TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Russia is planning to colonize the moon with humans by 2030, according to a media report.

The draft of a three-step government program plan outlining how the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Roscosmos federal space agency, Moscow State University and various other space research institutes planning to colonize the moon was accessed by newspaper Izvestia, The Moscow Times reported.

The plan also outlined how the country is looking to dispatch the first robotic rovers to explore the lunar surface within the next two years and Russia would be ready to send manned missions to orbit the Earth’s satellite, Izvestia explained.

The report stated that humans would be sent to the moon to set up the infrastructure for an initial colony using local resources and that the program would also like to build a space — and Earth — monitoring observatory on the moon.

“The Russian document underlined the need for speedy lunar exploration, saying “leading space powers will expand and establish their rights to convenient lunar footholds to ensure future opportunities for practical use,” in the next 20 to 30 years, Izvestia cited the document as saying,” The Moscow Times reported.

The first stage of the program is expected to cost around $816 million, but the overall cost of the mission is uncertain. The report cited that Russia is hoping to have private investors help fund the project.

Russia’s report for the space program stressed that the “independence of the national lunar program must be ensured regardless of the conditions and the extent of the participation in it by foreign partners,” according to The Moscow Times.

According to NASA, resources from the moon may present a “treasure-trove” of rare and valuable minerals of substantial strategic importance, but the concentration and distribution remain uncertain.


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