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The Almighty Buck Moon Space

How Russia May Send Cosmonauts To the Moon After All (examiner.com) 143

MarkWhittington writes: When Russia decided to abandon its drive to land cosmonauts on the moon, the reasons were not so much political than they were fiscal. The low price of oil and the costs of Vladimir Putin's imperial adventures in the Ukraine and Syria had crowded out funding for Russia space missions. It did not help matters that the Russian Space Agency was rife with corruption and mismanagement that seems to prevail across much of Russian society. However, Popular Mechanics suggests that Russia is still thinking of landing cosmonauts on the moon when that country's fiscal situation improves.
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How Russia May Send Cosmonauts To the Moon After All

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:25PM (#51256913)

    Greece is also thinking of landing on the moon "when their fiscal situation improves"

    • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:48PM (#51257103)

      Greece is also thinking of landing on the moon "when their fiscal situation improves"

      Greece would need a lot more than just money. They don't have the expertise, technology, or infrastructure. Russia has all of those.

      • except a lot of Russian infrastructure needed for moon mission has gone to shit. They aren't going in the next 30 years

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Russia had all of those - FTFY.

        You cannot imagine how many professionals working in R&D have left Russia for the past 20 years. Literally millions. In 2014 alone 200 thousand average Moscow citizens left Russia for good (and most of them are professionals) - keep in mind that Moscow is the most developed city in the country where avarage salaries are up to three times higher than in other cities. Only the most frantic and loyal to the government keep on working.

        • What do you think Russia can do to keep those people in the country?
          • What do you think Russia can do to keep those people in the country?

            Raise the wages. It's really about money.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Russia had all of those - FTFY.

          You cannot imagine how many professionals working in R&D have left Russia for the past 20 years. Literally millions. In 2014 alone 200 thousand average Moscow citizens left Russia for good (and most of them are professionals) - keep in mind that Moscow is the most developed city in the country where avarage salaries are up to three times higher than in other cities. Only the most frantic and loyal to the government keep on working.

          Ah so the real reason they allowed Edward Snowden to say in the country.

        • Millions, of course, most of them immigrated after Soviet's breakup. That's about 1 million Jewish-Russians went to Israel.
          Now, with the data of 2014:
          http://imrussia.org/en/analysi... [imrussia.org]

          first eight months of 2014, 203.6 thousand people left Russia

          It seems that 200 thousands Russians not just only in Moscow.

          The Problem with Statistics Despite Rosstat’s statistics and heated debates around pro-emigration tendencies in the media, nobody knows the exact number of people leaving Russia. IMR’s discussions with experts have demonstrated that it is impossible to calculate even an approximate number. Why? The first problem consists in a lack of accuracy in the methods used. The sudden surge in the number of emigrants recorded by Rosstat was caused by the fact that in 2011, the Federal Migration Service introduced changes to the methodology it uses to count migrants and has since been also counting foreigners who register for a stay of nine months or more (before, foreign citizens were considered migrants if they spent more than twelve months in the country). According to the online newspaper Meduza, the “higher overall number influenced the data on those leaving the country—the Federal Migration Service considers any foreigners whose registration has expired as ‘persons who left the Russian Federation.’ This is why Rosstat [statistics] that use data provided by the Federal Migration Service registered an incredible increase in emigration from 37 thousand to 123 thousand people a year.”

          As the parent post pointed out:

          They don't have the expertise, technology, or infrastructure. Russia has all of those.

          Sanction of course have negative side, the most visible one is the foreign investment. But it's also have positive, just look at the CAD/CAM area, when Russian scientists have done significant contributions to the world, but Russia c

      • Greece has the benefit of following, rather than leading, so they might not need quite so much development as you are guessing.

        If they leverage the private sector space companies, then all they really need is money.

      • Yes, but in 3 years, Greece may be able to buy a ticket to the moon for farless than what Putin will pay.
    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      I expect Emperor Putin will go himself, prompting much rejoicing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because they are destined to die in a fiery crash on the moon so loud it can be heard here.

    • The summary contains a few errors. Here, I fixed some:

      When the Russia decided to abandon its drive to land cosmonauts on the moon, the reasons were not so much political than they were fiscal. The low price of oil and the costs of Vladimir Putin's imperial adventures in the Ukraine and the Syria had crowded out funding for the Russia space missions.

      If we're talking about "the Ukraine", might as well also go with "the Russia" and "the Syria", right?

      • Actually, nit right.

        The country 'Ukraine' is called 'the Ukraine' and Russia an Syria are called 'Russia' and 'Syria' respectively.
        Just like e.g it is 'the USA' or in short 'the states' but just 'Germany' on the other hand.

