China and Russia have announced plans to build a space station on the moon. Russian space agency Roscosmos says it has signed an agreement with China’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The agreement was signed by leaders of the Russian and Chinese space research organizations on behalf of the two governments.
They say they will build the center for research on the lunar surface or in lunar orbit, or both. It has been named the International Lunar Scientific Research Center or ILRS.
A joint statement from the two countries’ aerospace research institutes said the center could be used by any country other than Russia and China.
The statement further said that the station would be open to all.
The announcement comes as Russia prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first human-crewed spaceflight. The country first sent Yuri Gagarin into space in April 1971.
A statement from both Russia and China said the international lunar center would conduct various scientific research, including conducting experiments on the moon and using the satellite for multiple purposes.
The statement said China and Russia would use their accumulated experience in developing and using space science, research, and space-related technologies and instruments. They will jointly draw up a plan to build an international space station on the moon. Russia and China will work together to plan, design, develop and operate a space station on the moon.
There is currently a research center in space called the International Space Station or ISS where astronauts are stationed. It was launched about 20 years ago. It is still the only station in an area where people are stationed.
China and Russia have also agreed to set up a data center to conduct in-depth research on the moon and space, the statement said.
Chen Lan, a researcher on China’s space program, told AFP the project was a big event. This will be China’s most significant contribution to international space research. As a result, it is very substantial.
China landed relatively late in space exploration, and last December, the country sent a spacecraft called Chang’s-5 to the moon, which was able to collect rocks and ‘soil’ from the moon’s chest and bring it to Earth. So far, only three countries have collected samples from the moon and get them to Earth.
China’s mission to the moon is to demonstrate China’s growing power in space. China has also invested heavily in space research in recent years.
China is now working to send a spacecraft named Change-6 towards the moon. Luna 26 of Russia’s next program in this regard. The goal of both projects is to research the moon’s south pole.
Russia played a significant role in launching space exploration, but the country has lagged behind China and the United States in recent years.
Earlier, only Russia could take astronauts to the International Space Station, but after the space agency Space-X’s success last year, Russia’s capability is no longer exclusive.
- The United States has also announced plans to return to lunar research by 2024.
- The country’s program is named Artemis so that a man and a woman can land on the moon.
- This will be the first man to land on the moon since 1982. Man first landed on the moon on July 20, 1989.
- According to the US space agency NASA’s website, 12 astronauts have landed on the moon.