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Is a space war brewing? Russia announces it will establish a lunar colony by 2040 just hours after NASA says it’s returning to the moon ‘to stay’

Russia will establish a moon colony by 2040, the federal space agency announced.

According to officials, getting a human-crewed landing to set up a lunar base is the top priority.

The news comes just after NASA revealed it plans to take America back to the moon ‘to stay’ using private firms to run the business.

Rosmocos, the Russian space agency, said it will launch the strategy in three phases.

This will include launching an orbital station, then a manned mission and subsequently the construction of a permanent base.

A spokesperson said the agency had pinpointed ‘unique regions with favourable conditions for the construction of lunar bases’ using a satellite.

‘The implementation of the lunar program will be held in several stages until 2040.’

The announcement was made at a joint meeting of the Moscow-based Scientific and Technical Council of Roscosmos and the Space Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Officials say the goal of lunar programmes is to ensure national interests are fulfilled in space.

‘Moon exploration issues are now heading the agenda of our Space Council. The question is really serious’, said the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev.

‘We understand our limited resources. The geopolitical situation is not conducive to attracting these resources.’

‘It’s impossible to solve earthly problems, not knowing where we are moving in the future,’ said Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation.

Just yesterday NASA revealed it also wants to return to the moon – and set up for good.

The space agency plans to work with nine private firms, ranging from small startups to giants like Lockheed Martin, to develop robotic landers and systems to mine the natural resources on the moon.

This will help develop the technology need for eventual manned missions, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine pledged to have a manned lunar base within a decade. 

The first new lunar missions could blast off as early next year.

‘We’re building the next chapter of American exploration, returning to the moon – to stay,’ the space agency announced.

‘I think that it is possible we can have a presence on the moon with humans within a decade,’ said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

‘We’re going to utilize the resources of the moon, and take this all the way to Mars

Bridenstine, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and Oklahoma congressman tapped by President Donald Trump in April as NASA chief, said the plan was part of Trump’s Space Directive-1 policy.