        Of course you could always use the long/full names, like 'the federal republic of Germany'.

        You see, writing something bold does not make it right.

        • sigh...

          "The Ukraine" was once the usual form in English but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, "the Ukraine" has become much less common in the English-speaking world, and style-guides largely recommend not using the definite article.

          The declaration of independence was adopted in 1991. Try to keep up.

          Just like e.g it is 'the USA'

          Yes, as in "The United States Of America", just like the Articles Of Confederation say:

          In 1777 the Articles of Confederation announced, "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America'".

          Ukraine never called itself "The Ukraine". The official name of the country is "Ukraine". One major hint is the fact that "the" is an English article.

          Prior to Ukraine's independence from the USSR, the country was generally called "the Ukraine" (with the definite article appended before the name) in English, but this usage is on the wane and officially deprecated by the Ukrainian government and many English language media publications.

          You see, writing something bold does not make it right.

          That's correct, but being right does make it right.

          • In german we still say "DIE Ukraine" as we say "DAS Kosovo" (the official Name is 'DIE Republik Kosovo'), and I doubt it will ever change. For some countries, regardless of "constitution" or what ever matter, it makes no sense to have no article on it. Especially if you refer to that country in a different language, so imho "the Ukraine" is more correct than simply "Ukraine" ... no one is really saying: "I'm going to a trip to Ukraine", except (perhaps?) a russian/ukrainian who says this sentence in russian

            • no one is really saying: "I'm going to a trip to Ukraine"

              Yes, they do. That's exactly how someone should say that, if they are in fact traveling to Ukraine (actually, they would say "on a trip", but whatever).

              The official name of Germany is Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the official name of the US is The United States Of America, and the official (English) name of Ukraine is Ukraine. I would paste the Cyrillic version but we all know how much Slashdot likes UTF characters. Their Act of Independence contained language like this (I assume not actually written in E

              • by dave420 ( 699308 )

                You are confusing official names with how people refer to the countries. Don't. You are discussing different things. As has been pointed out, various languages use articles before certain countries. This has nothing to do with the official name of the country in question, but everything to do with the language the country is being referred to in. It doesn't matter if all of Ukraine calls it "Ukraine", there will be plenty of people outside who will still call it the Ukraine.

                • It doesn't matter if all of Ukraine calls it "Ukraine", there will be plenty of people outside who will still call it the Ukraine.

                  Yes, like Donald Trump. I understand. It is the pet peeve. I'm just trying to do my part to educate English speakers.

                  • I'm just trying to do my part to educate English speakers.
                    Then you should accept that using "the" in front of a country has nothing to do if the "the" is part of the official name, but mainly a question how 'the sentence sounds better'. That might be often wrong, especially if foreigners e.g. speak english. It is obviously natural if we say in german "die Ukraine" that native german speakers by accident call it "the Ukraine" in english. However that was not the original point of the discussion.
                    Some idiot a

                    • Then you should accept that using "the" in front of a country has nothing to do if the "the" is part of the official name, but mainly a question how 'the sentence sounds better'.

                      My 36 years of speaking English tells me that "the Ukraine" sounds as natural as "the Russia".

          • Ukraine never called itself "The Ukraine". The official name of the country is "Ukraine". One major hint is the fact that "the" is an English article.

            Neither the Russian nor Ukrainian languages have definite articles. You can't answer the question of whether the "official" name for Ukraine includes the definite article, since that's not even a meaningful question in Ukranian. "Ukraine" and "The Ukraine" are both equally accurate translations of the Ukranian word for Ukraine .

            • OK. The Ukrainian government would still prefer that you just use "Ukraine".

              In the Wikipedia article where you copied much of that text, the following paragraph says this:

              In 1993 the Ukrainian government requested that the article be dropped.

              The next sentence says this:

              Referring to Ukraine as the Ukraine (instead of Ukraine) is considered insulting by Ukrainians.

              That according to The Guardian:

              "My feeling toward the Ukraine and towards the entire area is very, very strong. I know many people that live in the Ukraine, they're friends of mine, they're fantastic people," said Trump, who referred repeatedly to "the Ukraine", apparently oblivious to the fact the use of the definite article when referring to the country is considered insulting by Ukrainians.

              • by XXongo ( 3986865 )

                Referring to Ukraine as the Ukraine (instead of Ukraine) is considered insulting by Ukrainians.

                Well, it's only considered insulting by those Ukrainians who speak English.

                • Haha, yes, it would be. Sort of like how saying something racist in English would only be considered racist to people who speak English.

                • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
                  Yes..! The only muslims who find drawings of Muhammad insulting are the ones that can see. There is a pattern emerging.
        • false, an ignorant 19th century text mistakenly put "the Ukraine" and that wrong name stuck in many English speaking countries.

          The country is Ukraine, no The about it, ever.

          • No, it is not an 19th century text.

            Everyone in Germany says "Die Ukraine", and guess what, the Ukrainians I know say "Die Ukraine", too. Unfortunately I only know 3 (from my mind), so that is not a big sample ;D

            The country is Ukraine, no The about it, ever.
            Wrong.

            We are not talking about the name of the country, we are talking about how that name is used in a sentence, and regarding "Ukraine" *we* say "the Ukraine", what *you* say is your matter.

            Example: I studied math in the university. The math how to get

            • Everyone in Germany says "Die Ukraine", and guess what, the Ukrainians I know say "Die Ukraine", too.

              Yeah, well, Germans also think it's a good idea to mash 10 words together into one giant word. Just because the Germans do it doesn't mean it's a good idea. With the exception of various engineering practices.

              Besides, that's just something that German people do:

              The use of the definite article is standard in some other languages such as French (l'Ukraine) or German (die Ukraine), but this is not a marked feature, since the article in French is required for all countries (except Singapore and Israel), and in German, for all non-neuter countries.

              and regarding "Ukraine" *we* say "the Ukraine", what *you* say is your matter.

              If by "we" you mean English-speakers, then no, *we* don't. If you're talking about German speakers, feel free to call it die Ukraine all you'd like. There's no reason to translate that to English though.

              • If by "we" you mean English-speakers, then no, *we* don't. If you're talking about German speakers, feel free to call it die Ukraine all you'd like. There's no reason to translate that to English though.
                As long as you have no convincing argument, I doubt you are right.
                English and german are much to close related to differ significantly in such cases.

                E.g. article in French is required for all countries (except Singapore and Israel), and in German, for all non-neuter countries. Which might be a rule of thum

                • Perhaps an Ukrainian can shed light on it ;D

                  They did:

                  From November 1991, several American journalists began to refer to Ukraine as Ukraine instead of the Ukraine. The Associated Press dropped the article 'the' on 3 December 1991. This approach has become established in journalism and diplomacy since (other examples are the style guides of The Guardian and The Times). In 1993 the Ukrainian government requested that the article be dropped.

            • So you have ignorant friends, my Ukrainian friends get angry because it is WRONG to say "the Ukraine".

              The Germans fell victim to the stupid too, you only point out the problem

      • You really need to become less sensitive about a western European naming convention which is not used in Ukrainian. When people say 'the Ukraine', they are not saying the country is now 'the borderlands of Russia' or the 'borderlands of the principality of Rus', or whatever it was originally. No one worries about the southeast Asian country being often referred to in English as 'the Philippines', or about the country south of Egypt being sometimes called 'the Sudan'. Numerous other non-country uses exist fo
        • No one worries about the southeast Asian country being often referred to in English as 'the Philippines'

          You mean the Republic of the Philippines? The country composed of the Philippine islands?

          or about the country south of Egypt being sometimes called 'the Sudan'

          You mean the Republic of the Sudan?

          Those are their official names.

          Numerous other non-country uses exist for various non English names across the world, including 'the Levant' (the east) of the Mediterranean coast, the Deccan (the south) of India, the Pampas (the plains) of Argentina, et.c.. It is just a recognition that the user knows the original meaning of the name, it is perfectly normal and correct in English.

          So you don't care at all that the Ukrainian government specifically requested 22-odd years ago that English speakers drop the the?

          Who knows more about the name of Ukraine, some random English speaker on the internet or the Ukrainians?

          • You miss the point; why should one country prescribe how foreigners name it, especially to this detail? It is natural for speakers of English and other western European languages to speak of 'the Ukraine', and the equivalent in German, et.c.. Since you say that 'Republic of the Sudan' is the official name of that country (I really don't know, and I wasn't referring to official names anyway), does then the Ukrainian government use an invented article when translating the 'Republic of the Sudan' into Ukrainia
            • You miss the point; why should one country prescribe how foreigners name it, especially to this detail?

              So, who cares what the Ukrainians think? Fuck it then, let's just call it Greater Penistan and move on.

  • >> It did not help matters that the Russian Space Agency was rife with corruption and mismanagement that seems to prevail across much of Russian society.

    That's pretty much par for the course here in America too, comrade. In fact, if it wasn't for corruption, we'd probably not have any space program at all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by the gnat ( 153162 )

      That's pretty much par for the course here in America too, comrade.

