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    Default Russia Wants To Build A Moon Base With China


    Russia Wants To Build A Moon Base With China

    April 29, 2015

    That's according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who met with his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday. Afterwards, Rogozin, who heads up the country's aerospace program, told reporters:

    The question is being discussed with Roscosmos on bringing China in as the main partner in creating a lunar scientific station. We have told China of our plans on the possibility of creating a Russian national orbital station. [via Sputnik News]

    A moon base is reportedly a pet project of Rogozin, who, in an interview last year, said it could be used as a launch pad for future space exploration. He also said that the moon's natural resources are ripe for mining. (They're probably not, as Max Fischer at Vox explains.)

    Back in 2012, Russian space agency Roscosmos was reportedly in talks with NASA about building a lunar base, much as the two agencies co-run the International Space Station. With the agencies' relationship deteriorating in parallel with the Kremlin and the White House's, it's not that surprising that Russia would turn to China, which has ambitious space plans of its own and has been willing to extend a hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin's increasingly isolated regime.

    In other news, Russia lost control of an unmanned spacecraft meant for the International Space Station — which is roughly 240,000 miles away from the moon — on Tuesday.

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    Default Re: Russia Wants To Build A Moon Base With China


    Russia Turns Away From NASA, Says It Will Work With China On A Moon Base

    China wants a long-term presence on the Moon in the 2030s

    March 9, 2021

    The heads of the Chinese and Russian space agencies signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together to build a "scientific" station on the Moon.

    Under terms of a memorandum of understanding, the two countries will cooperate on creation of an "International Lunar Science Station" and plan to invite other countries to participate. The agreement was signed by Zhang Kejian, director of the China National Space Administration, and Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Russia's space corporation, Roscosmos. The agreement was announced by Roscosmos.

    Details about the project were fairly sparse, specifying only that the countries would work together to create research facilities on the surface and/or in orbit around the Moon. The goal was both to establish long-term, uncrewed facilities on the Moon and build up the capabilities for a human presence there.

    China has previously disclosed its ambitions to build an international lunar station at the South Pole of the Moon, beginning with robotic missions and followed by short-term human missions in the early 2030s. The country plans to establish a long-term human presence at the South Pole—which is believed to contain vast reserves of water ice—during the period of 2036 to 2045. These plans were initially discussed at a meeting of the Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space last year and were reported by Space News.

    Previously, the European Space Agency has also expressed interest in partnering with China on future missions to the Moon.

    Artemis Accords

    This most recent announcement comes after the United States, under new President Joe Biden, has confirmed that it will continue with the Artemis plan to return NASA astronauts, and those from partner agencies, to the Moon sometime in the 2020s. NASA, too, would like to establish a lunar base and assess the viability of the water resources at the South Pole.

    As part of this exploration plan, NASA established the "Artemis Accords," a series of bilateral agreements with space agencies in other countries that want to join the Artemis Program. Essentially, partner nations would need to agree to 10 basic norms as part of their space activities, such as operating transparently and releasing scientific data. Several countries have already signed on, with more expected to follow.

    Russia was noticeably absent in signing on to these accords. The nation has worked successfully with the US and other international partners for more than two decades on the construction and operation of the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. However, Rogozin has criticized the Artemis Accords as too "US centric."

    This latest Russia-China agreement suggests the enduring relationship that NASA and Roscosmos have enjoyed for decades may come to a breaking point when it comes to deep space exploration. And while the term "space race" is certainly a cliché, that may nonetheless be what NASA and its partners find themselves in with China and Russia when it comes to returning to the Moon.

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