As my blog approaches its one week birthday and surpasses 500 views, I noticed the other day that one of the views came from Russia. I thought that this was rather cool, but little did I know that either Mr. Putin or Mr. Medvedev himself must have been reading my blog, and took inspiration from my recent post, “We Choose To Go To The Moon”:
Clearly my words had quite an impact, as Russia has now decided to resurrect its plans to send humans to the moon:
Writes the correspondent in the Daily Telegraph:
“Mr Putin said piloted space missions should be revived by 2018, when the first flights are expected from Vostochny, a $13.5 billion (£8.6 billion) spaceport being built in Russia’s far east. The Soviet Union, the United States and China are the only countries so far to have launched manned space flights. India’s space agency declared in 2010 that it wanted to launch a human mission to the Moon by 2020, and scientists have indicated that China could do the same by 2025.”
Russia – like India and China, who also aim to land on the moon within the next 10-20 years – clearly has far better things to spend its money on than going to the moon, a modern-day re-enactment of what by that time will be a 60-year-old accomplishment. It is hard to see that it will generate anything close to the same return on investment as did the Apollo program, in terms of scientific knowledge, industrial growth or new inventions.
It should also be noted that the Russians have made similarly grandiose plans before, only to walk away from them.
But at the same time, in this day and age of austerity and retrenchment, it is somehow comforting that someone somewhere in the world – besides Newt Gingrich and his moon base – is still looking up to the stars and making plans to return to space.