Russia Claims U.S. Faked All Its Moon Landings
The cash-strapped country called Russia has apparently declared a "Moon War" on the United States.
In the space of just two weeks, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, made two outlandish claims: one about its arch-rival the United States and another about its exaggerated ability to build humankind's first colony on the Moon.
The United States landed 12 of its astronauts on the Moon from 1969 to 1972 as part of Project Apollo. The U.S. never built a manned base on the Moon, however.
By the next decade, Russia will set out to prove that no American set foot on the Moon from 1969 to 1972. In other words, the Moon landings were simply Hollywood movies meant to demonstrate the technological superiority of the Americans over the Russians.
In a nod to American conspiracy theorists, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said one of Russia's proposed lunar missions will seek to verify if Americans did indeed land on the Moon. The first Americans to land on the Moon got there in July 1969.
"We have set this objective to fly and verify whether they've been there or not," tweeted Rogozin in a video posted on Twitter.
It's a fact that no Russian has ever set foot on the Moon. The Soviet Union abandoned its lunar program in the mid-1970s after a series of spectacular failures.
An official of the Russian Investigative Committee in 2015 urged an investigation into America's Moon landings. A Russian poll showed that 28% of the Russian respondents expressed skepticism about the American Moon landings.
Roscosmos followed-up this bit of historical revisionism by later declaring its plans to build humankind's first lunar colony. If Russia can find the money, it expects to achieve this feat by 2040.
Roscosmos issued a press release detailing a three-step process to establish Russia's first lunar colony.
It said the interest of mankind to the Moon is primarily associated with the fact that unique regions with favorable conditions for the construction of lunar bases were discovered by one of its satellites. The implementation of Russia's lunar program will be held in several stages until 2040.
The first stage of Russia's plan involves launching a space station that will orbit the Moon. The lunar space station is expected to dock with the ISS by 2022. If not, the station will be deployed directly to a lunar orbit.
The second stage will see Russian cosmonauts land on the Moon for the first time. It will also see Russia deliver the equipment and infrastructure for mankind's first lunar colony. Roscosmos expects this phase to begin by 2025 and end by 2035.
The third stage will involve building the lunar colony. Roscosmos plans to deploy manned and robotic probes to explore the Moon.