Russia and China Want to Build Moon Station

Moon station
People are supposed to land on the surface of the moon again Photo: AP/Marco Ugarte
Russia and China have agreed to join forces to build a moon station But crucial details still need to be clarified. The moon is getting interesting again. The US space agency NASA is currently working on landings on the surface that are planned for sometime during the decade. In addition, a station in lunar orbit, the so-called Lunar Gateway, is to be built together with partners from Europe and Canada. Now Russia and China have teamed up to jointly build a station. It is not yet clear whether it will be placed on the lunar floor or in orbit.

Due to a resolution of the U.S. Congress, the American space agency NASA is not allowed to work directly with China. That is why China is neither a partner in the International Space Station nor in the Lunar Gateway. Russia flirted with cooperation here, but repeatedly complained critically about the supposed U.S. dominance in the project.

Russians plan to land with a probe

In the 1960s, Russia ran its own manned program parallel to the US Apollo lunar landing program. The country discontinued it due to technical problems and the success of the Americans. Research with landing robots also ended in 1976. Roskosmos is currently preparing the “Luna 25” mission, which could possibly start in 2022.

China operates an ambitious lunar program that will eventually include a landing with humans. So far, however, China used only robots. Most recently, the country brought almost two kilograms of soil samples to earth with the “Chang’e-5” probe in December of last year. It was the first time in nearly 50 years that material had been brought from the moon to earth.