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Since the initial moon landings of the Apollo program, the moon has been hotly contested. The first permanent base was established by the Russians in 1987 near the South Pole. American bases followed, near the North Pole, as well as Tranquility Base, to further strengthen the US military presence in space.
The Hubble Observatory, a base on the "dark-side" of the moon began construction in 2004, using decommissioned spy satellites to establish astronomical observatories. It went online in 2007 after a year's delay. It has hence relayed great images of the cosmos. Additional observatories are planned as an expansion of the Hubble base, and are expected to begin construction from Lunar components (aside electronics) within the next two years.