China, Russia Create Research Groups to Discuss Construction of Lunar Station

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HEFEI, China (Sputnik) - China and Russia have created several research groups to discuss the construction of a joint lunar station, but the roles are yet to be apportioned between the sides, Guan Feng, the executive director of China's Deep Space Exploration Lab, told Sputnik.
"China and Russia are discussing the project of a lunar station, We have created a research group where we are discussing, for instance, where exactly the station should be built. We also have an engineering group that is discussing future technical solutions on how exactly the station's modules will be constructed," Guan said.
He added that Russia and China had not yet decided their respective areas of responsibility in building the station and were still in talks.
As part of the cooperation, the countries have also established a group on international cooperation where partnerships on different international space standards is discussed, Guan stated.
"In reality, we think that an international lunar station will become an open project in future. We could create a station together with Russia, but we have always believed that all researchers that are interested in it could take part in the station's construction," Guan said.
In March 2021, Russia and China signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for the construction of an international lunar research station.
Last December, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that an intergovernmental Russia-China agreement on the construction of the station was ready to be signed. The two countries are aiming to put the station in place from 2025 to 2035.
The lunar station is envisioned as a complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and in the orbit of the Moon, designed to carry out multidisciplinary and multipurpose research, including lunar exploration, observations, fundamental research experiments and technology verification, with the possibility of long-term unmanned operations with the prospect of a human presence on the Moon.