Following up their successful tests of the Eastern Cosmodrome late last year, the Russian Space Agency announced today that manned flights to the Moon would be possible by the year 2025, on a yearly basis. A new type of spacecraft, the Federation is scheduled to be put into production this Summer, and ready for final testing and deployment within five years. It will replace the Soyuz spacecraft currently in operation.
The Eastern Cosmodrome and the Federation Project are watershed moments in world space exploration. The new technology will allow 4-6 cosmonauts the ability to carry both men and cargo to the Moon, as well as to the International Space Station. It can operate autonomously for up to 30 days, and up to one year while docked at the Space Station.
Plans are also underway for upgraded version of the Space Station.
Russian congresswoman Irina Yarovaya pointed out that the new Cosmodrome represents "the new spirit of modern-day Russia." She added that an estimated 80,000 new jobs were created by the project.
Speaking of the moribund American space program, Miss Yarovaya added: "Hollywood fantasies are not being realized, and the Pentagon is shedding tears about it. Our way is different both in space and on the ground...they cannot talk to Russia from a position of strength. Never before has the world had a greater need for moral decisions and creative victories."
Miss Yarovaya has a point. The United States has not launched a manned space flight in five years and is obligated to beg Russia for transportation to the Space Station. NASA is compelled to import rocket parts from the rump-government in Ukraine---which have had high failure rates including several launch-pad explosions. Aside from a few deep-space probes and satellite technologies, the US has had no innovative development in space travel since the 1980s.
But we can nonetheless rest assured that all NASA facilities will have gender-neutral toilets by 2017.
Russia's decision to build the Cosmodrome in the Far East indicates pending co-operation with China---another country taking the conquest of space from American hands. China is currently on schedule to complete a manned space station of its own by 2020. This follows an announcement that China will land a research drone on the moon by 2018.
General Zhang Yulin, Commander of China's Space Station project stated that plans were already underway to exploit the space between Earth and the Moon. General Zhang noted that lunar resources could be harnessed to build a solar energy plant in space---which could operate at nearly 25 times the efficiency and at a fraction of the cost of Earth-bound systems.
Zhang stated that the technological potential of Chinese space penetration is practically unlimited. "The future of China's manned space program is not a Moon landing, which is quite simple, or even the manned Mars program, which is quite difficult; but continual exploration of the Earth-Moon Space, with ever-developing technology."
Meanwhile, Ameroboobs hope to expend resources in building a border fence: something China accomplished in the 14th Century.
Does it matter to Americans that we are losing (if we haven't already lost) our position as leaders in Space research? Not really. None of the candidates bother to talk about it. We are not the same people we were in 1957, when the USSR launched Sputnik and America rallied to pass the Russians in space technology. Today, the BRIC space programs look like this:
While America's Space Program looks like this: