China and Russia are planning to launch six missions within the preparatory stage of building an international Moon base, Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), said during the GLEX-2021 conference on Wednesday.
According to the presentation, the first investigative stage will last from 2021 to 2025. China plans to send three missions within this period: Chang’e 4, Chang’e 6 and Chang’e 7. Russia plans to launch an automatic station “Luna 25,” lunar polar orbiter “Luna 26” and lunar lander “Luna 27”.
The missions will use Chinese CZ-3B and CZ-5 launch vehicles, as well as Russia’s Soyuz-2. The goal of this stage is to choose an area for constructing a station and to develop the technology for a highly accurate soft landing on the Moon.
According to the presentation, China and Russia have not ruled out “launching potential missions of other partners”.
On March 9, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced that they had signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on behalf of their governments on cooperation in creating an international scientific lunar station. Russia and China are planning to use their joint experience and scientific technologies to create a roadmap for building a station on the Moon. Bilateral cooperation in this sphere envisages both studying the lunar surface and implementing joint projects in the orbit of the Earth’s natural satellite.
Source: TASS Russia