China and Russia are due to sign a joint space exploration deal that will commit the two nations to work together from 2018 to 2022.
It will not be the first space collaboration between the two countries, but it will be the first to span half a decade.
Experts suggest the China-Russia program will emphasize using technologies to drive economic development. Image: pixabay-581239
The longer period should give the partners scope to achieve “more ambitious plans and goals,” says a CGTN report.
One ambitious goal of the deal, which is due to be signed in October, is to achieve “manned and future missions to the moon.”
Five main areas of collaboration
The agreement will cover five main areas: development of special materials, exploring the Moon and deep space, space debris research, satellite systems, and Earth remote sensing.
Glavcosmos, a Russian space launch operator in the state-run Roscosmos group, has been coordinating the discussion around some of the areas.
After a recent meeting with Chinese representatives, Glavcosmos Chief Executive Officer Denis Lyskov, said that they have “a rich history of cooperation with partners from China.”
The Russian operator is also considering space collaborations with Armenia, Brazil, Chile, India, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Peru, and South Africa.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s space program has struggled to keep up due to lack of funding; collaboration with other nations is seen as a solution.
Emphasis on economic development
One expert sees the China-Russia partnership as ideal in the sense that the two countries bring different things to the table.
Wang Ya’nan, deputy editor of China’s Aerospace Knowledge magazine says that Russia brings “previous experience and aeronautic infrastructure and China could contribute new ideas and needed resources, which would also avoid overlapping investment on same projects.”
The China-Russia space exploration program will also differ from those of the United States and Western countries in that there will likely be an emphasis on using aeronautic technologies to drive economic development, says Wang.
Video – Is China the new leader in space exploration?
The following video from LaRouchePAC Videos gives an overview of China’s stated aims in space exploration, as presented at the 2017 Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) in Beijing.