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. ecofeco Silver badge

    Could not have timed it better

    The US has not landed a man on the moon in 47 years. This is a serious loss of momentum, will and advantage.

    Given the US's current obsession with military might and pure financial greed and the disdain by its general populace for all things science, it will probably never regain those advantages.

    They have timed this well.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Could not have timed it better

      This is also at a time when the US probably couldn't afford to join that race. I almost wonder if Russia isn't particularly serious about this but figured it would be a great time to bring it up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could not have timed it better

        It is easy and free to talk about, and fills the citizens with nationalist pride. But don't mistake talk for action, they aren't going to go to the Moon any more than the US went back in 2012 like Bush promised in 2004. They won't even land anything there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Could not have timed it better

          "US went back in 2012 like Bush promised in 2004"

          If Obama hadn't shut down the program... not like Bush had any control over that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could not have timed it better

        "This is also at a time when the US probably couldn't afford to join that race"

        To a degree yes, but the Yanks have far greater ability to afford it than the crooked and backward economy that Russia is blessed with. Putin and his mates have obviously forgotten that last time they tried to out-compete America on weapons and space technology it bankrupted the USSR. With an economy only held afloat by exports of gas, Russia is playing a dangerous game that in the longer term it is likely to lose.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Could not have timed it better

          Of course they can afford it. They just need to cut back on other things, like building the Matrix.

          I'd much rather have a good old-fashioned space race, it's of much more benefit to humanity.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Could not have timed it better

            "I'd much rather have a good old-fashioned space race, it's of much more benefit to humanity."

            Not when both sides are funding it from the printing presses, which in the longer term is simply a stealth tax on holders of cash and cash-denominated assets. Building a big fuck-off rocket with tax might look cool, but when you've seen your economy hollowed out by the biggest debt fuelled boom 'n' bust in history, you'd think that people would have more sense than even more borrowing to pay for vainglorious technological willy waving.

            Any the technical benefits of a space programme are simply too far ahead to make economic sense when you discount them and compare them to alternative uses of the money like low tech stuff that's crying out to be done, such as improving transport links or telecomms and internet access.

        2. Mag07

          Re: Could not have timed it better

          There is logic in your argument, however, you seem to forget that this is Russia. They don't care if their country goes bankcrupt, individuals, the elite, will not. If they do, some prominent places in the EU would come down with them. Europe and especially the UK bending over for the last 2 decades at the site of Russians dangling their gold sacks, has led them to believe, and rightfully so, that they are the ones with power.

          London can't even afford economical sanctions against a country the openly invades another in violation of international law let alone, stopping said nation from planning space trips and going through with the plan.

          The country may bankrupt in the generic sense of the world, but Russia will be just fine.

          They will attempt anything at the cost of their people to make a point. Don't discard the plans as mad mens talk. They may be mad, but it's not necessarily just talk ;)

          When dealing with a different mentality to your own, you need to step outside your box of logic and attempt to think like your subject does - irrational as it may be.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Could not have timed it better

            > London can't even afford economical sanctions against a country the openly invades another in violation of international law let alone

            I had no idea Parliament was looking to impose sanctions on the US.

            1. Lapun Mankimasta

              Re: Could not have timed it better

              > I had no idea Parliament was looking to impose sanctions on the US.

              It IS a bit late, now that Hawai'i's a state instead of just a territory ...


          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Could not have timed it better

            "you seem to forget that this is Russia"

            No, I don't. I agree with most of your comments, but I wasn't saying they could not or would not do this - just that it would be economic madness that they can ill afford. That's quite common amongst dictators, but Putin's got some way to go before he challenges North Korea for the 2014 title of Crackpot Dictator of the Year.

            One point of clarification, why would London wish to stop anybody going into space? Nobody in the UK cares if Putin wants to build a huge phallus and point it at the moon, and historically we are used to threatening postures from short arse emperors and dictators.

            The reality of the current spat over Ukraine has drawn out two fundamental issues that the world needs to learn, and neither are really about Ukraine or Crimea:

            1) Russia is not a reliable trade partner, and with the threat of freezing Germany to death next winter, the key country of the EU isn't going to say boo to the goose stepper of Moscow. Important lessons: Russian exports cannot be relied on, and closing down your coal fired power plant to save the world has far more costs than just higher energy bills.

            2) Giving up nuclear weapons means surrendering to those who do have them, even if other nuclear powers have guaranteed your sovereignty. This lesson was already believed in Pyongyang, Teheran and Islamabad, but Putin has single-handedly spelled it out to the whole world. This could have some rather difficult long term consequences including for Russia.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @LedSwinger "Giving up nuclear weapons..."

              Do you really believe the outcome would have been different if Ukraine had kept some of its nuclear weapons? The reason they rolled over for Russia in Crimea (and may yet in the eastern part of Ukraine) is not because they believed Russia would nuke them. Putin still would have come in if they had nukes, because he knows no one would start a nuclear war over it.

