9th of March saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between China National Space Administration and Russia’s Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. The signed project between the two states aims to build an outpost named ‘International Lunar Research Station’ on the moon.
“The ILRS is a comprehensive scientific experiment base with the capability of long-term autonomous operation, built on the lunar surface and lunar orbit that will carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities such as lunar exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiments, and technical verification,” CNSA statement wrote on Tuesday, according to Space.com.
CNSA and Roscosmos will “facilitate extensive cooperation in the ILRS, open to all interested countries and international partners, strengthen scientific research exchanges, and promote exploration and use of outer space for the peaceful purposes,” officials stated.
The project announcement of building a lunar research station on the moon didn’t come with a time-line. The news broke through a CNSA announcement, and Roscosmos hasn’t made a statement over the moon project till now.
Americans are no behind either; U.S is progressing forward with its ambitious venture to the moon via NASA’s Artemis program. The Artemis project aims at building a long-term and sustainable structure on the moon for continuous human presence. If it goes as per the plans, the U.S will send astronauts to the moon somewhere in the mid-2020s. NASA says the lunar system’s completion on the moon will help pave the way for future space endeavors, such as sending astronauts to Mars by the year 2030.
China’s and Russia’s mutual co-operation for a lunar mission will make things progress easily, so is America’s plan. NASA has signed terms with 8 other nations on its Artemis program. Several private companies of the U.S have signed accords with NASA and now are at stake with the Artemis project. Brazil hasn’t signed on the Artemis program yet; however, it has shown greater interest in the project and might sign accords with NASA as the ninth signatory of the project.
The two key nations left to sign accords on the Artemis program are Russia and China. And they are likely not to sign it in the future either. U.S space-work authorities are not allowed to co-operate with Chinese space authorities, and it would require necessary permission from Congress if that has to happen at some point in the future. Russia on the other hand, has been working on space projects together with the U.S. However, its chief announced of the Russian space agency won’t be involved in the U.S Artemis program.