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Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
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Russia opts for lunar project with China over continued cooperation with ISS partners beyond LEO
HELSINKI — Russia is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding with China to cooperate on a vision for an international lunar research station.

The ILRS is understood to be a Chinese-developed vision for a robotic base at the lunar south pole. The first steps will be the upcoming Chang’e-,6, -7 and -8 missions and international missions such as Russia’s Luna 27. In the early 2030s an expanded ILRS will involve long-term robotic and potentially short-term crewed missions. A long-term human presence at the lunar south pole is the goal for 2036-2045.

The project, at this early stage, would appear to consist of Chinese, Russian and potentially other nations contributing their own, discrete spacecraft. This would be in contrast to a more complex, integrated program such as the International Space Station.

ILRS objectives include “construction and operation of human[ity]’s first sharing platform in the lunar south pole, supporting long-term, large-scale scientific exploration, technical experiments and development and utilization of lunar resources’, according to a 2020 presentation to the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) by the Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center under the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
 

Grey Havoc

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I wonder how much this will be driven by each country. Will one be more more in the driving seat than the other.

The heads of the Chinese and Russian space agencies signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday on cooperative construction of an international lunar research station.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of Roscosmos, signed the document during a virtual meeting March 9.

The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) is described as a comprehensive scientific experiment base built on the lunar surface or on the lunar orbit that can carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities including exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification, and long-term autonomous operation.

 

Archibald

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Per lack of a better thread... considering the few resources the Moon has to offer.

I think a solar array ( silica) industry would make some sense as a First step.

Second step: build lunar SSTOs (2700 m/s from Moon surface to escape, or 2400 m/s to LLO)
- titanium structure
- aluminium fuel
- oxygen oxidizer
- with silica solar arrays

Third step: a SBSP demo plant to power a lunar base. Made of step 1 solar arrays boosted by step 2 lunar SSTOs. SBSP makes little sense on Earth but how about a modest variant for a lunar base ?

Fourth step: sell the KREEP / REE / rare earths left by the mining of the three early steps.
Could the REEs be boosted to Earth by titanium SSTOs manufactured on the Moon ?
What kind of specific impulse has LOX/al ? 280 ?
 
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