Science

Xi and Putin join forces: Superpowers plot moon base in major rival to NASA plans


This base is set to rival NASA’s Lunar Gateway, a planned space station in the moon’s orbit serving as a vital hub for communication and research. Officials from the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the country’s national space agency, confirmed plans to build the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) on Friday.

Working with Russia, the countries plan to finish building basic infrastructure construction for ILRS by 2035, according to Wu Yanhua, CNSA deputy director.

He said that this also includes systems for energy, communication and life support.

While NASA’s lunar Gateway will only orbit the Moon, this new space station will have both an orbiter and a base on the lunar surface, along with multiple exploration rovers.

The two countries have also agreed to cooperate on the launch of a robotic lunar mission, Chang’e 7, around 2025, according to Liu Jizhong, director of the administration’s China Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center.

This announcement comes as China and Russia grow increasingly closer in military and space capabilities, with the two countries holding naval exercises in the Arabian sea earlier this week.

Western officials have speculated China would support Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, while visiting Australia, no one should rule out Beijing aggression in the Pacific if Russia sends troops into Ukraine.

She added: “Russia is working more closely with China than it ever has.

READ MORE: China sends warning as it develops technology for hypersonic weapons





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