Russian media reports on Monday said Beijing and Moscow are collaborating on space projects, including a manned mission to the moon.
Russia and China will set up a joint working group to “develop standards for docking units, electrical connectors and spacecraft atmosphere”, said a Russian news agency Tass report.
“The sides have agreed to begin cooperation beyond low-Earth orbits, including manned lunar programmes. The mode of such cooperation and its guidelines are still to be negotiated,” an official from the Russian space industry was quoted in the report.
This is just the latest in a whirlwind of high-level exchanges aimed at mulling and perhaps shaping a new Russian-Chinese space alliance.
Last month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who supervises defense-related policies, said the question on “bringing China in as the main partner in creating a lunar scientific station,” is currently being discussed with Russian space agency Roscosmos.
“We have told China of our plans about the possibility of creating a Russian national orbital station,” Rogozin told journalists after a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in China.
China is preparing for the first launch of its Long March-9 rocket in 2028.
This will be the country’s first manned lunar mission. Its payload will be 130 tons, which coincides with the lift capability of the Space Launch System being developed by NASA, the China Daily reports.