Russia and China are reportedly discussing a plan to work together to build a base on the Moon.
According to the Washington Examiner, chief executive of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that he plans to have “detailed dialogue” with the Chinese government this month about a joint lunar base mission.
The continuing alliance between the two nations is appearing to be strengthening as both have difficult relationships with the U.S. and allied Western nations. Russian relations with the west have become especially troubled in recent months since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
When U.S. and European sanctions first began to be imposed on Russia in February, the Russian government issued vague but dangerous threats to crash the International Space Station from orbit. It said it might terminate propulsion technology support and providing other supplies to the satellite.
Eventually the Russian government announced it was withdrawing from joint efforts to support the International Space Station while Western sanctions were imposed. Post-Cold War relations between the U.S. and Russia had been bolstered for many years by the work done on the station. It now appears that a new international approach to space exploration is beginning.
Rogozin told the Russian state media agency TASS that he believes his government should not rush to declare a final position on the International Space Station until at least 2024. He cautioned that Russia should wait for the “developing situation” to evolve.
The International Space Station is currently home to a crew of American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. The Russians conducted a spacewalk last week lasting several hours. They used the excursion outside the satellite to display a Soviet era red flag dating back to World War II.
China stated that it will now begin work on the next phase of its lunar program now that it has agreed to collaborate with Russia. The Chinese space agency has announced that it intends to expand its research at the Moon’s south pole as a prospective location for a permanent lunar base.
Vice Administrator of the China National Space Administration Wu Yanhua told reporters that they expect to complete surveys of the area and have facilities built within the next ten years.