China and Russia are all set to sign an agreement to explore the moon jointly as the two countries team up to get ahead in a decades-long race of the world’s space powers.
A lunar station’s complete basic infrastructure is what the countries are aiming for by 2035.
Wu Yanhua, a deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA – the country’s space agency), said that the amenities at the base will include systems for energy, communication and life support, Bloomberg reported Wu saying at a press conference in Beijing.
A robotic lunar mission called the 'Chang'e 7' is also on the agenda of both nations. The launch of the mission will be approximately in 2025. China’s last mission to the moon was 'Chang’e 5' that returned with lunar samples last year; a rover is still exploring the far side of the moon since 2019.
Talks of teaming up between the two nations started early last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also set to visit Beijing next month for the Winter Olympics opening in a sign of deepening ties between the countries.
China also aims to send astronauts to the moon by 2030, Bloomberg reported quoting Ye Peijian – the chief designer of the country’s first lunar mission. Until then, Ye reportedly told state media, the country wants to keep exploring the water distribution and the moon’s poles.
A pioneer in space exploration, Russia celebrated 60 years of the country’s maiden manned space mission last year. The country and its space agency Roscosmos have been eclipsed in the recent times by China and the US. The collaboration may help Russia make its mark in space.
India and the US too are making progress in lunar exploration with Washington DC planning a return to the moon by 2024 with a man and woman on the lunar surface. It will be the first time that humans will be on the moon since 1972.