After six Apollo missions that delivered astronauts to the surface of the moon, the people of Earth have pretty much left the thing alone. Now, Russia's national space agency, Roscosmos is talking with NASA and Europe's ESA about establishing a permanent manned presence on the moon.
Not only is Russia planning to put boots on the moon, the country is looking to do so with international cooperation — something that harkens back to the Cold War, where it was "talked about by some Soviet and U.S. scientists since the late 1950s," according to Russian news site RIA Novosti.
Also from RIA Novosti:
"We don't want the man to just step on the Moon," Popovkin said in an interview with Vesti FM radio station."Today, we know enough about it, we know that there is water in its polar areas," he said, adding "we are now discussing how to begin [the Moon's] exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency ."There are two options, he said: "either to set up a base on the Moon or to launch a station to orbit around it."
The moon is a target that NASA has left in the hands of the burgeoning private spaceflight industry, deciding to focus instead on Mars, Solar asteroids and beyond.
It's also nice to see that Roscosmos, which has recently hinted that the U.S. could be to blame for the agency's recent, repeated woes, is still open to international cooperation in space.