China, Russia enter MoU on international lunar research station


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21 January 2015
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I wonder how much this will be driven by each country. Will one be more more in the driving seat than the other.

The heads of the Chinese and Russian space agencies signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday on cooperative construction of an international lunar research station.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of Roscosmos, signed the document during a virtual meeting March 9.

The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) is described as a comprehensive scientific experiment base built on the lunar surface or on the lunar orbit that can carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities including exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification, and long-term autonomous operation.

I wonder how much this will be driven by each country. Will one be more more in the driving seat than the other.

Well, China clearly wanted out tech. Their own rocketry is good... but still not top class. If China could obtain the access to our rocket tech and engineering expertise, their own rocket program would advance quite a lot, and enormous amount of money would be saved also.

For us... well, I suspect Russia main reason is prestige. We hardly would be able to maintain independent manned space station by themselves, far less manned lunar program. The future of our manned spaceflight in doubt, and its loss would be a great loss of prestige. But if we would have access to Chinese space & lunar stations - it would allow Russia to maintain manned spaceflight program and get experience and scientific benefits for the fraction of cost.
A new space race would at least be a positive way of channeling great power rivalry. We would never have got into Space in the first place without the inpetus given by Sputnik and Iuri Gagarin. Armstrong and Aldrin would not have stood on the Moon if there had been no Soviet Union. Without Salyut and Mir there would have been no ISS.
Want proof? Since 1990 the US has let its Astronautics degrade to the point where it relies on Soyuz to even get to the ISS and lets a showcase telescope collapse like a Detroit Project block.
Weird... the CNES has some independance from ESA, but there are tight limits there. Science payloads on robotic missions regularly happen (since 1966 and the Soviets day)
But grand scale, expensive programs are automatically related to ESA - Orion SM, Gateway then.
Looks more like a Rogozin sales pitch in the direction of the French.

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