      I'm guessing you don't know any Russians and haven't read very much about Russia. The kind of corruption the poster is talking about isn't the standard conflicts of interest present in the American military-industrial complex (and that of pretty much every advanced nation), it's more like where petty officials are stealing parts to resell on the black market, government jobs are purchased, and no deal gets made without money changing hands

      • So, what you're saying it's like the situation we have here in America, except not done in secret.

        • it's like the situation we have here in America

          Really? How many civil servants have you encountered who paid for their jobs, and when is the last time that you or anyone you know had to bribe a government official?

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            Go ask a lobby group and they will laugh at how naive you are.
            The difference between the two places is how far down the ladder the rot goes.
            • by Gryle ( 933382 )
              You're spot-on on the difference, but you're a little naive (or stubbornly ideological) to think that a difference in the scale of corruption isn't a difference in the situation. When thegnat talks about bribing a government official, he/she/it means having to pay a utility clerk additional under-the-table money not to convieniently lose the money you just paid the power company, or having to shell out additional funds to keep a permit from "getting lost", or paying off the county clerk to secure a governme
              • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                but you're a little naive (or stubbornly ideological) to think that a difference in the scale of corruption isn't a difference in the situation

                You can get all that from two lines?
                Please don't project like that - acting like there are only two people on the internet and loading others up with baggage is very insulting.

                • Maybe you should avoid lines like "Go ask a lobby group and they will laugh at how naive you are" if you are worried about people insulting you on the Internet. Since you completely missed the point of my post, I think GP's accusation was fair.

                  • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                    Your "point" is not very valid because you are letting flag waving patriotism get in the way of seeing what is there just because a comparison was made with another country.
                    Yes, things are very bad in other places but don't let that distract you into thinking everything is perfect at home. For example, take a look at the political advisors that look like they should still be in high school for cases of where Daddy has bought them an influential government job.
                • by Gryle ( 933382 )
                  Claiming insult is not a valid counter-argument. Until you learn the difference, I suggest you hush and let the grown-ups talk.
                  • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                    "Grown up" language would be a request to stop acting like an utterly clueless prick for reading an entire book that isn't there between the lines but I thought I would be a little bit more polite. Are you a bit slow on the uptake today and require such "grown up" language before a point can get across?
                    WTF did your baggage come from and why are you pretending it came from me?
                    • by Gryle ( 933382 )
                      And yet again, you fail to provide a valid counter-arguement to my original point. Are you being intentionally dense or are you just incapable of anything but rhetoric?
                    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                      The guy who read a novel that was not there between the lines is angry at being caught out?
                      What's the word for someone who can make things up, dish them out, but gets angry when their own actions are pointed out?
                    • by Gryle ( 933382 )
                      Okay, that's three comments and three times that you have failed to provide a counter-argument to my original argument that a difference in the scale of corruption is a significant difference in the corruption situation between the US and Russia. Instead you've decided to attack me for supposedly reading too much into your comment. Since you're either incapable or unwilling to mount a coherent defense of your original assertion, I'll conclude you're either a friggin' moron or a troll. Either way, it's appar
                    • The "counter argument" is that you put words in my mouth and argued against those.
                      Disgusting.
                      You are also not man enough to take responsibility for what you have written, so cowardly as well.
                    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                      Either way, it's apparent that talking to you is a waste of my time

                      Since you were trying to do both sides of a conversation - most definitely a waste of everyone's time. Why did you bother to do it? Is this some stupid little game?

                    • And yet again, you fail to provide a valid counter-arguement to my original point

                      Your "point" was to put words in my mouth that were not there, argue against them, and insult me on the basis of a statement I did not make.

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

      >> It did not help matters that the Russian Space Agency was rife with corruption and mismanagement that seems to prevail across much of Russian society.

      That's pretty much par for the course here in America too, comrade. In fact, if it wasn't for corruption, we'd probably not have any space program at all.

      "If we don't do something about this, we will have a Corruption Gap!"

      • but American corruption of that kind is legal; Russia depends on illegal kind with their three branches of government (the three flavors of mafia, Putin being in the KGB crony one)

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      A thing called scale exists.

      I suggest you Google it, it's like when one person has 1 apple and one has a million apples, yes they both have apples, but one has apples on a much greater scale.

      I'm amazed I need to explain these things in kiddy language on Slashdot of all places.