              This was/is never going to be anything but a conventional war, if that, and Russia has a larger and more modern military than Ukraine. More importantly, most of the people in Crimea, and in the area that may yet be annexed to provide a land path to Crimea, are ethnic Russian (ignoring the messy historical reasons why that is the case) That would make it very difficult for a Ukrainian army to fight them, both because some of their number would be unwilling to fire upon Russians, and a majority of the local population would aid a Russian army that was being fired upon by a Ukrainian army.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @DougS

                "This was/is never going to be anything but a conventional war,..."

                Sorry mate, you're still in short trousers obviously. My first job a long time ago was maintaining and sharpening step one of the nuclear detente mechanism. Nobody ever starts out intending for things to go shit shaped. In the 1930's, heavy bombers were seen in much the same light as WMD today. Most people believed they'd never be used, they were a deterrent, and the thought of their use was simply horrific. FFWD to mid-1945, and we'd had Guernica, the London blitz, Coventry, Hamburg, Dresden, and ultimately Hiroshima.

                Putin is banking on getting away with it. So did Hitler (note 1). If Putin he gets away with Crimea (like Hitler did in the Sudetenland), then he might consider Eastern Ukraine (even as I type), just as Adolf moved into Poland. Then what about disputes with former USSR NATO members. like, well, Poland?

                Note 1: For historic purposes I claim a derogation against Godwin.

                1. Paul 129

                  Re: @DougS

                  OIL OIL OIL


                  What a coincidence... Now what areas is Russia interested in? Where are its troops massing


                  I've been trying to find the percentage of people required in a country to run a successful revolution. I thought it was a fraction of the ethnic russians.

                  Protecting ethnic russians is happy coincidence

                2. Don Jefe

                  Re: @DougS

                  Nuclear arms were never a deterrent to national expansionist policies. They were are deterrent to ideological expansion, but not to making a country bigger, or smaller. There are a bunch of policy books that deal specifically with the horribly misguided expansion of nuclear arms in Europe and later to the Indian subcontinent.

                  Basically, everybody wanted to show they were as robust as the US and the USSR, but never stopped to ask what the goals were. They just knew they needed some nukes too. France, and the UK in particular, were so off the walls desperate to look like lunatics too that Macmillan, Churchhill, and Atlee all said at various times that the dumbest thing the UK had ever done was to keep screwing around with nuclear weapons when the USSR could disappear the entirety of Western Europe in less than an hour and the US was likely to do so accidently in their rush to shoot first.

                  The reason nuclear weapons were never a deterrent to national expansion is that it's fucking stupid to vaporize and irradiate resources that are the goal of expansion in the first place; it's completely pointless. All the oil in the world isn't worth shit if it kills everyone. Incidentally, that's what scares the shit out of everybody regarding nuclear weapons in the Western Orient (everybody who doesn't live there anyway). It's widely assumed that Israel won't destroy population centers with nuclear weapons, nobody will back that. But vaporizing the oil fields of their enemies would be far more damaging to those countries and the global economy. The more spooky policy types also see the possibility of an enraged 'Islamic madman' destroying their own oil fields if large scale invasion occurred before international nuclear weapons delivery capabilities had been established in that country.

                  Nuclear weapons should never have expanded outside the US and we should have sunk them all with all the ships and other shit we scuttled after the end of the war. They were never considered a viable response to anything other than a nuclear assault and everybody on the planet who had them was more scared of US (Ha!) than they were of the USSR; even inside the US! Dr. Strangelove was satire with a healthy dose of actual internal concerns at the highest levels of government.

                  It was fucking stupid, all of it. The 'nuclear diplomacy' a few deluded knobs like to showcase as reasons for keeping the weapons are Bush MkII cowboy bullshit that never actually accomplished anything. The people with power in those situations were the equivalent of patient wives who got the problems all sorted out but never had the heart to tell their 'big strong man' he looked like a horses ass because he'd be impotent and suicidal if his 'weapon of mass destruction' didn't work anymore.

                  Bunch of dumbassery then and even more so now. You don't shoot nuclear weapons at people who have 41,000 more nuclear weapons than you. Nor do launch nuclear weapons at the land and resources (treasure) you want nor the people who you want to dig it out of the ground for you. It would be like if England had killed everybody in Wales and Ireland then flooded all the coal mines.

                3. SumDood

                  Re: @DougS

                  "Putin is banking on getting away with it."

                  He probably is, just like a number of recent US (and UK) leaders of recent times.

          3. Don Jefe

            Re: Could not have timed it better


            You're correct, 'madmen' (aka - anyone with a mindset significantly different from your own) are always a significant challenge. It's why ideological 'wars on ideas' are almost universally failures. No one very far removed from the 'crazy' can ever truly understand what the commotion is all about and trying to 'think crazy' is just fucking stupid. The only way to beat crazy is with more crazy, and that's where everything falls apart and why the actions of one man quite a while ago go on to drive the actions of folks like Godwin, who will be referenced by proxy in the following paragraph.

            Take Winston Churchhill for example, an incredibly dangerous, highly unbalanced person of the sort who polite society usually prefers to just not talk about. It's been established for ages you just keep people like that blackout drunk all the time and they sort themselves out, usually in a messy way, but it solves the problem. But Neville Chamberlain isn't much use against a Stalin or Hitler. Dogmatic ideology can only be defeated by organized chaos and the force field created by simply giving zero fucks.

            It's a big problem with the expansion of any polarized 'party line' social management platform. If you go so far to any one side that people would honestly rather be dead than live 'your way' then you've got a really bad problem. When things are that bad the best solution is always the person otherwise most unfit for the job. Fuel him up and he 'wex wode wroth' on the madman who derives 100% of his power from giving all the fucks. You can't march into successful conquest on the shoulders of an idea unless you and your followers really, really buy into the underlying concepts embodied in whatever banner you're waving.

            There's a strong argument that, summarized, says that society can move forward only through imbalance, confusion and dispute. Without those elements society tends to devolve and focus on rather trivial issues of class and semantics, paying tribute to 'advancement' but in reality resembling the earliest pioneers of their society more and more with each passing generation. Decadence is often the word used, but it's more than that. It's where core concepts that a society has built itself on, prided itself on, are abandoned, marginalized and even demonized as societies forget what's really important. They become scared of every little thing because they've forgotten what true fear is like. They think they know, but they don't. Fear of an incredibly unlikely random event (terrorism) is nothing like the society wide existensial dread that takes hold of entire nations when the survival of the people, and the nation itself, is truly thretened.

            I just realized that sounds kind of like something a Batman villain would say, but that wasn't my point. My point was that crazy breeds crazy and a Russian 'madman' who wants to take over the moon is but half of the equation and the universe will balance that madman with another. That person is out there, right now, and if Putin decides to actually try and claim the moon that person will be catapulted to a position where our grand kids will read about, but never understand, the ensuing insanity. It'll be great fun to watch!

            1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

              Re: Could not have timed it better

              "and if Putin decides to actually try and claim the moon"

              For what? So he can put a tax on tidal power and maintain his edge as energy supplier?

        3. SumDood

          Re: Could not have timed it better

          "the Yanks have far greater ability to afford it than the crooked and backward economy that Russia is blessed with"

          Afford, but not as we know it Jim.

          Would be fascinated to learn how a debt of $17 trillion dollars, growing at $2.6 billion dollars a day translates to an ability to afford anything.

          Such a debt could be a sign of a cooked and backward economy in denial, perhaps?

          1. fajensen Silver badge

            Re: Could not have timed it better

            Would be fascinated to learn how a debt of $17 trillion dollars, growing at $2.6 billion dollars a day translates to an ability to afford anything.

            If you already know you are going bankrupt, the rational strategy is to maximise the debt because:

            1) The stuff you buy now, on credit, will not be so readily available to the competition.

            2) The competition are the people who are lending you the money, even while they watch you fritter it away, sometimes use it against them and runs a crooked shop. Fools & Their Money ....

            3) Therefore, you will always be able to negotiate a settlement.

            4) It is not really your problem that you eventually cannot pay a bunch of foreigners - it is the foreigners problems for lending to you in the first place.

            5) Therefore, you don't need to care about a settlement; "Piss Off" will do nicely.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Could not have timed it better

          I am not so confident as you are. Vlad the Putin now wants to capitalize on his growing popularity and how better to do it than with a trip back to the moon--especially if it shows up the nasty greedy capitalistic bastards.

    2. LarsG

      Re: Could not have timed it better

      The point of this will be?

      Bragging rights?

      Won't make a difference if someone is already living on Mars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could not have timed it better

        > The point of this will be?

        It's a fucking cool thing to do. That's the point of it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could not have timed it better


      And yet today, the U.S. spends less of its GDP on defense than it did during the Apollo program era, and produces more college grads and scientists now than then. And it's not like the EU or anyone else in the developed world has stepped into the gap, if flying to the moon is such a bestower of "momentum, will and advantage".

      Let's not dress up arguments about why nobody has gone to the moon in 40 years (NOT 47!) with fictions based on inaccurate data.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Could not have timed it better

        Marketing Hack, the last men on the moon landed in 1972. Apollo 17. Eugene Cernan being the last man.

        You're correct. It was not 47 years. Typo on my part. It was 42 years ago.

        And while the US "spends less of its GDP on defense than it did during the Apollo program era, and produces more college grads and scientists now than then," it still produces less scientists and engineers as a percentage of its population and outspends on defense the next top 10 countries combined.

        My point being is that the US lost the momentum and most likely the long term gain.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Could not have timed it better

          > outspends on defense the next top 10 countries combined.

          And still can't fight a war without Britain coming over to actually do the job.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Could not have timed it better

            What are you talking about? Other than the Falklands helicopter extravaganza, that also signaled the forever end of British naval power, Britain has an even worse track record than the US as far as military action. So I'm curious, what the fuck are you talking about?

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could not have timed it better

      "The US has not landed a man on the moon in 47 years."

      O RLY!

    6. Julian Taylor Silver badge

      Re: Could not have timed it better

      Back in the good ole days of Soviet Socialist Imperialism they claimed they had established bases on the moon, but it was on the dark side so the Evil Capitalist West could not see it. Perhaps Putin could use those?

