The United States may have its sights set on a mission to Mars or manned missions to asteroids sometime in the future, but the Russians have a closer space goal in mind.
Vladimir Popovkin, who runs the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said during a panel discussion in Washington that Russia intends to press ahead with long-term human operations on the surface of the moon. "We're not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago," Popovkin said. "We're talking about establishing permanent bases."
It's likely to get cramped up there as Yuichi Yamaura, an associate executive director at JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, indicated that Japan also was "looking at the moon as our next target for human exploration."