The Moon is being targeted by several countries and in recent months it has become a priority after having been forgotten for decades. Here we have the example of China, Japan, Israel, India and of course the United States with NASA and its Artemis mission. But they are not the only ones since a few years ago Russia showed its intention to mount a lunar base, something that now returns to the table now in the form of a lunar observatory.
According to the Russian state news agency ( TASS ), the Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced its intentions to build an observatory on the Moon, which would serve to monitor and track the activity of asteroids that could be a threat to the planet.
The Russians also point to the Moon, although they say they only seek to “protect the planet”
Roscosmos is fine-tuning the details of a mission that would take a ship to the south pole of the Moon, whose objective would be to mount a base where equipment would be installed to study deep space, as well as special telescopes to “track asteroids and comets that represent a collision hazard with Earth “, as explained Alexander Bloshenko, executive director of Science and long – term programs Roscosmos.
Currently, Russia has a land system that serves to warn of possible asteroid impacts against the planet, this after the 2013 incident, when an asteroid exploded and fell into hundreds of pieces on Cheliabinsk, leaving more than 1,200 people injured.
The current automated alert system began operations in 2016, and consists of optical-electronic stations in Russia, Armenia and Brazil. This platform is dedicated to monitoring near-Earth objects in space, tracking space debris and ensuring that its satellites are also safe.
The reason for this new lunar observatory would be to expand the capabilities of its current system on land, whose intentions are to “protect the planet.” The project is long-term and includes several stages from 2040, which include, for example, the manufacture of the base using 3D printing, as well as the printing of tools and some objects using lunar dust.
Also, Roscosmos is currently working with ESA on three missions to the moon called ‘Luna’, in which they will launch two ferries and an orbiter. The first mission is scheduled to start in July 2021.