The USA and Russia will join their efforts to build a lunar orbital station. There are two variants of the project.
Earlier the creation of lunar base was being discussed, which should start operating in 2020. Lunar orbital infrastructure was also studied. And trips to the Moon in a space taxi are expected to become available in 2023, as it was mentioned earlier.
It was planned to use a super-heavy carrier rocket SLS class to transfer astronauts and cargo to the orbit of the moon. Besides, there were plans to launch Orion.
It is intended that four people will stay on the station, and the expedition will last during 30-360 days.
According to the fist variant of the project Rocket and Space Corporation “Energia” and Boeing will produce two modules, each of which will weigh 10 tons.
Boeing module is needed for orientation and orbit correction. The Russian module fulfills the same function and is also in charge of docking. The American module will contain a dining room, cabins and training equipment. The Russian module will contain consumables and everything needed for sustaining life.
Russia also has to design the docking node and airlock modules. They are needed for exit into space and tool storage.
The second variant of the project is a single module, weighing 24 tons intended for lengthy space missions and experiments. Injection will be conducted with the help of SLS. Node and airlock modules of RSC “Energia” will be used as well.
Earlier Roscosmos corporation was planning to build a lunar orbital station and base. They planned to start construction in 2020. But it was postponed till 2025.
The station has to provide everything needed for living, as well as maintaining infrastructure of lunar base and lunar mining.
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