It's no longer an unexplored territory, but Russia is making plans to send men to the moon - and to build a permanent base there.

According to a report on Yahoo, Russia is planning to launch a lunar probe in 2024 to scout possible locations for a permanent base, and then land men on the moon in 2030. Construction of the space center would then take about 10 years to complete.

It has been speculated that the main objective of the plan is to harvest  the moon's resources like Helium 3, called the energy source of the future. reported earlier this year that China was planning to mine Helium 3 from the moon, which could contain as much as five million tons in it's top surface layer. Let the race begin.

Fifty years ago it was about the race to be get the first man on the surface of the moon, which Neil Armstrong accomplished on July 20, 1969. The U.S. won that race, and a few missions later lost interest in putting men on the moon.

For the Russians, this is about far more than just putting men on the moon. If the motivation truly is energy, energy means power. World power.

Will a permanent base on the moon ever become a reality, or is it just simply pie-in-the-sky dreaming that has too many logistic problems that  prevent it from becoming reality? Will the U.S join in the race to harvest resources from the moon, or be content to stay on the sideline and watch from a distance? Are there enough resources available on Earth to meet all of the world's future needs?

Only time will tell if future moon landings will come to pass, but the very fact that we are having the conversation says a lot about how far technology has come. For this to come true, however,  it seems we still have a long ways to go.

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