Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, interviewed yesterday on the state radio station Vesti FM, called for building a scientific station on the Moon, as a jumping-off point for further space exploration. Rogozin's statement was noteworthy for coming in the wake of a grim, recriminatory session with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev on performance shortcomings of the Russian space program, as well as for its contrast with Rogozin's own earlier statements that there would be no point in going to the Moon, since people have already been there.
Russian media reported the interview as a call by Rogozin for the Russian space program to adopt a "super-mission." As Vesti FM summarized Rogozin's words, "Mastering Earth's satellite will give our science a powerful boost and ensure the development of our space sector for decades to come." Rogozin said, "I would propose a big, major objective. The creation of a lunar station might be such an objective. Why not try to work in low-gravity conditions? Why not try to build a big station, which would be located on Earth's natural satellite? And we could start working from there. This is a very interesting scientific and technological challenge. If we do it, this will advance both fundamental and applied research."