- Russia and China signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to set up an international lunar research station as both countries seek to catch up with the United States in the space race. Russia, which sent the first man into space during the Soviet Union, has been lagging behind Washington and Beijing in the exploration of the Moon and Mars.
- Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said in a statement that a memorandum was signed by its head, Dmitry Rogozin, and Zhang Kejian of China’s National Space Administration (CNSA). It said the lunar station will be designed as a “complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and/or in the orbit of the Moon.”
- It would be available for use by other interested countries and international partners, the statement said, without details about the completion date. Despite its former Soviet glory, Russia’s space sector has suffered greatly in recent years from a lack of financing and corruption. China has also expressed its space ambitions, launching last year its Tianwen-1 probe that is currently orbiting Mars.
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