    7. I'm counting

      Re: Could not have timed it better

      I'm wondering if Russia has something else in mind.

      As written about in "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" by Robert A Heinlein, the Moon would make an excellent platform for throwing rocks at whoever you wanted to on Earth.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Could not have timed it better

        It's a real pity some asshole not only put the moon close enough that you can make a very detailed study of its geography with the naked eye, they made it reflective and provided what is, quite possibly, the best side lighting in the solar system. A professional photographer, or rocket scientist, couldn't have designed a more effective system to highlight things you want to knock off the surface using nothing more advanced than 1960's technology :)

        Less facetiously, military attacks from the moon were all the rage when Jules Verne was still doing his pioneering work in scientific documentary literature positioned as entertainment and it was still a very real consideration as late as 1981 when the US took the option off the table forever.

        Everybody agreed that it was far cheaper to prevent construction and use of a lunar military installation by just bombing the launch facilities of the country trying to build the facility. For all their resilience and strength, launch facilities are extremely fragile when being bombed and man portable weapons can disable launch sites for years. Drone portable weapons even better and you don't even have to get up to do that.

        Colonizing the moon is possible, if somewhat pointless, but not a functional military facility with assault capabilities. Satellites with tungsten telephone poles see far more difficult to stop and far, far cheaper.

    8. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Could not have timed it better

      Space Race II -- this time, it's personal!

      [insert photo of shirtless Putin here]

      //it's all fun & games, 'till the SPB gets involved!

  2. Don Jefe

    About Time

    Hell yes! This is the kind of thing everybody can wrap their heads around. No fucking tribes or genealogical debates or metaphysical confusion and Semitic semantics screwing everything up. This is just some good old fashioned godless fucking Commie versus pious Uncle Sam race to the god damn moon shit right here.

    Secret spy satellite launched from Cape Canaveral? Nope. Fuck you Putin, we had people inside and we've already launched a Bigelow inflatable moon base that will be touching down right about the time you wake up to polish your tiny little balding head.

    This is just fantastic! I bought one of those decommissioned missile silos a few years ago, and while it was fun for a bit, it's kind of depressing and they took the missile out anyway. I should have sued. At any rate, I've been looking for something to do with it and nod I've got a plan! I'm going to offer up really, really expensive 'Cold War II' guaranteed survival accommodations along with escorted pickup and delivery of whoever. Like in that shitty movie with the arks and poor sense of scale. Then, I'll wait for Putin to say something really inflammatory, you know he's going to fuck with John McCain, then signal my flock to come to the bunker. Once they're inside I'll just go back home, knowing that the Russians will never attack now. As I've eliminated the top 200 most horrible people, and their families, I'll be crowned Supreme Chancellor of Freedom and Lord of the Exchequer (which is how I'll rename Antarctica).

    You laugh, but fuck you, it's no crazier than anything than was going on during Cold War I. How do you think I got the ICBM silo in the first place? They just don't build those things in places like Northern Virginia for mundane things like terrorists you know. This is so fucking fantastic! I wish my dad and granddad could be here for this.

    Granddad was always confused, but dad, he just never understood Islamic terrorists. Why kill yourself if you aren't actually gaining ground. What god wants that? Seems wasteful. But an ex-KGB spymaster who hunts jungle cats bare chested, with a crossbow, and wants to conquer the Moon? Fuck yeah! He could have really wrapped his head around that.

    Can we get a sickle and hammer icon?

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: About Time

      Putin - Komrade, report!

      Party apparatchik - Da Komrade President! Crimea has been subdued, I mean liberated, a suitable volcano with underground complex has been located, and plans for the secret space station on ze other side of ze moon are underway. Ze Komrade Deputy Prime Minister's announcement today will provide enough confusion so zey will not suspect a thing.

      Putin - And what of our old imperialist enemies, ze Americans?

      Party apparatchik - We have stolen ze last of zer secret Space Shuttle fleet, so the ze Americans no longer have manned space capability. And besides, zey hate ze continental Europeans with zer smelly cheese, pongy sausages and real coffee.

      Putin - And will ze British be a problem?

      Party apparatchik - Nyet Komrade President, our secret plan to buy ze whole of London and its financial infrastructure is progressing on schedule (ve are well ahead of ze Chinese), so zey are powerless to resist us. And besides, zey hate ze continental Europeans with zer smelly cheese, pongy sausages and over-rated wine.

      Putin - And what of ze ozer Europeans?

      Party apparatchik - We supply zer gas, so zey are powerless to resist as well! And besides, zey all hate ze Germans, with zer pongy sausages, sickeningly sweet wine and EU debt repayment policies.

      <Smug white cat leaps into Putin's lap, curls up, and starts purring as he strokes it.>

      Putin - Those crazy Americans, zey think i don't understand them, but I have seen Dr. Strangelove!

      Party apparatchik - Vill zer be anything else, Komrade President?

      Putin - Da, fetch me my cowboy hat.

      Party apparatchik - At once, Komrade President!

      Putin - Bwahahahaaa! I love it ven a plan comes together! Россия, Fuck Yeah!

