[Editor’s note: The timing of this Pravda article is significant as it coincides with the Chinese announcement of a plan to build a lunar radar base. I don’t believe in coincidences often and this is no exception.
I strongly suspect that the Chinese have no concrete plans for a lunar base and I strongly suspect that there is no Russian lunar program. This story about the new design of super heavy lift vehicle really is nothing of substance, and the significant part is that they have chosen to tack on the snippet of information about a lunar program.
So what is really going on? Why have these stories appeared? I think that it is the Chinese and Russians playing political games with the US.
The game is quite simple – there is something being kept secret about the moon, something big, something that would change our entire view of the world and our place in the grand scheme of things. By saying they are planning to go to the moon, the Chinese and Russians are putting pressure on the US and NASA who are the gatekeepers of the secret knowledge.
I do wonder what the Chinese and Russians wish to gain from this pressure – is it just political points scoring or are they pushing for disclosure of at least part of the secret? Ian]
Russia starts designing main superheavy rocket for lunar program
Experts of the state-run corporation Roscosmos started designing a new superheavy rocket on the basis of the “Energia-Buran” program.
The new rocket is said to be built with the use of the existent RD-171 rocket engine. “We do not consider using hydrogen circuits on the first and second stages of this carrier. We intend to take the third stage from the currently-operating Angara rocket,” a representative for the corporation told the Izvestia newspaper.
According to General Director of Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Vladimir Solntsev, the new rocket will be able to deliver about 80 tons of payload into low support orbit. Its further evolution on the basis of RD-171 engines implies the possibility of increasing the carrying capacity up to 120 tons and, if necessary, to 160 tons. It will be possible to increase the payload by changing the rocket structure and expanding the capacity of the engine.
Thus, the creation of the new superheavy rocket will be possible within five to seven years. According to the official, the projected rocket will be the main carrier for the future lunar program.