It appears that the space race is back on. Almost 43 years since the last manned visit of the Moon, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, has announced that they will touch down on the lunar surface in 2029, and have already scheduled tests for a new spacecraft in 2021.
This announcement comes only weeks after the Russian Space Agency announced a partnership with the ESA (European Space Agency) to send a joint robotics mission to the moon in 2020. It is also rumoured that the Russian government is in talks with the Chinese over a potential collaboration on a lunar base. NASA is also planning on visiting the moon again, but rather than sending a physical crew it will just be sending a set of small satellites, to measure the amount of water ice, in 2018.
Trips to the moon are thought of as a stepping stone to more expansive space projects, and as a chance to try out and develop new technologies that could one day lead to colonies on the Moon or Mars. Gas stations for other missions are also a possibility. They will work by breaking down lunar water into rocket fuel (oxygen and hydrogen).
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