      1. BlueGreen

        Re: About Time @TitterYeNot

        > Vill zer be anything else

        ur rusky smells a bit german, TBH

        On a more serious note, russia will bankrupt itself trying. Sounds more like putin's in the final stages of whipping up the dumb masses for another reason, perhaps rather more about this planet, maybe for another like trip across someone elses border or to consolidate their existing work in ukraine.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: About Time @TitterYeNot

          Russia might very well bankrupt Ivan 500ml (vodka doesn't come in six packs), but the ruling class won't be effected. They're used to that anyway, plus it's necessary for that to happen if Russia is going to really join the 21st century. Bleeding your citizens dry on projects with little or no actual value is the mark of any modern, leadership class, nation. Hey! Maybe we can do some sort of exchange program! Russia teaches 'The West' how to manage terrorism cheaply and effectively, and we'll show Russia how to avoid its businesses having to pay taxes in foreign countries. It's a win win!

          More seriously, 'crazed' investment is how industries and markets are created. Words like 'magnate', 'mogul' and 'robber baron' weren't created as neat new job titles for people doing the same thing as everybody else. Aluminum was a piece of shit, insanely expensive, exotic material until somebody spent several fortunes figuring out how to make it cheap and affordable.

          Your Oakley sunglasses and Ping golf clubs wouldn't be made of titanium if not for the investment and years of research I put into reducing production casting costs for the material and some of its alloys so much that I screwed up warehousing markets and purchasing forecasts for every aerospace company on Earth. I saw an opportunity, I met its challenges and now everybody gets to pay extra for using a material that's probably less appropriate for strength and durability in most consumer applications than copper. But hey! Marketing excites emotions and trumps otherwise expressed customer intelligence every single time. It's great too, because all I needed were cheaper parts for accelerator target cooling systems and you get to wear the result on your face and put gas in my cars. Thanks :)

          My point, is that the very same greed and desire that's responsible for everything else guarantees that if you build something people can use to make money with they'll do it. It's not an issue of chances or probabilities or even need or common sense, it's as certain as the sunrise or the tides.

          If Putin actually 'conquered' the moon then one of only two possibilities will be realized:

          - The US and Europe will try to muscle in on the action and establish their own, competing, facilities.


          - The US and Europe will create really fucked up global markets that aggressively retard the prices of whatever Russia exports from their lunacy (Ha!).

          Either way, something will happen if Putin actually makes good on his promises and the effects will be global. No country, absolutely none, will sit by passively and watch any other country claim dominion over the moon. If you doubt this, simply look up at Antarctica. The Exchequer (the land that will be formerly known as Antarctica in the future) is chock fucking full of treasure greater than all the natural resources Man has used in the history of ever, combined. Stunning amounts of wealth that would enable any dominating nation to control the entirety of Humanity for millennia, but nobody is exploiting Mother Nature's vault, why not?

          It's because everybody agrees that nothing but suffering beyond all imagining would result if any country tried to control that place. Check this shit out, even the fucking Nazi's thought the continent was too valuable for any single nation to control. They wanted a share, and if you've not actually been living on the moon since the late 1930's (and failing miserably in taking advantage of the situation :) you're well aware that sharing wasn't exactly high on their list of desirable virtues.

          Nations aren't managed successfully by focusing on finances. Again, if you doubt, look at the list of things that the English crown cited as most desirable from its colonies in the New World. You'll find precious metals and such way down the list, pushed down there by the need for trees and ships stores. Can't rule the seas if your Ships of the Line have no masts, leak like Ukrainian whores and have sheets that rot before you make a return passage. But 'sound economic thinking' had seen 'somebody' decide to cut down all their trees previously. Cost them their Kingdom and provided us with a captive island nation to overcharge for consumer electronics and coffee.

          You've got to get out in front, not plan from behind or you end up like them and it's entirely possible that other countries will be bankrupted by trying to keep Russia from being on the moon. In actuality, I would say that's far more likely.

    2. Mpeler
      Black Helicopters

      Re: About Time

      Going to the Moon? Forever?


      Then we'll be rid of them...

      Rootin' tootin' Putin... (or was that RAS Putin?)....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: About Time

      "they took the missile out anyway"


      Nomination for post of the week right here.

  3. btrower

    The race is on!

    Things are not what they were in the 1960s. A concerted effort to occupy real-estate on the moon could definitely be a go.

    Who owns it? Is it like the Ocean or is it fair game for the first one to plant a flag?

    I think Canada should get in on this. Build a rail-gun the length of the prairies and just keep sending up cargo and robots to terraform the joint with maple trees. Think of the solar farms you could put up there. Nine billion acres at a thousand bucks an acre could start to add up to real money.

    1. Notas Badoff

      April 1st?

      Ahh, I see.... April 1st1st is twice as nutty as April 1st, by the three comments above.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: The race is on!

      The problem with the interplanetary hyperloop you suggest is that if we want to launch people along that thing it needs to be a lot longer then the prairies. Length wise, from northwest Alberta to southwest Manitoba might work, but A) you can't build on muskeg and B) the yanks would have some nasty words with us lobbing ballistics over their nation at hypersonic speeds.

