A colony of ‘avatar robots’ will replace astronauts and operate a long-term base on the MOON, claims Russia’s space agency chief
- Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, made the claims in an interview
- He said the endeavour is more ambitious than the US ‘Apollo’ programme
- Mr Rogozin did not reveal when it will happen or what the avatars will look like
Russia is developing a moon base which will be operated with remote-controlled avatars, according to the country’s space boss.
Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, has laid out plans to put robotic avatars on our natural satellite and have them operated by people on Earth.
He claimed this endeavour is more ambitious than the iconic US ‘Apollo’ programme of the ’60s and ’70s.
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Dmitry Rogozin (oictured), head of Roscosmos, has laid out plans to put robotic avatars on our natural satellite and have them operated by people on Earth
‘This is about creating a long-term base, naturally, not habitable, but visited. But basically, it is the transition to robotic systems, to avatars that will solve tasks on the Moon surface,’ Mr Rogozin said.
He was not drawn on the appearance or role of these robotic systems and did not provide a timeline for its introduction.
Roscosmos has also mused that it will put humans on the moon for the first time around 2030.
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The space agency is reportedly looking into the use of lunar soil as a potential building material and using 3D printing techniques to manufacture a variety of structure.
Mr Rogozin revealed that Russia would go to the moon despite issues plaguing its new piloted spacecraft.
It says it will use the Angara carrier rocket and the existing Soyuz spacecraft to reach the moon.
On October 11 a manned Soyuz rocket malfunctioned 50 miles above the ground on the way to the International Space Station.
Russian Aleksey Ovchinin and American Nick Hague survived the ordeal after the booster on their Soyuz rocket malfunctioned and the rocket automatically turned back during a dramatic 7G ‘ballistic re-entry’.
He was not drawn on the appearance or role of these robotic systems and did not provide a timeline for its introduction. Roscosmos has also mused that it will put humans on the moon for the first time around 2030 (file photo)
The Soyuz rocket: Decades of blasting into space
The Soyuz programme is an ongoing human spaceflight programme which was initiated by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, originally part of a Moon landing project.
There have been 138 manned missions, of which 11 have failed and one astronaut has died.
Here are some of the notable failures, including one in 1967 when an astronaut was killed, one in 1975 when two astronauts hurtle to Earth.
1967: Soviet astronaut Vladimir Komarov was killed during landing due to a parachute failure
1975: Two Russian astronauts had to abort a mission to a Russian space station at an altitude of 90miles due to a rocket failure.
They hurtled towards Earth and safely landed in the Altai Mountains on the Russia-China border.
One of the astronauts never flew to space again, never fully recovered from the accident and died aged 62 in 1990. The other made two more flights.
1983: A rocket malfunctioned during the countdown to take off in southern Kazakhstan.
Automatic systems ejected the two Russian crew-members just seconds before the rocket exploded. The fire burned on the launch pad for 20 hours.
2002: A Soyuz ship carrying a satellite crashed during launch in Russia when a booster suffered an engine malfunction. The ship landed near the launch pad, killing one engineer on the ground.
2011: A Soyuz-U mission carrying cargo failed to launch to the International Space Station when the upper stage experienced a problem and broke up over Siberia.
2016: Another cargo ship was lost shortly after launch, likely due to a problem with the third stage of the Soyuz-U.
August 2018: A hole in a Soyuz capsule docked to the International Space Station caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched.
The Russians claimed the hole was drilled deliberately in an act of sabotage either on Earth or in orbit. Another theory is that the hole was a production defect.
Mr Rogozin revealed that Russia would go to the moon despite issues plaguing its new piloted spacecraft. It says it will use the Angara carrier rocket and the existing Soyuz spacecraft to reach the moon
This was the first in-flight launch abort of a crewed Soyuz mission since 1975.
The Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Mirny, Russia at 03:15 Moscow Time (00:15 UTC) today.
Previous manned Soyuz missions have failed with astronauts on-board.
In 1983 a crew was forced to eject from their rocket as it exploded on the launchpad and a 1975 missions saw the Soyuz capsule crash back to Earth from 90 miles up after a rocket failure.
The crews survived in both missions.
In total Soyuz rockets have been launched 745 times of which 21 have failed. Thirteen of those failures have been since 2010, calling into question the continued reliability of the rocket.
WHAT WAS THE APOLLO PROGRAM?
NASA photo taken on July 16, 1969 shows the huge, 363-foot tall Apollo 11 Spacecraft 107/Lunar Module S/Saturn 506) space vehicle launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 9:32 a.m. (EDT).
Apollo was the NASA programme that launched in 1961 and got man on the moon.
The first four flights tested the equipment for the Apollo Program and six of the other seven flights managed to land on the moon.
The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8 which circled around it on Christmas Eve in 1968 but did not land.
The crew of Apollo 9 spent ten days orbiting Earth and completed the first manned flight of the lunar module – the section of the Apollo rocket that would later land Neil Armstrong on the Moon.
The Apollo 11 mission was the first on to land on the moon on 20 July 1969.
The capsule landed on the Sea of Tranquillity, carrying mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface while Collins remained in orbit around the moon.
When Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, he said, ‘That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.’
Apollo 12 landed later that year on 19 November on the Ocean of Storms, writes NASA.
Apollo 13 was to be the third mission to land on the moon, but just under 56 hours into flight, an oxygen tank explosion forced the crew to cancel the lunar landing and move into the Aquarius lunar module to return back to Earth.
Apollo 15 was the ninth manned lunar mission in the Apollo space program, and considered at the time the most successful manned space flight up to that moment because of its long duration and greater emphasis on scientific exploration than had been possible on previous missions.
The last Apollo moon landing happened in 1972 after a total of 12 astronauts had touched down on the lunar surface.
Astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin unpacking experiments from the Lunar Module on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Photographed by Neil Armstrong, 20 July 1969
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