China and Russia have reportedly signed an agreement spanning over five years for intent for cooperation in space exploration of the Moon and the outer space on Saturday. According to the statement released, China National Space Administration and Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos had signed the agreement thereby binding in a partnership in space exploration between 2018 to 2023 as well as towards creating a Joint Data Center for the upcoming lunar projects scheduled by the space agency.
The statements read that both the parties (sides) showed interest in the corporation when the representatives of both the countries met in a communique in November 2017 to discuss the aim of space corporation. The two space agencies will conduct the launch of Luna-Resurs-1, a Russian mission set to launch in 2022 as well as a scheduled Chinese mission to land on the south pole of Moon in 2023. The agreement was signed in Tokyo at the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF).
A Russian-based space enterprise named Energia recently presented its plant to construct a base on Moon between 2040 and 2050. The firm has also established a dedicated ‘Scientific Center for Research and Testing’ with the sole aim to prepare for the upcoming moon exploration programs. On the other hand, China National Space Administration has scheduled the launch of two lunar missions carrying the payload of relay satellite and microsatellites which will be launch in May or Jun 2018. These satellites will allow the upcoming Chang’e lander and rover mission by China’s space agency to complete in December 2018. The lander is destined to land on the lunar far side i.e. South pole which will be the first attempt by any space agency so far. The lunar far side is nothing but the face of the moon that has never been seen due to the fact that Moon is tidally locked to the Earth i.e. it always shows the same face towards the Earth.
The Chang’e-5 mission was scheduled or launch in November this year, however, the failure of Long March 5 rocket that happened in July 2017 delayed the launch to December 2018.