The plan for the International Lunar Research Station is taking shape
The plan for the International Lunar Research Station is taking shape

China and Russia hope to send their first astronauts to the Moon within the next decade. The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) plan includes a series of robotic missions to the moon and a legal framework for lunar research, similar to NASA's Artemis mission to the moon.

Officials from China's National Space Agency (CNSA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) announced their three-phase plan to establish a lunar base and network of satellites in lunar orbit at the World Space Research Conference in Russia.

In March, the space agency officially collaborated on the project.

Most of the first and second lunar phase projects are just preparatory work, including unmanned missions, said the deputy director of the National Space Administration.

When asked when the first Russian or Chinese astronauts will reach the moon, he said: Over the next ten years, we will continue to focus on unmanned lunar exploration.

CNSA is currently focused on sending astronauts to their new space station, the first of which was launched in April.

The first three astronauts are scheduled to take off from China for three months this month.

The Russian and Chinese lunar landing plan paved the way for the race between the two countries and the United States. The International Lunar Research Station is being built in conjunction with NASA's Artemis program, a multi-billion dollar project to get American astronauts to the lunar surface as quickly as possible by 2024 and over the next 10 years. on the moon.

International Lunar Research Station:

NASA is working with Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency to develop the Moon Gateway. This is a lunar base designed to transport astronauts to future base stations on the lunar surface.

Russia is NASA's largest partner in the International Space Station, and before it turns into the China International Lunar Research Station program, it is negotiating with the United States to participate in the Lunar Gateway program.

China and Russia have announced that the International Lunar Research Station is open to international partners, including NASA.

The Deputy Director General of Roscosmos confirmed that the two countries are still in the process of developing a legal framework for lunar research. The first version of the agreement should be available by the end of the year.

The framework currently lags behind NASA's Artemis deal, which aims to set legal standards for lunar operations under the Artemis program.

US officials insist that these agreements are interpretations of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which promotes peaceful coordination between nations on the moon.

The International Lunar Research Station's agenda consists of three phases. The first phase, from 2021 to 2025, includes no fewer than six lunar-launched robotic missions equally shared by China and Russia. These missions will explore future lunar landing sites and conduct scientific explorations.

In the next phase from 2026 to 2035, the focus will be on construction. With the delivery of a large amount of cargo and the construction of complete facilities in lunar orbit and the lunar surface.

The final phase begins in 2036 when the routine process begins. This includes research, lunar exploration, technical verification, assistance in landing humans on the moon and, if necessary, module expansion and maintenance.

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