colony. However, this seems to be a propaganda/PR project along the lines of the ISS, so doing actually useful stuff is no doubt optional and far down the list of priorities.

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch
      IT Angle

      Re: Since this is an IT site...

      Yanks in space? Russkies on the Moon? Same thing, just different different docking music.

      (yes, there definitely is an IT angle!)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and fly to the Mars"

    That misplaced definite article gives this piece of news from Russia all the authenticity it needs. :)

  11. Vociferous

    They're welcome to it.

    Spending a minimum of 200 billion dollars (or whatever the equivalent of that is in roubles) to build a small underground(1) structure on Luna, a body unique in the solar system in its lack of interesting raw materials(2) doesn't strike me as a strategy the US need to worry overly about. The US should continue it's far more ambitious and promising plan to colonize Mars and the Jovian moons.

    1) Luna has no magnetic field and no atmosphere; the radiation level on the surface is half of that in open space, for humans to survive for any period of time they need to stay below ground.

    2) Luna formed as the lightest fragments of a collision between proto-earth and a mars-sized asteroid coalesced in orbit. Because of the way it formed, Luna is uniquely low in heavier elements, i.e. metals. And for those who feel the term "helium 3" coming to them, remember that helium 3 is still completely useless, and that it's not even known if there is any on Luna.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: They're welcome to it.

      Yeah, but helium 3 makes awesome party balloons...

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