The US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney famously rubbished his Repulican nomination opponent Newt Gingrich's plan for a Moon base by saying: "I spent 25 years in business. If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, 'You're fired.'" Despite this Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has called for Russia to begin work on a manned moonbase during a radio interview at the Vesti FM radio station during September.
"I would suggest that we work on solving one large task. Such a task could become the creation, let's say, of a Moon station, a Moon base," said Rogozin.
Noting that it could be a stimulus to science Rogozin called the task of building such a base "big, prestigious and political." He noted that such a base could be a jumping off point for more extensive exploration of the solar system.
In this, he chimed with many US and Russian space engineers who think that longer range missions to Mars and the other planets would be prohibitively expensive in the short run, and should only occur after the Moon was settled,
Moonbase concept using inflatable modules. Courtesy: NASA