  • by Feral Nerd ( 3929873 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:44PM (#51257063)
    The aura that surrounds Vlad Putin will be focused by a series of unobtainium lenses and used to propel the cosmonauts to the moon where they will plant a Russian flag, set up a military base manned by space cossacks and claim the moon for mother Russia.
  • I stopped at... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by messymerry ( 2172422 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:45PM (#51257071)
    I stopped reading at (...and the costs of Vladimir Putin's imperial adventures in the Ukraine and Syria). Can we please stop with the propaganda pieces. I have much to do and don't want to have to look at ideological crap on /. Ok, rant off. FWIW, I think a permanent moon base should be very high on the priority list. It matters not to me who actually builds it. Chinese, Russian, EU,,, it doesn't matter.
    • Somehow I doubt you'd complain if a story contained the (entirely justified) phrase "at the costs of George Bush's imperial adventures in Iraq".

  • ...just to lift the cojones of the astronauts brave enough to be on that mission.

    A lunar mission "on the cheap"? Eek.

    • Where did you get "on the cheap?" I don't see that in the TFA or the summary. They just won't be able to develop an entirely new launch vehicle so they have to use more and smaller launches, leveraging commercial contracts to bring the costs down. They're harnessing the economy of scale, not taking shortcuts.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    'Imperial adventures'? Despite America bombing just about every continent, we don't often see that language used to describe US agression. At least the Russians sem to have turned the tide against ISIS in Syria, something America failed to do, during their so far much longer 'IMPERIAL ADVENTURE' there.

  • Mr. Putin and his PR team does a great job of portraying Russia as a superpower however the sad truth is that Russia is slowly becoming a country of the poor where even most basic human needs are not met. According to the recent polls over 50% of the Russians living in Russia cannot afford buying normal food, like fruits, meat, fish or vegetables. No one is talking about caviar or exotic things.

    Other areas where Russia is behind almost all developed countries of the world: medicine, economics, science, an

    • When after Soviet was breakup, in 1997, MIR had accident when Progress ship was manually controlled by Tsibliev to dock, hit the station. Because, Russia had no money to pay 2 million $ to Ukraine for autonomous docking system.
      This country is doomed.

      Russians have already paid dearly for the annexation of Crimea and for the war in Ukraine

      The video above was made by Navalny, he is a national populist. He is himself claim that if he is president, Crimea will be part of Russia.
      Remind me Masha Gessen, who bashes Putin so much for his 'crony oligarchs' and OTOH, prises the Eltsin's era oligarchs.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      It's in far better shape than it was in 1980 and it was called a "superpower" then.
  • If you stacked all of Russia's grand plans to do cool stuff in space that never amounted to anything on top of each other, you could *walk* to the moon.

  • You need a fire in the belly to go to the moon. When it comes to the moon, the Russians don't have it.
  • 1) They don't just want to go to the moon, they want a permanent manned base. Like Mir or ISS, except not in orbit around Earth but on the moon. It's the next logical step.

    2) They planned it for a long time now, but due to economic pressure/sanctions they're weathering the storm and putting it off for better times. Does anyone seriously doubt that oil prices will go up in the next year or 2? Is anyone seriously that naive? High oil prices is just icing on the cake, spending/beer money. They have enough to l

    • The media seem to hype so much about the involvement in Syria and (may be) Ukraine cost the Russia's economy that much, and they love to do that. In fact, by many sources, all have similar calculation that the airstrike in Syria costs about 1-2 billions a year, and Putin himself said that, it's the cost of training soldiers and now they are just trained in Syria.

      You are right about Ukraine, too. It seems that the West don't love Ukraine anymore, it's done: As a symbolic moment, when Ukraine was the cente
  • Aging space workers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @04:36PM (#51257925)

    An article or discussion in another forum of the Russian space program mentioned in 1990s is when they should have had lot of young people entering the workforce to start careers at Roscosmos, Energia, etc. However, they did not. So now there is an aging workforce including management (yes types are needed for organization and coordination of engineers and technicians) and nobody to replace their positions when they retire (or die). Though not surprising as Jim Oberg wrote an article in 1990s IEEE Spectrum about his visit to Baikoner, he was also free to roam around which was a huge change compared to just a few years before. Oberg described the place with lots of abandoned facilities but many 40 and 50-somethings still working there (and with meager wages) because they felt dedicated to the space program. Not many young people were willing to do that especially considering Baikoner is a bleak area to live [and not much of a nightlife].

    Speaking of Putin, he has failed to match what his Soviet predecessors were able to do as we see problems of bringing the new launch complex at Vostochny.

  • ... It did not help matters that the Russian Space Agency was rife with corruption and mismanagement that seems to prevail across much of Russian society. ...

    And why beholdest thou the speck that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the log that is in thine own eye?

  • Wafflenauts

  • That was easy. This is Putin we're talking about.

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