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Russia, China ink deal on joint work on lunar station — Roscosmos chief

Сonstruction of the lunar station is expected to be completed by 2035
Roscosmos Head Yury Borisov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Roscosmos Head Yury Borisov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Russia and China recently signed an agreement on an international scientific lunar station, Roscosmos Head Yury Borisov said on Wednesday.

"After a detailed analysis of the landing area by automatic probes, soil sampling and researches into the presence of water, we will switch over to the next phase: possibly and most likely in close contact with our Chinese partners this will involve building a future lunar base. Literally quite recently, we signed an agreement with the Chinese side on joint work in this field," the Roscosmos chief said in a live broadcast on the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and China National Space Administration (CNSA) unveiled a roadmap of an international scientific lunar station at the Global Space Exploration Conference 2021 (GLEX 2021) in St. Petersburg in June 2021.

Under the roadmap, the construction of the lunar station is expected to be completed by 2035. Two missions are planned in 2026-2030 to test the technologies of landing and cargo delivery and the transportation of lunar soil samples to Earth. The plans envisage developing infrastructure in orbit and on the Moon’s surface in 2031-2035, in particular, communications systems, electric power, research and other equipment.

Pursuant to the roadmap, the station’s transport infrastructure will include research and service lunar rovers and also a hopping robot. The participating sides are also planning to equip the station with several smart mini-rovers to explore the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite.