Pune, India. 29 May 2021. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Russian State Space Corporation (Roscosmos) have issued joint statements acknowledging mutual interest in the construction of an International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) for the “peaceful exploration and use of the Moon”, at the said at Startup Village 2021 international conference.
They stated that the ILRS is a complex experimental research facility to be constructed with a possible benefit for other countries as well. The station is designed for multi-disciplinary scientific research activities, moon-based observation, and technology verification, with the capability of long-term unmanned operation and the prospect of subsequent human presence.
Alexander Bloshenko, Executive Director for Advanced Programs and Science, State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS, said that a joint task force has been established and agreements have already been reached on mutual integration of super-heavy carriers to manned ships.
China is considering cooperation in the field of its new Tiangong space station. “We are developing the Chinese station so that foreign modules are able to dock with it. This provides for activities of an international team of astronauts at this station,” the representative of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Limited assured the audience at Startup Village 2021 international conference.
The two countries are welcoming the tangible and intangible participation of international partners in the cooperation for the construction of ILRS in any aspect of the mission and are convinced that all participants will benefit from the cooperation.
Yuguang Yang, representative of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Limited, founder of the Moon Village Association, said at Startup Village 2021 international conference that China and Russia have a significant future in joint space exploration. “I really hope that we will cooperate. Russia and China have already signed an agreement on joint development of the lunar program, in particular, the creation of a lunar platform. I believe that we can achieve much more together. South Pole and other parts of the Moon are all part of our program. To do this, we will need new technologies that can be used in the future for research on Mars, as well as in other space programs.”
According to Yuguang, international cooperation is extremely important for both Russia and China. First of all, we are talking about launching people into space. “Since we decided to build a lunar station, let’s do it together. You cannot do this on your own. We believe that we can reduce certain risks to humans, make flights safer, reduce the cost of launches, maintain a permanent base on the surface of the moon through joint efforts.”
CNSA Deputy Director Wu Yanhua said China and Russia will build the moon station with other international partners. The statement mentioned that the station will be another important contribution by China and Russia to promote the long-term and sustainable development of United Nations outer space activities.
The two sides will later issue a road map for the station project and clarify the accession procedures of other interested countries or international organizations.