Russia and China Sign Joint Agreement to Build Lunar Research Station

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Chinese and Russian space agencies agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement of cooperation will lead to building an international research station at the south pole on the surface of the moon.

On March 9th Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of Roscosmos, signed the agreement at a virtual meeting.

The latest MoU describes the proposed International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) as a “comprehensive scientific experiment base built on the lunar surface that can carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities including exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification, and long-term autonomous operation.”

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Both agencies issued statements Roscosmos and CNSA that mention the proposed project is “open to all interested countries and international partners.” 

The European Space Agency has also been talking to Russia and China. In the meantime, they also signed an MoU with NASA. ESA will contribute to the construction of the first human outpost in lunar orbit, the Gateway.