Russia has drafted official plans to build a permanent occupied base on the moon beginning in 2030.
An independent program is focusing on developing long-distance space technology to set up a colony with the main purpose of extracting minerals by 2050, Ria Novosti reported.
"The moon is a space object for future exploration by terrestrial civilization," said a report from Russia's Academy of Sciences, Roscosmos space agency and Moscow State University.
The report predicts “a geopolitical competition for the Moon's natural resources may begin in the 21st century.”
The plan includes a series of 3- to 4-year-long projects over 16 years costing about $800 million, eventually building a base on the moon’s south pole and beginning frequent roundtrips from the earth around 2030.
Since the retirement of the NASA shuttle program, Roscosmos has been helping American astronauts get into space, ferrying them to and from the International Space Station.