Russia and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on constructing an international scientific and research station on the Moon.
China National Space Administration’s (CNSA) Director Zhang Kejian and Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, put pen to paper and signed the MOU via a video conference on Tuesday.
“The state corporation Roscosmos and CNSA … will contribute to cooperation in creating an international lunar research station with an open access for all interested countries and international partners, with the aim of strengthening scientific research interaction, promoting research and using outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of the entire humankind,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
Create a roadmap
According to a posted statement from CNSA, “China and Russia use joint experience and scientific technologies to create a roadmap for building an international research station on the Moon.”
That roadmap, said the CNSA, includes the planning, demonstration, development, implementation and operation of the lunar station. The two nations will also promote the project to the international space community.
“I also invited my Chinese colleague Zhang Kecan to visit the launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome of our Luna-25 mission,” Rogozin later tweeted. The Luna-25 lunar lander mission is set for liftoff this October.
Research work ahead
The International Scientific Lunar Station is a complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and/or in the orbit of the Moon, Roscosmos explains.
Designed to carry out multidisciplinary and multipurpose research work, the lunar station’s tasks include the exploration and use of the Moon, lunar observations, fundamental research experiments and technology verification with the possibility of long-term robotic operation with the prospect of human presence on the Moon.
The two countries are coordinating future observations taken by Russia’s Luna-Resurs-1 orbiter and China’s Chang’e-7 spacecraft that will survey the south polar region of the Moon. Russia and China are also cooperating in the creation of a joint data center for the exploration of the Moon and deep space.