Daily US Times: Russia and China have announced plans to build a lunar space station.
Russian space agency Roscosmos announced it has signed an agreement with China’s National Space Administration to develop research facilities on the moon surface, in orbit or both.
A statement from both China and Russia’s space agencies says it will be available for use by other nations.
The announcement came as Russia prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first-ever manned space flight.
A statement from both agencies said the lunar space station, officially named The International Scientific Lunar Station will carry out a wide range of scientific research including exploration and utilisation of the moon.
The statement (in Mandarin) said: “China and Russia will use their accumulated experience in space science, research and development and use of space equipment and space technology to jointly develop a road map for the construction of an international lunar scientific research station.”
It added that both China and Russia will collaborate in the design, planning, development and operation of the research station.
Chen Lan, an analyst who specialises in China’s space programme, told AFP that the project was a “big deal”.
He said: “This will be the largest international space cooperation project for China, so it’s significant.”
China is a relatively late bloomer when it comes to the world of space exploration but last December the country’s Chang’e-5 probe successfully brought back rock and “soil” it picked up from the moon.