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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Vladimir Putin ratifies plan to jointly build lunar base with China

Some 12 more countries and international organisations have signed on to the ambitious initiative, Sergey Savelyev, deputy general director for International Cooperation at the Russian state space agency Roscosmos said, according to a report

PTI Beijing Published 14.06.24, 08:08 PM
Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin. File picture.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a plan to jointly build the International Lunar Research Station with China, an ambitious space project which was announced previously by the two close neighbours.

The document connected with the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) was published on a Russian official legal information portal on Wednesday, Russia's state-run Sputnik news agency reported.

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The ILRS will consist of sections on the lunar surface, sections in lunar orbit and sections on Earth, and it will be built in two phases, Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar exploration programme said in April this year.

According to Wu, the first phase of the ILRS construction project will see a basic station built by 2035 in the lunar south pole region. The second phase will see the expansion of the station, set for completion by 2045, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Wu as saying.

Some 12 more countries and international organisations have signed on to the ambitious initiative, Sergey Savelyev, deputy general director for International Cooperation at the Russian state space agency Roscosmos said, according to a report in China’s state-run Global Times.

Earlier in March, the Russian government submitted to parliament's lower house a bill to ratify the agreement with China. The ratification comes days after the ascender of China's Chang'e-6 probe took off from the lunar surface carrying samples collected from the moon's far side earlier this month.

This was the first endeavour of its kind to collect the soil from this rarely explored terrain and is currently on its way back to the earth with the samples.

The Chang'e-6 probe, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner -- like its predecessor Chang'e-5 -- was launched on May 3.

During his visit to China last month, Putin spoke of 'very interesting' plans for joint moon exploration with China.

In March 2021, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on behalf of their governments on working together to create the International Lunar Research Station.

“As regards moon exploration, we and our friends from among Chinese researchers have certain plans. These are capital-intensive projects, but they are very interesting and very promising,” Putin was then quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS during his visit to the Chinese city of Harbin.

The first lunar mission is scheduled for 2026, and the project should be wrapped up in 2028, it said.

In early March, Roscomsos CEO Yury Borisov announced that Russia was weighing delivering and installing a nuclear power unit on the lunar surface together with China “somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035.”

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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