      That means something long and south. Crow's Nest Pass in southern Alberta to Thunder Bay Ontario, or even the Quebec border. This puts it far too close to the covetous hands of the yanks, which poses all sorts of it's own problems.

      Canada absolutely has the technology, the manpower and the money to build such a device, but we never would. The biggest reason being that it would violate all treaties regarding the treatment of international territory and severely weaken our claims to sovereignty in the north. There's a metric "holy shit" worth of unexploited - hell, unexplored - resources up there, and we're just not ready to pass them up in exchange for some airless rock that has fuck all to offer except nickle, silicon and iron.

      If you poor buggers really need He3 that much, go hard. We've got enough Uranium to last us the next 10,000 years and when that's up, we'll just build some Lagrangian satellites with massive bussard ramscoops on them rather than trying to "mine" He3 from regolith.

      I'm all for space exploration, but #occupyluna is the single stupidest idea I have heard of in my entire life. If you really want to be trapped in a gravity well, choose Ceres. Everything you need is there, including stupendous amounts of water. The gravity well is enough that plants will point their roots downwards when they grow, but easy enough to make getting off the damned thing and exploring cheap and easy.

      Fuck Luna. If y'all want it, you can have it. We're Canadian, we need plenty of fresh water and spectacular amounts of valuable resources to make us happy. It's what we know how to work with.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The race is on!

      And why exactly should the lunar surface be worth $1000 an acre? Or even a penny per acre? You can't grow anything there, it costs a fortune to support people there and there's nothing for them to do that they can't do better in zero-G orbit.

      The only reason you'd ever go to the Moon would be to collect He3, but until we can do something useful with that, it is pretty pointless, and whether it would ever be economical to ship it out of the lunar gravity well is unknown.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The race is on!

        > And why exactly should the lunar surface be worth $1000 an acre? Or even a penny per acre? You can't grow anything there, it costs a fortune to support people there and there's nothing for them to do that they can't do better in zero-G orbit.

        Bit like Kensington?

      2. silent_count

        Re: The race is on!

        "And why exactly should the lunar surface be worth $1000 an acre?"

        If you could get any kind of practical mining and construction happening on the moon, it'd make a decent launch-pad to reach the rest of the universe. No air means no corrosion or any of the contaminants that come with it. And the moon has something like one-sixth of Earth's gravity, so your rocket would need a lot less fuel than one launched from Earth.

        Sure. A moon base capable of mining and producing stuff is a looong way off but I imagine lunar real estate prices will only go up if you're patient enough to invest for your grandchildrens' grandchildren.

  4. John Tserkezis

    Bad idea.

    First, colonisation of the moon. Then it'll seem like a good idea to dump radioactive waste there. Then there will be a "magnetic disturbance", then it'll blow up.

    No wait, hasn't that already happened, or are they just a bit behind schedule?

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Quantum Leaping Ahead is AI Leading Novel Great Game Move to Better

    to be Just Able and Enabled to Compete

    Reading between the lines and decrypting the hiding in plain text sight code, having a command and control lunatic base gives one a quite sublime and supreme power over practically everything on Earth.

    Nice one, Vlad/Dmitry, and methinks that puts Russian Intelligence Services and SMARTR Information Servers significantly further ahead of anything the Wild Wacky West and International Banking Brokerage be presently able to offer and deliver.

    :-) That is not to say though, that they cannot buy their way into leading programs with a proxy sharing of the intelligence they be missing and not privy to. After all, what is money for, if not to buy you whatever one needs to virtually command and remotely control everything, practically anonymously.

    Capiche, NSA/GCHQ/Bank of England/US Federal Reserve, who do appear to have dropped the nuclear football just as they thought they were crossing the try line for a leading score?

  6. Gray

    No need to ask permission

    or beg forgiveness, after annexing the moon. First take Crimea, then eastern Ukraine; then shoot for the moon. TBA: moon shuttle flights to claim the asteroids. Space fleet to follow.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: No need to ask permission

      If they can do it, let 'em. Hell, cheer 'em on. Someone should escape this pathetic mudball. If we're not interested, more power to the Russians, the Chinese and anyone else who cares to try.

      Quod ad astra. The purpose of life is life itself, and for sentience, to take that life to the stars.

      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

                  Re: @Arnaut the less - @Tom Welsh


                  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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No need to ask permission


      "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.

    3. 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.

  7. 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

        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


        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...

  8. 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?

  9. Lapun Mankimasta

    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:

    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:

    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

      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



      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

        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.

  10. Kit-Fox

    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


        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

          Re: title

          Actually I didn't see the icon.


    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

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

  11. VinceH

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

    1. Graham Marsden


      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.

  12. Big Al

    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.

  13. Francis Boyle

    Putin's ego


  14. 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.

  15. 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!)

  16. 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. :)

  17. 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

      Re: They're welcome to it.

