Russia – China `heats up` the race on the Moon
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Russia – China `heats up` the race on the Moon

(Dan Tri) – Despite starting later, China has made great progress in space exploration and is joining hands with Russia to confront the United States in the race on the Moon.

Simulation photo of phase 3 of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) route (Photo: spacenews).

China and Russia have revealed details of their plan to establish a joint research station on the Moon, which is expected to complete at least five structures on the planet’s surface by 2035.

In March, the China National Space Agency (CNSA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) agreed to cooperate in developing the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS).

Initial exploration missions under the ILRS development strategy are expected to begin this year, while construction is planned for as early as 2025.

According to the plan, this station will initially operate autonomously and will then be used as a base for future human missions as well as exploration of resources on the Moon.

Preliminary exploration missions are expected to begin this year, while construction is planned for as early as 2025.

`China and Russia welcome international partners to participate in the ILRS program at all stages and at all levels of each stage,` said Mr. Wu Yanhua, Deputy Director of CNSA, in a joint online press conference with

This ambitious plan is clearly reviving an international space race, three decades after the Cold War.

Neither China nor Russia signed the US-led Artemis Accords, launched in October 2020.

On June 15, Brazil became the latest country to sign the Artemis Agreement, along with Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Italy.

The US is aiming to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, 52 years after the last Apollo mission in 1972 – as part of the Artemis space programme.

According to the plan, in the next few years, three existing Chinese probes, from Chang’e 6 to Chang’e 8 – and four planned Russian missions, from Luna-25 to Luna-28, will be dedicated

From 2031-2035, ILRS needs to carry out five missions for its headquarters construction plan, including research and exploration facilities such as laboratories and observatories.

CNSA and Roscosmos also called on countries, international organizations and partners to participate to make the plan `effective`.

`After consultations with China and Russia, any partner willing to contribute to ILRS can participate or can even lead any part of the project,` CNSA and Roscosmos said.

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