Russia's Lunar Exploration Resolve Amid Setback and Global Contest
Amidst the burgeoning competition to harness and exploit the moon's valuable resources, the imperative for Russia to maintain its role remains undiminished, even in light of the setback incurred by its recent lunar mission failure, which marked a 47-year hiatus, according to the head of Russia's space agency Roskosmos. The somber backdrop of Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft veering out of control and ultimately crashing onto the lunar surface on a Saturday underscored the post-Soviet decline of a once-dominant space program.
Speaking with a contemplative demeanor during an interview with the Russia-24 state TV station, Roskosmos chief Yury Borisov conveyed that Russia's unwavering commitment to lunar exploration aligns with its vital national interests. Beyond the realm of national prestige and the pursuit of geopolitical objectives, Borisov stressed that this mission is intrinsically linked to ensuring defensive capabilities and attaining technological sovereignty—a sentiment he voiced in his inaugural public remarks following the mission's untimely end.
He articulated, "Today it is also of practical value because, of course, the race for the development of the natural resources of the moon has begun. And in the future, the moon will become a platform for deep space exploration, an ideal platform."
Amid the backdrop of this imperative, Russia has solidified its intention to embark on forthcoming lunar missions. These missions will pave the way for the potential of a collaborative Russian-Chinese crewed venture and potentially even the establishment of a lunar base. Concomitantly, the United States unveiled the Artemis Accords in 2020, named in honor of NASA's Artemis moon program. This initiative aims to augment existing international space laws by designating "safety zones" on the moon. However, it's notable that Russia and China have opted not to participate in these accords, charting their own trajectories in the cosmic race.