13 Oct, 2019 09:49 / Updated 8 hours ago
The Russian space agency is reportedly mulls building a sophisticated, nuclear-powered base on the Moon available to anyone who got some extra cash to spend. The multimillion project is set to be unveiled in nine years.
Dubbed Patron Moon, the 70-ton facility will house up to 50 people fearless – and wealthy – enough to live on the Earth’s satellite, according to files of a Roscosmos subsidiary seen by RIA Novosti. The lunar base, split into three retractable living modules, will get electricity from a small nuclear power plant.
The $462-million project seems too futuristic at a glance, but the company claims it knows in detail how to make it come true. At the first stage, Roscosmos will ship all elements of the base to the Moon aboard a super-heavy rocket ‘Yenisei’, named after the great Siberian river.
Once the Patron Moon reaches the surface, it will dig into the ground. The living modules, a universal docking port and “multi-function drills” will be put together and connected to the power plant.
To cover research and development costs, Roscosmos will offer the base for rent, but the bad news is its price – each space will cost from $10 to $30 million. The good news is that the Patron Moon will only be rolled out until after 2028, giving potential Moon travelers the whole lot of years to make that money.
Russia, along with other world powers, has an ambitious Moon exploration program. Its current lunar plan is to build a new heavy-lift launch vehicle over the next decade and use it to create a permanent base on the surface. Previously, Roscosmos officials shed some light on the future base, telling the press that it will benefit from “local resources” and make use of “avatar robots.”