China and Russia agree to build joint lunar space station

Dmitry Rogozin, Director-General of Russian space agency Roscosmos, during the joint signing of a memorandum of understanding with the China National Space Administration on March 9, 2021.

(CNN)China and Russia have agreed to jointly construct a lunar space station that will be "open to all countries," the China National Space Administration said in a statement on Tuesday.

The leaders of the two countries' respective space agencies signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of their national governments.
"China and Russia will use their accumulated experience in space science, research and development as well as the use of space equipment and space technology to jointly develop a road map for the construction of an international lunar scientific research station (ILRS)," China's space agency said.
    A statement from Russian space agency Roscosmos said the two organizations planned to "promote cooperation on the creation of an open-access ILRS for all interested countries and international partners, with the goal of strengthening research cooperation and promoting the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of all mankind."
      Members of the China National Space Administration during the joint signing with Russian space agency Roscosmos on March 9, 2021.
      The lunar space station will be "a complex of experimental and research facilities" created on the moon's surface and/or in orbit of the moon, according to the Roscosmos statement. The facilities will be designed for a range of multidisciplinary research, including "testing technologies with the possibility of long-term unmanned operation with the prospect of human presence on the moon."
      China and Russia will now work on a road map for how to design, develop, and operate the station, and plan "its presentation to the world space community," Roscosmos said.
      The two countries have also signed agreements to jointly create a data center for the exploration of the moon and deep space. They plan to cooperate in the future on China's Chang'e-7 and Russia's Luna 27 missions, which both aim to survey the lunar south pole.