China, Russia To Sign Joint Space Exploration Pact

China and Russia are expected to sign a 5-year agreement that would see the two nations embark on a collaborative effort involving manned space missions as well as future missions to the Moon, a Chinese news source reports. The agreement is slated to for an October signing and would be the first of its kind.

The Global Times (an adjunct of China’s People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party) reported this week (per Sputnik News) that China and Russia have nearly completed deep talks on collaborating on future space exploration missions, the bilateral agreement to run from 2018 through 2022. The collaboration between the two space-faring superpowers is also designed to allow for more ambitious plans and goals to be attained by the signatories, the report cited CGTN (China Global Television Network) as saying.

The historic agreement will encompass five areas of joint cooperation that will include lunar to deep space exploration, special materials development, collaborations in the area of satellite systems, Earth remote sensing, and space debris research.

CGTN noted that the bilateral pact would be beneficial to both China and Russia, especially in the manned and future missions to the moon.

According to the Global Times, a piece on the website reported that the joint venture was being viewed optimistically by Russian experts, because with the joint efforts China and Russia could possibly pull ahead of NASA, considered the leader in most areas regarding space exploration and aerospace development.

Russia launches rocket from Kazakhstan in July, 2017, carrying replacement cosmonauts and astronauts to the International Space Station. [Image by Dmitri Lovetsky/AP Images]

Glavkosmos, a Russia-based space launch company, has been commissioned to coordinate and act as contractor for a part of the work covered in the upcoming October agreement. Back in August, Russia’s Tass News Agency reported that the company was working with Chinese commercial partners to conduct experiments on board the International Space Station as well as providing Earth remote sensing data from Russian satellites.

China launches three astronauts on a trip to their orbiting space lab in June, 2013.

News of the collaborative agreement first made headlines back in June. The Inquisitr reported that both Russia and China had acknowledged that the two nations had entered into talks concerning a mutually beneficial pact to work together toward future lunar and space exploration missions. At the time, it was reported that China and Russia were also in talks where Russia would collaborate in the construction of a Chinese space station.

[Featured Image by Imagine Photographer/Shutterstock]

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