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

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doubtless Russian speaking citizens of the Moon

    Are agitating already....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. foo_bar_baz

    Sigh of relief

    This is great news for us Europeans who have had to suffer from nutty dictators' peen-extending excercises for ages. It has been looking like it might start again, as olympics and sports in general weren't doing it for the Russians. We now need to pretend to compete and lose, and make as if we are impressed while Putin engages in this latest sand castle building competition. Just drag it out as long as possible.

    Might also pretend to start our own project that will surely catch their attention, one that Russians will win for sure, like building a long railway line or drinking the most vodka. Anything that they can feel good about that doesn't involve making like Attila the Hun on Europe.

  20. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Russia Vs USA to the Moon?? Err.. no.

    I think this more about China's aspirations. Russia and China have been feuding and warring long before the USA got involved. Putin has high hopes of being he Russian Savior and this would go a long way towards that by settling or at least "topping" some old grudges.

  21. Tail Up
    Thumb Up


    The most of the soothing global political coming-outs of the century apperars to be done by a Russian deputy PM. "Coming to the Moon FOREVER"! The world would seem much safer and corruption-free place/space if they took some of their American and European colleagues along.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Well, you see, the Russian population on the moon is in danger due to unrest, and it is Russia's option - nay, its duty - to protect her own! How many more lunar Russians will fall to the moon's right wing extremists? No, Russia must act now! It's for justice!

  23. Rhomboid

    Putin seeking Sponsorship?

    After their success sponsoring a NASCAR driver, I suggest the Doge coin community jumps onboard, joint venture style with the Moon coin community to crowd fund the enterprise.

    Obvious choice of slogan...... To the moon!

  24. Tinkerer

    Much Ado About Nothing

    Look, folks, cool down, I beg you. This Rogozin guy has a track record of being a total tiresome uncontrollable windbag. He is always full of it in a pathetically boastful manner. And, yes, I live in Russia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much Ado About Nothing - it's OK

      We understand. We have politicians like that too. And some people take them seriously, too. The real US beef with Purtin is that he's like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Palin, Rumsfeld and a few others all rolled into one, and they wish they had thought of establishing a Republican breeding line to achieve their own version first.

      1. Lapun Mankimasta

        Re: Much Ado About Nothing - it's OK

        Oh Lord! Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the rest on top of Palin? I now know real terror!

  25. Bladeforce

    oh yes..

    Russia on the moon with nukes pointing at Washington next

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: oh yes..

      That means getting something capable of launching nukes, and a nuclear weapon that has a long shelf life, onto the Moon in the first place.

      The opposition can then launch a nuclear warhead to wipe out the lunar base knowing that the result will be asymmetric; i.e. are you going to launch your lunar nukes, wiping out most of human life on Earth, in order to protect your lunar strike capability?

      Orbiting nukes are different because they are hard to identify, but even there there are obvious logistical problems.

      The energetics and those logistics make the entire scenario not worth the bother. The way China is going, the easiest way to defeat the US would be by invasion. Just keep coming till the enemy runs out of ammo, and still half a billion or so surplus Chinese around (no, this is not a serious proposal.)

      1. Lapun Mankimasta

        Re: oh yes..

        Now why the H#&( would the Chinese waste their population on a frontal assault on Washington DC? The NSA has thoughtfully opened the Internet of Things to infiltration, and the Internet of Things is attached to the Internet of (non)Things, which amongst other things, is attached to financial weapons of mass destruction such as the Bank of America, Citibank and Goldman Sachs. They don't need to send anyone into battle. The 1% in America will do it all for them, out of love (of financial mass destruction)!!!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A couple have mentioned China

    Maybe it is not the reason, but I would certainly think there is a reason to get there before China does. Because China will; probably soon; and will treat it like it treats Taiwan and Nepal. Sino-Western diplomacy is essentially us hoping to nudge China towards democracy and even a smidgeon of respect for Human Rights before they're too powerful to give a shit what we want, and China trying to get too powerful to give a shit what we want.

    1. DropBear

      Re: A couple have mentioned China

      ...what do you mean "before"?

  27. tempemeaty

    Russia, steping in to fill the vacume left by the US

    Considering the US Gov is now wilfully avoiding manned space exploration, it's now up to Russia and China to do it for all of humanity. I keep asking myself why the US Gov has been engaging a wide range of excuses and avoidance tactics against taking manned space exporation beyond orbit. They have been doing orbital science since the days of "Skylab" in 1973. That's 41 years of research on the human body in low to zero gravity. It shouldn't have taken 41 years to do the orbital research to figure out how our next step farther into space should be done. If they did this before going to the moon we would never have gone there.

    1. Levente Szileszky

      Re: Russia, steping in to fill the vacume left by the US

      All Russia is stepping in is a giant pile of shit - see Ukraine. Putin can barely cover his military overhaul and he's still mostly riding on the back of free draftees, not paid professionals (they are still limited to elite services.) Very soon he won't be able to wipe his @ss without some of his oligarch's money and the lats thing they will want to spend money is on some never-before-done luna-tic expedition...

