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China to proceed with international space projects despite Luna-25 loss — Foreign Ministry

According to Wang Wenbin, Beijing will continue to remain receptive and adhere to the principles ensuring general access to the program in question

BEIJING, August 21. /TASS/. China is open to international space cooperation for exploring the Moon even following the loss of Russia’s Luna-25 automated lunar lander, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

"China will promote extensive cooperation on developing the International Lunar Research Station," he said at a briefing, replying to a question by a Western reporter as to whether China will aspire for partnership with Russia on space endeavors following the incident with the Luna-25 lunar module.

According to the Chinese diplomat, Beijing will continue to remain receptive and adhere to the principles ensuring general access to the program in question. "China will bolster scientific and technical interaction and contribute to the progress of space technologies and the incremental development of human civilization," he concluded.

Earlier, Russia’s state-run Roscosmos space corporation said that, according to preliminary calculations, the Luna-25 automatic lunar station was destroyed after it collided with the surface of the Moon. Earlier, the module had received an impulse in order to activate its pre-landing elliptical orbit. About 2:57 p.m. Moscow time on Saturday communication with the space module was lost.

The Soyuz-2.1b carrier vehicle with the Luna-25 automatic probe was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome at 2:10 a.m. Moscow time on August 11. On August 12 and 14, the automatic probe adjusted its flight path twice. The apparatus entered a near-lunar orbit on Wednesday, August 16, and its landing on the surface of the Moon was slated for August 21.

Russia-China cooperation on aerospace matters

Russia and China maintain close interaction in the field of space. At the end of last year, Roscosmos announced the signing of a program for fostering cooperation with China’s National Space Administration for 2023-2027. The parties also concluded agreements on interaction in order to ensure the complementarity of the GLONASS and Beidou global positioning satellite systems. Earlier, the two countries signed an agreement on joint efforts to create the International Lunar Research Station, a roadmap for which was presented in June 2021.