  28. Frankee Llonnygog

    We are coming to the Moon FOREVER


    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: We are coming to the Moon FOREVER

      Iron Sky ...... FTFY, Frankee Llonnygog

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: We are coming to the Moon FOREVER

        On the one hand, honoured to have received attention from Mars. On the other, it wasn't broken. Weak maybe...

  29. Anonymaus Cowark

    why is everyone thinking about the USA

    As indicated they are not a serious contender.

    This is the beginning of a space race between Russia and China.

  30. Winkypop Silver badge

    The moon is a harsh babushka!

    Forget Reds under your beds!

    It will be Reds over our heads!!

  31. Alan Brown Silver badge

    The last time they tried.....

    They managed to kill off most of the development team. (N1)

    It'd be pretty obvious if someone was doing a manned moon mission. That needs a pretty fuckoff large launcher or a LOT of smaller ones.

  32. Trollslayer

    Yeah, there could be a problem

    Russia's economy is collapsing, albeit slowly, because of the massive corruption.

    I mean on a scale larger than the economy of many other countries.

    In 10-15 years they are going to start needing economic aid.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putin Wins

    Once they have a manned base, won't be long before they have nukes in position, to give them the final strike advantage !

  34. James Gosling

    Russia can do it....

    Russia can do it because they can do it cheaper. As the saying goes the Americans spent billions developing a pen that could write in space, the Russians used a pencil. Do you remember the fuss over recycling water on the international space station? The Russians had a working solution, but it was so low tech in the conventional sense that the Americans simply couldn't understand how it worked and insisted on spending millions developing a highly sophisticated replacement that was less efficient. The Russian approach is like brains over brawn, imaginative solutions rather than expensive ones.

    1. Derpity

      Re: Russia can do it....

      I don't recall hearing a fuss about the water recycling mechanism on the ISS. What was the Russian approach?

  35. Trollslayer

    Going to launch from


  36. Beachrider

    WOW, Crimea and Lunar Settlement in the same paragraph!

    Crimea is an interesting topic. It is likely to begin an attempt by Europe and the USA to lessen Russian integration into the market economies. It will also cause NATO to dig-in for the Baltic former-SSRs that are now full members. Anticipating it HAS already caused 4 NATO Airbases to be established in Bulgaria and a HUGE anti-missile base in Romania. It looks like USN residence in the international waters of the Black Sea will also now be commonplace. The Budapest Memorandum has clearly been discarded by Russia, at this point.

    Russian 'marketing' of a Lunar settlement is interesting. NASA clearly feels that a self-sustaining settlement on the Moon is out of reach for near-to-mid-future technology. If Russia has other data, the more power to them! NASA does posit that mid-future technology COULD produce a sustainable Martian settlement. That is where NASA is placing their chips.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating!

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: WOW, Crimea and Lunar Settlement in the same paragraph!

      Russian 'marketing' of a Lunar settlement is interesting. NASA clearly feels that a self-sustaining settlement on the Moon is out of reach for near-to-mid-future technology. If Russia has other data, the more power to them! NASA does posit that mid-future technology COULD produce a sustainable Martian settlement. That is where NASA is placing their chips.

      The proof of the pudding is in the eating! .... Beachrider

      Quite so, Beachrider, although the proof of the pudding is also fully dependent upon there being master chefs in the kitchen/master pilot chiefs in the engine room. Without that, is the lauded technocratic feast a catastrophic consumer disaster with irate customers demanding compensation and all of their monies back.

  37. JaiGuru

    And just like that the crimea situation solves itself. Goodbye Russia. Don't come back.

  38. Levente Szileszky

    Yeah, we know, Zvezda... talk is cheap, clowns, show me action.

    Last time I checked you couldn't even build a proper re-usable system (eg shuttle.) You are playing catch-up ever since Koroljov died (1966?1967?), as I recall due to profound bleeding during a botched routine cancer surgery (another "great" example of your system, when your #1 space man dies in the hands of some 'trustworthy' Commie butchers with medical degrees...)

    His successor was an alcoholic (well, arguably the most common pastime in Russian-speaking countries since Tzarist times so no surprise there) and completely mismanaged the entire program, not only resulting in a canceled moon landing program altogether but he & his successors left your entire space program in tatters, WAY BEHIND the Americans FOREVER, as it seems to be so far. (No, the fact that shuttles ran their course and the bloated and corrupt US bureaucracy was unable to plan ahead for its replacement does not give you any points, likewaise the fact that your 30+ years old design is being used as a cab to haul stuff to the ISS is just paying your bills, without which you probably couldn't even keep them operational.)

    You still HAVE NOT MANAGED TO PUT ANYONE ON THE MOON, you fool - first show that feat. After that we might start believe some of your BS propaganda about your 'lunar base'...

  39. Scott Pedigo

    Iron Sky Curtain?

    Putin is dreaming of the Helium 3.

  40. Isendel Steel

    The H2G2 version...

    Russia, on the other hand, has a series of missions to the Moon in the planning stages, albeit unmanned ones for now. The first will be the Frogstar Class A which is scheduled to launch in 2016. After that will come Frogstar Class B, an orbiter that will map the lunar surface, followed by another rover that will explore the Moon's south pole. - Frogstar Class C ?

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